Sunday, March 20, 2016

How to make Homemade Ravioli

 Meat, Cheese, Spinach a la my Nana-Anna Ordille Ortenzi.
Nana's family came from Gesso, Messina, Sicily, Italy in the 1860's. My PopPop, Eugenio Ortenzi, emigrated from Canzano, Teramo , Abruzzi, Italy in 1914.  Sicilians typically make a Cheese Ravioli. This is what my Great Grandmother, Concetta Giatto Ordille, made as her ravioli- A round ravioli. She used a cup/glass and cut round pieces of dough, 1 for the bottom and 1 for the top, add stuffing to center (2 tbs+/-), top with second round and fork it all the way around.

My Nana made hers small and rectangular stuffed with a combo of meatm cheese and spinach. We think it was a combo of the Abruzzi/Sicilian raviolis. Here is how we make them.  This is a video from Mario Batali on how to make dough.    3 cups flour 5 eggs.
He used a fork and I use my fingers! 
He wrapped dough in plastic, I use a bowl.
(can go on line for additional how to videos on 
using a pasta machine, making dough etc)

 I do not refrigerate my dough. Once I have the dough ball ready, I put in on a lightly floured surface and cover with a bowl like my Nana did. Rest 20-30 min. I cut it in 1/2 then cut it into 1/4ths. Repeat with the other half once you are done with the first half.. You don't want to dry out your dough. Keep covered and take out 1 piece at a time. flour it and with your pasta machine, you are going to knead the dough. On the #1 setting,  Working with the first piece (keep remaining pieces covered), flatten it into a rectangle shape. Starting with one of the shorter sides of the rectangle, feed it through the rollers. Lightly flour each side each time thru, folding it into it self making it a rectangle. Run thru on #1 5-6 times, making it a rectangle. 
Then put thru 1x on #2, #3, #4 settings
The Stuffing...
MEAT, CHEESE, SPINACH-- 1/2 lb of ground meat or meatloaf mix, 2 eggs, 8 oz whole milk ricotta, 8 oz of mozzarella, 1/2 cup grated Parmesan, 1/4 cup parsley, salt and pepper. Mix well (again I get in there and use my hands, squishing it between my fingers!)
CHEESE--- 1 eggs, 8 oz whole milk ricotta, 1/2 cup grated Parmesan, 1/4 cup parsley, salt and pepper. Mix well
 Lay out the rectangle and add the stuffing as shown below

 Fold over the dough, making little pockets as demonstrated in this photo---

Cut as in this next photo----------------------------------------------------
 Fork the edges to seal the dough pockets, using flour on the fork to keep from sticking. Be careful to not prick/gouge the dough or it will fall apart when cooked.
 Now you can do 1 of 2 things, place ravioli on a floured baking tray. Fill up tray with out the ravioli touching. Stick in the freezer. When Frozen, put in a ziplock to cook later. see below.(will need to cook a little longer if not thaw out to cook.)

OR  Lay on a floured surface. I use kitchen towels laid out, flour the towels, then lay out the ravioli with out touching.  Bring a big pot of water to brisk boil. Drop in 10-12 ravioli at a time. They will float to the top. Cook 5-6 min and taste one to see if dough is tender. Get a tray and ladle some spaghetti sauce on the bottom to lightly cover. Gently use a large slotted spoon and place on the sauce. Top with more sauce and Grated Parmesan. GRATE IT YOURSELF. DO NO BUY IT IN A BOX! I will haunt you if you do.! You can buy freshly grated parm from your deli.

Thursday, November 12, 2015



Friends asked me to remind them of the cooking tips I have shared.

1-Nana Ortenzi's Parmesan Cheese storage
      Always buy a block of good quality Parmesan or Romano cheese.
      Grate what you need.  Most of the time if you do not use it up fast
      enough, the cheese dry out. Not if you follow my Mama's tip....
       get a clean white hankie or cloth napkin. Moisten thoroughly with
       white vinegar, wringing out the excess.  Wrap around the cheese and
       store in a Ziploc bag. Never have dried out cheese again.

2-Cutting an onion
     Peel the skins off. Cut off the top.  Cut the onion in one direction almost to the END. Turn      the onion, cut at 90 degrees to form cross cuts. Turn on its side and cut across the cuts.      Voila diced onions.

 Summers Harvest-one of our favorites to make when fresh tomatoes and cukes are in!

