That’s amore

Wishing I was back in Italy eating the freshest of the fresh. There really is nothing else like it in the world! But maybe I’m biased. My mom is Puerto Rican and Cuban and my dad is Italian. I had been raised primarily in an Italian household. My grandmother is a very small Italian woman born and raised in Brooklyn. Italian culture, food, and soul flow through my veins and I truly felt like I was home here.


Fino a quando ci incontreremo di nuovo, amore mio.

xx

Homemade Ravioli

What you’ll need..

  • 2 cups of flour
  • Salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • Ricotta
  • Parmesean cheese
  • Measuring cup
  • Rolling pin
  • Ravioli stamp or knife or pastry cutter, etc.
  • Pour out your 2 cups of flour onto whatever surface you’re working on.
  • Gather all of the flour into a mound and then make a crater in the middle, big enough to hold all of your eggs.
  • Add the 3 large eggs to the crater.
  • Separate the other two eggs, whites from yolks, and add to the crater. If you don’t know how to do that, watch this video!
  • Beat the eggs together (while in the crater) with a fork until blended together.
  • Sprinkle some salt over your eggs and flour and start mixing together with your hands.
  • Once you’ve beaten your eggs, slowly start incorporating the flour.
  • If you find the dough to be too sticky, add a little bit more flour at a time. Too dry? Add a spritz of water.
  • Start forming the dough into a ball and proceed to kneed it for about 10 minutes or until the dough bounces back when you push into it
  • Coat with flour to avoid sticking and let rest for about a half hour. If you plan on using this mix at a later date, put it in the refrigerator.
  • While the dough is resting, make your filling! This recipe is for classic ricotta ravioli, but you can pretty much put whatever mixture you want into these.
  • Mix together your ricotta and grated cheese.
  • Season to your taste and set aside.
  • After a half hour, start rolling out your dough. If you have a pasta maker, amazing! If not, a rolling pin will do.
  • Once it starts to get flat (assuming you’re using a rolling pin like me), cut in half.
  • Take one half and roll it out until its about 1/8” to 1/16” thick. Do the same to the other.
  • Once your dough is rolled out, now it’s time to fill! I use a teaspoon to spoon the ricotta mixture onto the dough.
  • Space the spoonfuls about 1/2″ apart.
  • Place the other sheet of dough onto the sheet with the filling and lightly press between the spaces with your fingers, just enough for the two sheets to touch, try not to push down.
  • Take your cutter or ravioli stamp and place it with the mound of filling right in the center and press down until you’ve gotten all the way through. Just like using a cookie cutter!
  • Once you’ve cut out all of the raviolis, repeat these steps with whatever dough is left until you feel like you’ve gotten all you can from what you’ve made.
  • boil 5 at a time to avoid sticking and once they float, take them out and out them directly into whatever sauce you have prepared!

Viola! The finished product. These were so good! I love making recipes that remind me of my childhood, don’t you? I ate these with my Sunday Gravy, packed with tender meat, it’s the perfect sauce for creamy and smooth ravioli.

Enjoy!

xx

Sunday Gravy

I have been making homemade sauce since I was a little kid but it wasn’t until much older that I started eating and enjoying meat in sauce. This turns into more of a stew like consistency, so if you like you sauce to be a bit more thin, add a little water or broth.

You will need

  • 1 whole yellow onion, diced
  • as much garlic as you would like ( I used jarred because I didn’t have any fresh)
  • olive oil
  • 2 cans of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 or 2 packages of stew meat depending on how much you would like, I usually freeze my meat as soon as I buy it
  • 1/2 cup red wine, preferably not a sweet wine
  • salt and pepper
  • red pepper flakes
  • sugar if needed
  • In a large pot, brown the meat for about three minutes on either side and then remove from pot and put aside.You can drain the liquid from the beef or not, I usually leave it and use a little less oil.
  • Coat the bottom of the pan in olive oil if you have decided to get rid of the juices from the meat, if you’ve left it just a little drop will do ya.
  • Add your diced yellow onion and cook until almost becomes translucent.
  • Once the onion is at that point, then add the garlic and cook together for a minute or two. It is very important to not let the garlic get darker than slightly tan. If garlic burns, it will ruin the flavor of whatever you are cooking.
  • Add the meat back to the pot and add the wine. Cook all of this together for two minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes and seasoning. If you prefer to not have a little spice, just skip the red pepper flakes. If you want it more garlicky, add some garlic powder.
  • Start small with spices!!!
  • Cover and cook on medium for 2 hours or until meat can be cut easily with a fork.
  • **Add basil and oregano if you’d like**
  • **Add sugar if too salty or bitter**

Don’t forget to check and stir the pot about every 20 minutes to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom. There’s nothing worse than burning a really good pot or pan.

Serve over pasta, polenta, baked potatoes, or even eat it by itself!

Enjoy!

xx

Family gnocchi making while social distancing

In this chaos, we are all craving social interaction, but I’m also craving my family. My family is in New Jersey and New York and I’m in Boston and It’s been really hard being here and not with them.

The past couple of weeks, we’ve been doing family happy hour and family cooking lessons! We all come together on Zoom, nearly 15 of us, and cook eat together as a family.

This week, my grandma (the queen) taught us how to make gnocchi from scratch! I could not get over how easy it was because in my head it’s such a lengthy and difficult process. Literally all you need is two potatoes, 2 cups of flour, two eggs, and salt. In a quick 25 minutes, you have 4 servings of freshly made gnocchi.

  • Ahead of time, boil your potatoes. Do not peel or chop as they would become waterlogged. Cook until fork tender.
  • Remove from water and let cool.
  • Once the potatoes are cool enough, you’ll be able to peel the skin off with your hands.
  • Smash the potatoes with a fork until there are no chunks larger than a pea.
  • Sprinkle the potatoes with salt.
  • DO NOT ADD BUTTER OR MILK, this isn’t supposed to be “mashed potatoes”
  • Crack egg onto potatoes followed by a cup of flour
  • Start mixing all three together with your hands
  • If you find the mix too sticky, add a little more flour
  • Too dry? Add another egg
  • Once the dough is needed together, flatten it to a disc about an inch thick all the way through.
  • Cut into three equal slices and roll them to about a foot and a half in length
  • Cut into bite size pieces no bigger than an inch
  • If you’d like, you can roll the pieces on a fork to give it those signature lines, but I like mine smooth
  • Bring water to a boil and salt it
  • Add 7 pieces at a time so they don’t stick together
  • once they’re steadily floating, take them out and place them immediately into whatever sauce you have prepared so they don’t dry out.
  • Freeze whatever you don’t eat!
  • Pair with your favorite sauce or vegetable or soup for a hearty and soul warming meal.

Have virtual dinner with your family and enjoy!

Sauce recipe coming soon!

xx

there's always time for a cannoli

I escaped today for about an hour for the first time in days. The weather was beautiful, the city was quiet, and who doesn’t love an excuse to dress up and get a cannoli from Mike’s Pastry? This is one of my absolute favorite dresses. It has the slightest bit of weight to the fabric, perfect for the days when we’re not sure what the weather is going to do. I paired this perfect dress from ASOS with a belt around the waist and white leather booties, both from Torrid.