We decided to have another ravioli dinner to use up (almost) the rest of the ricotta I bought a few days ago, and I also wanted to make some of M’s soup – first steps only – and freeze to cook up in winter when there are no good fresh tomatoes. I planned to go to the Tuesday market yesterday, but was so busy I forgot, so may well have missed the last of the Dirty Girl dry farmed early girls. Alas. But they could still go on all month. We’ll find out. But the Bowl has had Ella Bella dry farmer early girls, and they have been excellent… but… no more! I went there today particularly to buy them for dinner and soup futures. But wait! In the organic section, they have been selling Tomatero dry-farmed early girls and they were still there. So I bought a huge mound of them. I had D pick out how many tomatoes he needed for tonight’s sauce (perhaps a third? a quarter?), and I made the rest into pre-soup. I offered to do the food-milling on his while he ran off to work, since I was food-milling my set anyway – and with the same (finest) strainer in the mill. D cross-cut the flower-ends of his tomatoes and set them in boiling water till their skins burst, then when they cooled, skinned them and left them for me. I milled them into the medium cast-iron frying pan, where he cooked the juice down a bit and added salt and pepper. Meanwhile I stemmed my tomatoes and cut off any soft spots I was worried about (few), and set in batches into
boiling water (same pan/water as D used) for one minute, then tossed into the Cuisinart and cuised till liquidy. When the next batch of tomatoes was done boiling their skins loose, I poured the cuised batch over the food mill, keeping back any large lumps that had not gotten thoroughly liquified. I did 4 or 5 batches of tomatoes this way – all the ones in the picture. Sometimes the timing didn’t work just right and the next batch spent too long (more than 1.0 minute) in the boiling water – sorry, M – but not too much longer, anyway. Milling the cuised tomatoes was MUCH easier than milling the whole, skinned ones. I suspect cuising them frees up a larger proportion of the no-skin parts of the toms than going straight to milling, but it’s probably not that big a difference. What’s harder, milling uncuised tomatoes, or washing up the Cuisinart? I’ll go for the washup, but D generally prefers to avoid that.
So, where are we…? Ah, we need ravioli! I’ve done this a couple times lately, and am coming around to a recipe. Today I used 1/2 cup of ricotta from the Bowl (Bellwether Farms Basket Ricotta: hand-dipped, whole milk [There is a sheep version we should try, too!]) – almost all that remained from the container I bought for the previous ricotta – and added 1/8 tsp salt and a random amount of freshly grated nutmeg, which D wanted us to try. We didn’t particularly notice the flavor, but I expect we would have if given a side-by-side, with/without taste test. I used 2/3 of a Bertolli recipe of pasta dough (scant cup flour, 1 large egg, minimalist water) and made 16 ravs – two sheets of four ravs each, two of three ravs each (determined by the length the sheet reached) and two triangular ravs made from the ends of the four sheets. Last time I used more cheese, but I think this would be a good recipe to go with. One could be more circumspect and, if the sheets were longer, get 4 ravs from each sheet, as I did last time. So…. 1/2 cup filling = 8 Tbsp or 24 tsp, right? I must be using 1 1/3 tsp per rav, which I needn’t. So I’m sure that 1/2 cup filling is a reasonable volume for the filling. I added a slightly generous 1/8 tsp (dash) of salt to this cheese (and random nutmeg) but could have added more.
D prepared some Romano beans and boiled them briefly – 3 or 4 minutes – and served with salt and pepper. We selected a bottle of 2008 Chateau Citran (Haut-Medoc) from the cellar, and I bought a Semifreddi Ciabatta (judging from the photo – writing the 16th, starting with this paragraph) at the Bowl.
Later, we had these excellent, super-large green grapes for dessert.
Still writing on the 16th, oops… We used up two (I think) of the tomatoes in a large salad with romaine, some arugula from the Bowl, and some of the tall, thin bitter lettucey things from the garden (D says the nursery called them Italian chicory). We had the leftover panzanella-senza-pomodoro – and with purslane/portulaca – from last night, the start of the Ciabatta, and a bit of cheese – I’m guessing from a closeup look that it was a wedge of manchego but can’t tell for sure.