I know that I promised to have this posted yesterday, and I would have. I had a whole post written about Mushroom and Cheese Ravioli, and how easy it is to make and fun stuff like that… but then I went to a party last night, and after talking to my Aunt Sharon and Uncle Duane about my photos, I decided that it might be a good time to discuss the props that I use for my recipes.
Of course, as my aunt and uncle, they were praising my work as any family member would do, and as their niece, I was eating that praise right up! My uncle mentioned one of my recent photos, and said… “It looks like there was a dirty towel in the photo…” Oh my goodness, I laughed, and had to explain to him that the towel wasn’t dirty at all. They sat there listening to me, with an incredulous look on their faces. So, so cute! And don’t get me wrong, in no way was he criticizing my work..not at all.
There are so many different food bloggers with different personalities, different tastes, likes, dislikes. Some you’ll find clean white backgrounds that are absolutely gorgeous. Their food stands out beautifully, pure, clean, and simple. I love that look, and always appreciate its beauty. Then there are bloggers who post close ups of food only. I love that too. They’re perfectly clear with every last ingredient that is in that recipe. Then there are the moody bloggers. A little dark, using vintage, sometimes tarnished, a lot of times stained props that we find in antique shops, attics, garage sales, and online.
I tend to be on the moody side.
Now, getting back to the incredulous look on my aunt and uncles faces…the props that I use are clean. As a matter of fact, the towel that Uncle Duane mentioned was actually brand new last week! While shopping at my beloved Wegmans, I came across the towel, a little green and white checked towel, that I knew would look lovely for the summer recipes that I have coming up. I brought that pretty little towel home, preheated my oven to 350 degrees, brewed a couple of cups of coffee, and poured that coffee right over the towel. I put the coffee saturated towel into the oven, and let it bake and get burn marks… all just to make it look old and tired…when in fact, it is a brand spanking new towel! Always know that I use vintage props, but the food that is shown in the photo, is always protected!
I’ve worked hard to create an image, one that people will know just by looking at one of my photographs, and say: “Oh, that’s Prudy…”
Now that? It just makes me happy!
And my inspiration? It comes from my readers. Truly.
Once I found my photography niche, it was easy to find people to share that same love of vintage with me. To me, it’s warm and welcoming, peaceful and comforting, with a touch of romance….and I think that is what draws them in, too. It’s old kitchen, warm and cozy, friendship and laughter…happy. It’s a common bond that that I have with my readers, and the excitement in sharing something new. I know that it makes me happy, and in turn, I hope that it will make all of you happy too.
Now, let’s talk about that mushroom ravioli. This recipe is all about the mushroom. Chopped mushrooms in a cheese filling, homemade pasta, rolled out and stuffed into ravioli… all topped with a mushroom ragout. It’s earthy, it’s saucy, and it’s cheesy. This is truly one for the mushroom lover, such as myself.
And it’s so simple to make! I hope that you never shy away from making your own pasta. Three ingredients combined into a dough that has to sit for a half hour, and then rolled through a pasta machine, which takes just a few minutes. In about an hour and a half (or less), you’ll have these ravioli made! The sauce? It takes about 20 minutes to throw together! The ravioli may not be as quick as I normally say… but I still maintain that it’s super easy!
P.S. There are a lot of photos following the recipe, so keep on scrolling! This recipe is going to seem really long and intimidating. It really isn’t, especially if you follow the photos!
Life is good. It’s a “Sometimes it takes family to make you see what others might be seeing…” kind of good.
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 3 large eggs
- 8 oz baby bella mushrooms, chopped
- 1½ cups ricotta cheese
- ¾ cup Romano cheese, grated
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- ½ pound bacon, cut into 1" pieces
- 1 onion, chopped (about ⅔ cup)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 16 oz baby bella mushrooms, sliced thick
- 15 oz can crushed tomatoes
- ½ tsp granulated sugar
- salt and pepper to taste
- Fresh thyme, basil, or oregano for garnish
- Mix the flour and salt, and mound on a clean work surface. Make a well in the center, and add the eggs.
- Carefully mix the eggs and flour together, pulling more flour in with your hands, kneading as you go. Don't worry if it seems crumbly at the beginning, the more you knead, the more it will come together. This will form a stiff dough.
- Knead the dough for about 10 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and pliable.
- Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, and let rest for 30 minutes. (While the dough is resting, make the mushroom and cheese filling and start the mushroom ragout).
- Remove from plastic wrap, and divide into fourths. As you work with each fourth of the dough, make sure that you keep the others wrapped, so that the outside doesn't form a crust.
- Begin rolling the dough on the widest setting of your pasta machine. Fold the first strip into thirds, and pass the dough through the same width again. Pass the strip at least two times through each width of the pasta machine, ending with the narrowest width, and a smooth strip of pasta.
- Lay that strip of pasta on a flat floured surface. Cut off the uneven ends to make the strip uniform in width and height.
- Begin placing about a tablespoon of mushroom filling about an inch apart along the bottom portion of the strip of dough. Be sure to leave about ¼" of space between the edge of the dough and the filling.
- Dip your finger in a bowl of water, and moisten the edges of the dough, and in between the dollops of filling.
- Take the upper half of the dough, and fold it down over the filling, matching the top edge to the bottom edge of the dough.
- Using your fingers, push the edges of the dough together and in between the cheese to form the pillows of ravioli.
- Use a crimper, or a ravioli stamp to cut the pillows of ravioli from the strip.
- Place on a floured baking sheet.
- Bring a pot of salted water (about five quarts) to boil, and place about five or six ravioli into the boiling water. They will rise to the top, and let cook for about four to five minutes. Carefully remove with a slotted spoon, and place onto a platter until ready to serve.
- If you're not planning on using it immediately, put the baking sheet of ravioli into the freezer to individually freeze them. After frozen, they can go into a container or baggie, and back into the freezer for up to three months.
- In a large saute pan, cook the mushrooms until the moisture is evaporated. About five minutes or so. Just make sure that all of the moisture has evaporated, otherwise you'll have runny filling! There is no need for oil or butter, the mushrooms will cook just fine without it!
- In a large bowl, combine the sautéed mushrooms, ricotta cheese, Romano cheese, mozzarella cheese, egg, and parsley. Stir with a rubber spatula until completely combined. Place in refrigerator until ready to use.
- Cook the bacon until crisp. Remove from the grease, and let drain on a paper towel lined plate, reserving the bacon grease in the pan.
- Sauté the onions and garlic in the bacon grease for about 5 minutes, or until the onions are tender and translucent. Add the mushrooms, and sauté until browned. No need to worry about the moisture evaporating for the sauce. Add the crushed tomatoes and sugar. Simmer for about 10 minutes or until thickened. Add salt and pepper to your desired taste.
- Add the bacon back to the sauce reserving a few crumbles for garnish, and serve the cooked ravioli on top of the sauce with crumbles of bacon, and grated fresh ricotta salata. Garnish with thyme, basil, or oregano.