Ravioli, For Jamie

25 June 2011

Stereotypical Italian guy sez: "If you-a like, I can-a show you my penis."

There are few things in life more pleasurable than ravioli.  Amongst those are Jeff Buckley songs, Richard Pryor’s comedy, and, of course, your mother.  My love of food came not from my Ma’s breadcrumb-encrusted chicken, nor from my father’s insistence that I “eat those fucking green beans, or else I’ll make sure that the right son drowns in that river,” but rather from a dish I had while on trip through Italy, when I was seventeen.  There was a law, at the time, which dictated that all buses – one of which I was a passenger of – had to stop every four hours, so that the bus driver could take a break to do mafia stuff and make kissing sounds at pretty girls who happened to pass by.  Luckily for me, this particular tight pants-wearing, chain-smoking, swarthy bus driver chose to take his break at a truck stop which happened to randomly have a cottage next to it.  And this cottage randomly happened to have an old woman assigned to it.  And this old woman randomly happened to know how to make the best spaghetti I’ve ever had.  That has nothing to do with this post, of course, but it is a pretty good story.  Even better when you’ve had a  bottle-and-a-half of scotch, like me.  Stories are fun!

Anyway, as good as that spaghetti was, I need to talk about ravioli.  More to the point, about the best ravioli there ever was.  Picture, if you will, the three best things of all time.  If you pictured brie cheese, pasta, and pancetta, you’d be wrong.  The correct answer is Anne Hathaway, Sinatra, and my abs. You may have a point with brie, pancetta, and pasta, though, so let’s make some fucking ravioli, yes?

Anne Hathaway: so much better than ravioli.

Trade Money For These

Brie Cheese

Semolina Flour

Pancetta

Eggs

Water

Confidence

Combine, Thusly:

So, I’ve got bad news for you.  You’re gonna make a fucking mess out of your kitchen, and probably punch several holes in your walls, and not just because your girlfriend just cheated on you, with me, while I was making the very same pasta recipe that you’re reading about, right now.  Some people make their pasta dough in a stand mixer, but those people also like Kathy Griffin, so fuck them – we’re doing this shit like your 8th grade girlfriend: by hand.  Pile up some flour like you were Tony Montana, and make a well in there.  Into your flavor caldera put in three eggs.  Mix together the eggs and flour until it makes a “cohesive mass,” which is a term I just learned, and will now be the name of my new band.  Kneed the cohesive mass for a while, wrap in plastic, and let it rest for thirty minutes.  In the mean-time, crisp up some pancetta that you overpaid for at Whole Foods.

Punk band sez: "Thank you, Cleveland - We are . . . COHESIVE MASS!!!!! OUR FATHERS THOUGHT OUR FUTURES WOULD BE BETTER SERVED BY CONTINUING OUR PIANO LESSONS!!!!"

Take the dough out of your specially-made pasta rester, and roll it out.  It’s going to take some doing, but carpal tunnel syndrome is worth it for a good dinner.  You don’t have a pasta cutter, so just use a knife to – wait, you have a specially-made pasta rester, but you don’t have a pasta cutter?  That’s a little ridiculous, bro – cut the now 1/8 inch-thick dough into squares.  Onto each square pile a slice of brie and a pinch of Eye-Tie bacon.  Cover the squares to make a little pillow of deliciousness, and throw ’em into some water I forgot to tell you have boiling.  What of the sauce, you ask?  Well, you inquisitive reader, you; I like a brown butter sauce.  To make, you just, you know, brown some fucking butter.  You’re welcome.