While at work, I just came to realise that I have watched Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind quite a few times, many times, in fact. Maybe not as much as I have watched The Princess Bride or Dirty Dancing, but that is only because time has allowed that figure to accrue. Not that I would ever divulge how many times I’ve watched Dirty Dancing, it’s too embarrassing to recall and even you dear reader would be ashamed of this astronomical figure (I can just imagine all the men cringing at this thought). Don’t worry I can feel the collective shaking of heads right now. Let’s just say that one too many summers were spent at various friends’s air-conditioned houses watching these classic chick flicks. So probably not enough times to quote the scripts verbatim, however I do have to gag myself from sporadically blurting out my favourite lines to avoid threatening death glares from companion viewers.
I think what I liked about ESOTSM was the concept of the story and the effortless banter between the characters. I loved how it used the concept of memory and asked the question of what happens if your memory of an event were to be erased; if faced with the same set of situations could you expect a similar outcome? Anyway, I digress, is this not a food blog? I can just imagine some hapless internet surfer chancing upon this blog, thinking I just wanted to see me some food, what has this movie got to do with ravioli? Well nothing really, this is just one of my many habitual rants of the random persuasion.
Let’s just say, when I like a movie I like to revisit it, a lot and I think the same goes for food, especially with food that I make myself. If I have even an acute measure of success with a cooking venture, it is bound to be repeated and repeated until it can be repeated no more. Well I found out not too long ago that I really enjoy making fresh pasta. Although not all chronicled on this blog, my forays into pasta making have been profuse. Pasta-making has become like those ubiquitous reruns of The Sound of Music and Bewitched; it is guaranteed to be making an appearance somewhere near you.
This particular ravioli was inspired by Sydney gourmet pasta-makers Pastabilities. They give away samples of their ravioli at the Pyrmont Grower’s Market deep fried, not boiled, like how you would normally expect to see or eat ravioli. It is always a treat coming to their stall, squeezing through the throng of fellow tasters with the unyielding intent of trying one of their unique raviolis, deep-fried to a crisp. Then the ritual of puffing air at the piping hot ravioli’s begins. The things are virtually impossible to eat straight away whole, as the filling is scorching hot. My customary routine is to bite off part of the shell to expose the hot filling and then proceed to puff away at the thing until it has cooled just enough that it doesn’t burn the flesh off my tongue.
This deep-fried Ricotta and Currant Ravioli requires an accompanying disclaimer before you eat them. For one, they are very hot, and secondly they are incredibly addictive. I do urge you to make them, however I accept no responsibility for any injuries that occur while cooking and eating them. Once deep fried, the blistered exterior puffs up and transforms into a golden brown envelope. They are certainly cute to look at, but even better to eat. Now I understand how unpleasant it is to fry, let alone deep fry. I have already expressed my contempt for frying anything but make the exception with these things; they will be worth the blisters afterwards.
Ricotta and Currant Ravioli
Basic pasta recipe can be found over yonder.
350g fresh ricotta
3 tbsp icing sugar
½ cup currants
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp orange zest
1 tsp vanilla extract
a pinch of salt
extra icing sugar, for dusting
To make filling, simply combine the following ingredients in a bowl and set aside in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
FILLING THE PASTA
On a flour-dusted bench, lay you pasta sheets lengthways.Heap a good amount of filling onto the centre of each sheet at one end. Repeat this all the way along the sheet at 5cm intervals.
Using a pastry brush, dipped in a little water or egg wash, evenly brush the pasta around the mounds of filling.
Fold the pasta sheet over, covering the mounds until the two ends meet.Push out any air by cupping the filling and extracting the little air bubbles that form.
Using a knife, pizza cutter or crinkly cutter, trim the sides of the ravioli.
The pasta can now be deep fried immediately, or it can be stored in an airtight container in the freezer for 4 weeks.
NOTES FOR DEEP FRYING THE RAVIOLI
Use vegetable oil or a vegetable oil blend for frying.
For best results use a thermometer, temperature should be around the 180˚C mark.
If pasta is frozen, do not defrost before frying.
Ensure that the raviolis are tightly closed so they do not burst while frying.
Do not overcrowd the fryer, allow some room for the raviolis to move around.
The ravioli will only take 30 seconds or less to fry, as soon as they turn golden brown remove them from oil immediately.
Drain excess oil on a paper towel.
Dust with icing sugar before serving.