Great Cook Books I Cook (and live) by

  • Big Orange Book by Rachael Ray
  • Giada at Home
  • Jamie at Home
  • Look and Cook by Rachael Ray

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Cheater Home Made Ravioli

Yup, Cheater! You an make ravioli with won ton wrappers!!! It is so easy, and so delicious!
So, today, spinach and ricotta ravioli! They will be your favourite!


1 container (500g) ricotta cheese
1 package frozen spinach (small boxed package you can find in your grocery store freezer)
Defrosted, and squeezed of all access water and chopped finely
1 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (good parm - parmiggiano reggiano or grana padano)
1/4 cup romato cheese
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
unsalted butter - about a half cup
2 Tblsp or so of good extra virgin olive oil
1/2 onion
pancetta - as much of as little as you'd like, chopped finely
salt and pepper
1 package of either square or round won ton wrappers
1 egg
fresh parsley



In a bowl, mix the ricotta, spinach, nut meg, parmesan, romano, garlic, salt and pepper. (no, you don't need an egg to keep it together - it'll stay together in the raviolo). Make sure it is all incorporated and set aside.


In a small bowl, crack the egg and add a tsp of water, and beat it with a fork. This is your "egg wash". Take the won ton wrappers out, four at a time, and lay out on a board. Cover the rest with a moist towel. Take about a Tsp. of the filling and put it in the middle of the wrapper. With a pastry brush, brush all the sides of the wrapper with the egg wash. This acts like a "glue" to keep the raviolo together when cooking. Close the ravioli and make sure you squeeze out all of the air when you are pressing the sides together. It should look like a little stuffed triangle if using square wrappers, or a half moon if you are using round wrappers. Continue with the rest of the wrappers. Set them aside on a floured cookie sheet. Boil water in a large pot. Salt the water. Drop the ravioli in and when they start to come to the top and float, leave them to boil an extra 2-3 minutes, and drain very carefully! Be ginger with the ravioli!

Make the sauce - very simple sauce!

In a hot pan, melt the butter and olive oil. Add the pancetta and onion and saute until the pancetta is crispy, and the onions are just shy of browning. Add salt and pepper and a touch of nutmeg. Drop the ravioli into the sauce, and toss VERY gently. chop the parsley and sprinkle on top along with some parmesan cheese.

Please note that I looove feed back! Let me know if you try the recipe and tell me what you think!


Monday, January 3, 2011

Easy Chili

Happy Monday to all! I hope you all had a great New Year's and that your 2011 is a happy, healthy one full of love, and fun! I was inspired by a friend of mine to make chili this week. I wrote a recipe for a very easy chili that can be frozen for a fast week night dinner for her as she told me she has never cooked chili before. Well, Val, this one is for you...have fun with it, my friend:)

Easy Chili

2 Tblsp olive oil

1 lb ground beef (I use lean or extra lean)

1 sweet or Spanish onion, chopped

2 Cloves garlic, chopped finely

1 Green pepper, chopped

1 large (or two small) stalks of celery

1 small jalapeno pepper (this is optional, depending on how hot you want your chili) seeded and chopped

Splash red wine

2 cans of tomatoes, chopped, with liquid

Tomato paste (1 o 2 Tblsp)

Ground cumin

Chili powder


Salt and pepper

1 Can kidney beans, drained

Heat 1 Tblsp of the oil in a large pot. Add the beef and cook until no longer pink and the meat is just beginning to brown. Drain the meat, but, do not rinse it – it has a ton of flavour and once it is rinsed the flavour goes bye bye! Take the meat out of the pan and keep warm. Add the other Tblsp of oil to the pan and heat up. Add the onion, pepper, celery and jalapeno pepper– cook until transluscent and soft. Add the garlic and stir until the garlic is fragrant. Put the meat back into the pot and give it a good stir. Deglaze the pot with the red wine, then, add a palm full of cumin and two palm fulls of chili powder. Add salt and pepper. Add the tomatoes, the tomato paste, and a tsp of the cocoa. Leave this to cook at med heat, so, it is just simmering for an hour or so, stirring occasionally. After an hour, add the kidney beans and let simmer for another half hour to an hour. Enjoy with a dollop of sour cream and freshly grated tex mex cheese! yum!

This recipe freezes wonderfully!

Happy January everyone!