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New Year’s Eve and the Roman Holiday Spread

Ravioli

For those who want to set aside all the exotic and highly-sought-after recipes for a bit and celebrate New Year’s with a menu dedicated to Roman tradition, it’s time to dust off the vintage recipe books. These old-time dishes are full of inspirational stories from the past and the prospect of good fortune in the New Year to come.   By going this route, we can also keep an eye on the wallet by using fresh, seasonal produce from our own region. The line-up on Roman tables for January 1st is abundant, hearty, lively, and fun. As per tradition, we start off with a light chicken broth, and a typical Italian antipasto platter with prosciutto, salami, olives, artichoke hearts, mushrooms, and various pickled veggies.   Then we move on to the first course of lasagna or ravioli filled with either meat or ricotta cheese and dressed with tomato sauce, accompanied by meat which may be served in the same tomato sauce or sliced into strips with a side of spinach or Roman-style artichokes. The boiled chicken (from the broth) could even be served before this, alongside some cardoon parmesan. The first course concludes with a taste of lentils from the night before. The second course generally includes oven-roasted lamb with garlic and rosemary potatoes, tossed salad, and a cheese platter. The meal ends on a sweet note with traditional Roman desserts such as pangiallo and torrone. Then seasonal fruit: apples, oranges, mandarins, and the one exception of a bunch of grapes which, along with the lentils, have always been thought to bring good luck. Finally, almonds, dates, walnuts, and some spumante to toast the New Year.     We have chosen to present Ada Boni’s recipe of ricotta-filled ravioli, which with their simple, genuine feel of home cooking, perfectly reflect the humble, simplistic soul of Roman cuisine. Roman sheep’s milk ricotta is as simple as it gets in terms of cheese products, yet it boasts age-old tradition and unmistakable flavor, in addition to being a recognized DOP product. Here we invite you to feature it as the filling for your ravioli!

Recipe: Ricotta-Filled Ravioli

Ingredients Pasta

-300 g flour
- 1 tsp of water if needed
- 2 eggs

Filling
- 300 g Roman sheep’s milk ricotta
- Salt to taste
- 1 egg
- 1 heaping Tbsp parmesan

Preparation
Create a “volcano” with the flour and crack eggs in center. With your hand, mix from center pulling in a little flour at a time. Continue to mix until smooth and uniform. Let pasta stand for about an hour. In the meantime, work ricotta with a wooden spoon to loosen it up. Add egg, parmesan, and salt. Mix well and then roll out pasta into two flat sheets. Using a teaspoon place tiny scoops of ricotta in uniform rows with a couple fingers’ space in between. Cover with the second sheet of pasta and, using your fingers, press down in between the scoops of ricotta to make sure the two sheets of pasta stick together perfectly. Using the blade of a lightly floured knife or pasta cutter, cut out the ravioli to form squares measuring the width of three fingers a side. Bring a big pot of salted water to a boil. Immerse ravioli and let cook. Once carefully drained, transfer to a large bowl and dress with tomato sauce, meat sauce, or butter and parmesan. If using butter and parmesan, you can melt butter in a pan and let it brown ever so slightly to bring out the flavor of the ravioli. Cover dish and wait a few minutes before serving so that the pasta has time to absorb all the flavors.

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