Sunday, February 28, 2010

Carmela Soprano's Gnocchi, Anna Sultana's Ravjul (Ravioli Maltese Style)

Potatoes have been on sale lately. 
Time to make some gnocchi.

I've made gnocchi before. Carmela's gnocchi recipe is pretty close to what I usually make.
It's a simple recipe - mashed potatoes, flour, eggs and salt.

Well, I needed a break after making Carmela's Baci Cake.

The Entertaining with The Sopranos cookbook had a few hints I didn't know. "Gnocchi can be frozen up to one month. Do not thaw before cooking." Now you know.

I had planned to make Carmela's Watercress and Orange Salad to serve with the gnocchi. Something light. I tried. Honest. I had the navel oranges. I couldn't find watercress.

Okay... We're talking a winter salad here. I bought some romaine. If I ever find watercress I'll try the oranges with watercress.

Ma never made gnocchi. We had lots of potatoes - mashed, baked, boiled, fried, roasted. Ma never got really fancy with her potatoes. Interesting since Malta produces more than enough potatoes. They even export them to Holland.

What Ma did put some effort into was pasta. I would compare the gnocchi to Ma's ravioli - Ravjul in Maltese. They're both starchy. They're both filling. They both cook in boiling water.

Close enough.

There's something sociable about making ravioli. One person makes the pasta while another makes the filling. Then everyone sits and makes the ravioli.

When my parents came for a visit, Ma and I would whip up some homemade ravioli. Pop would always tell us that his mother used to make ravioli for her family of 10. Well, sure. Grandma had 4 daughters. It was a great way to find out what the girls were doing in a nice non-nosy way. You'd be surprised at what you talk about when you get into pasta making mode.

Ravioli isn't very different from perogies. Pasta, filling, sit and make them, then boil them. I've volunteered a few times to make perogies at church. It's a great way to meet folks and to find out what everyone in the parish is doing. The parish perogies are always way better than the factory-made ones you find in the frozen food section.

Maybe the gossip adds something to the flavor.

It was a good dinner. I'll keep an eye out for watercress and try that salad again.

Another two recipes down. Seventy-five more to go.

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