Summer Tomatoes and Cucumber Salad
3 medium cucumbers, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 medium vidalia onion, cut in half and sliced and separated
3 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges
1/2 cup vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon fresh coarse ground black pepper

fresh basil.5-6 leaves cut coursely
1/4 cup oil

Combine ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving

Monday, February 9, 2015

Saucy Sausage Mac and Vegetable Bean Soup

Hi Foodies
Today I was bored and decided I wanted to make a new I looked in the cupboard and pulled out 4 variety of beans, elbow macaroni, Rotel tomatoes, tomato sauce. Next looked in the freezer, pulling out 12 oz sausage links, frozen green beans, peas, corn.
This is what I did...
Took the sausages and browned and drained, then cut into bite size pieces. Put in crock pot. Turn on to HI. I threw in the frozen green beans, peas, corn 1 small package/bag of each-(again make it your own and add more or less to taste!)
Added Beans:  1 can each, drained and rinsed: Kidney, Cannelli, Black and Navy (or your favorite)
Added 1 can Rotel Tomatoes with green chilies (if you like more tomatoes...add them!)
            1 4 oz can tomato sauce
Added chopped garlic-to taste (1-2 tsp fresh or already minced)
            onions-1 small diced
            Parsley, Basil-2 Tbs each
            2 Tbs of Beef Better than Broth (LOVE this...
                     gives a much better taste then broth in a box or can)
            1/2 cup red wine
            Salt and Pepper to taste
Covered the ingredients with water. Cook on HI. At the 2-3 hour mark I added 2/3 cup elbow macaroni and a large handful of fresh spinach. Cook another hour. Add Salt and pepper again if needed. If you like it spicy, add hot sauce/cayenne etc the last hour and/or use hot Italian sausage.
Serve topped with Parmesan and crusty Italian Bread.

The flavors exploded in my mouth! Very pleased if I say so myself!!
Have fun with this by altering the recipe to suit your tastes!


I found this on Facebook and would love to give credit because it was DELISH!

You won't be...lieve it's low carb!!!
1 large head of Cauliflower cut into bite size pieces (approx 6 cups)
6-8 strips of bacon cooked and crumbled (Cooked in oven at 400° for 20 mins)
6 Tbs chopped Chives
1/2 cup Mayonnaise
1/2 cup Sour Cream
2 cups Colby Jack Cheese ( may use cheddar)
8 oz container sliced mushrooms (optional)
Preheat oven to 425°
In a large pot boil water and cook Cauliflower for 8 - 10 minutes, drain and let cool.
In a large bowl combine sour cream, mayo, 1/2 of crumbled bacon, 3 tbs chives, 1 cups of cheese,mushrooms and cauliflower and mix well... place in baking dish and cover with remaining 1 cup of cheese and rest of bacon crumbles. Bake for 15-20 minutes until cheese is melted. top with remaining 3 T chives and serve.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Sue Clark's unBELIEVable Almond Pound Cake with Chocolate Ganache drizzle

 My dear friend and former neighbor, Sue Clark made this as a birthday gift by request for me! We moved and my daughters make it for me every year! YOU will NOT be disappointed!

Sue Clark's unBELIEVable Almond Pound Cake with Chocolate Ganache drizzle
1 cup Butter
3 cups sugar
6 eggs
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp. almond extract

Cream sugar and butter together. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating welll after each egg. Add flour, baking soda and sour cream. Mix well. Add extract. Mix. Pour into  well greased bundt pan and bake at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hours.  cool slightly and remove from pan. When totally cooled, drizzle dark and white chocolate. Can add a caramel ganache drizzle as well.

Buon apettito

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


My Nana Ortenzi used to make this wonderful soup. So I made my version of it. OK Ortenzi /Ordille cousins...what do you think??? Is it right?


3 teaspoons oil
  • 2 lbs ground beef or Italian sausage (or a mixture of both)
  • 1 1/2 cups  carrots, chopped                      
  • 1 1/2 cups   onions, chopped
  • 5 stalks celery, diced
  • 48 ounces diced canned tomatoes
  • 14 oz cans red kidney beans
  • 14 oz cans white cannelli beans
  • 8 cups beef stock
  • 3 teaspoons oregano
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons pepper 
  • 3 teaspoons Italian seasoning                                                 
  • 5 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce (more or less to taste)
  • 48 ounces tomato sauce
  • 8 ounces dry small elbow macaroni
  • Directions:

    1. Sauté meat in oil in large 10 quart pot until beef  browns. Drain.
    2. Add onions, carrots, celery and tomatoes and simmer for about 10 minute.
    3. Drain and rinse beans and add to pot along with beef stock, oregano, Italian seasoning, pepper, Tabasco, sauce and pasta .
    4. Simmer until celery and carrots are tender, about 45 minutes.
    5. Serve, topped with fresh parmesan   
    6. NOTES : Makes 10 quarts! Just cut the recipe down for smaller batches or FREEZE for later or SHARE with friends. Serve with crusty Italian bread and a salad!