When I first started blogging, I was a little bit shy when it came to telling people about it. Now that my blog (and everything related to it) is my job, I'm a little more bold and I feel okay telling people that I'm a food blogger when they ask what I do. Usually people find that interesting and want to learn more, but then there was the time I got this response:
"Well, what makes you an expert?"
I didn't know what to say, so I responded with, "Um, nothing?" Because really, it's true. I'm not an expert. I don't claim to be! And I hope no one thinks I am! I haven't had any special training, I've just always loved to cook. I blog to share ideas and tips that I've learned along the way through my own experiences in the kitchen. But am I an expert? No!
Case in point: this asparagus ravioli. I had made ravioli before using the wonton wrapper shortcut--instead of using regular pasta, you put the filling in wonton wrappers. Having never made traditional ravioli before, I assumed that it was done the same way--with squares of pasta. I didn't even bother to read up on how you're supposed to do it. I was just that confident! Well, you know what happens when you assume, right?
YOU MAKE WONKY RAVIOLI!
When I was making the whole-wheat fettuccine with my KitchenAid stand mixer pasta attachments, I made some extra sheets to use for ravioli. Then I used a pizza cutter to cut them into squares. (Okay, these totally aren't squares. Fine! What do you expect from someone who failed geometry twice?)
I put the filling on one pasta square, brushed the edges with water, and smashed another square onto the top. And the top square never quite matched up with the bottom, but I figured that was okay.
I kind of knew my asparagus ravioli didn't look so hot, but with the roasted asparagus filling and flavorful seared mushrooms on top, I quickly overlooked their appearance and patted myself on the back for creating something so tasty.
Then a few days later, after having the recipe written and the photos taken, I saw some homemade ravioli on FoodGawker. And it was perfect. They were squares! Not rhombuses! They used a real pasta cutter! Not a pizza cutter! I was feeling pretty crappy about myself and then I clicked through to the recipe and felt even worse.
I totally screwed up my ravioli, guys. You're supposed to put the filling on the sheet of pasta, put another sheet on top of it, and then cut it.
See? Not an expert.
But then I reminded myself that it tasted good. Delicious, in fact. And as another food blogger recently said to me, if it works out in the end, does it really matter if you did it right? No!
Or at least that's what I'll tell myself from now on.
- 12-16 asparagus ravioli cooked (see recipe below)
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 8 oz. cremini mushrooms trimmed and halved
- 2 tbsp. red wine
- 1 tbsp. butter
- salt + pepper to taste
- Parmesan cheese + chopped parsley for serving
- Heat oil in a medium skillet over high heat. Add mushrooms; cook 6-7 minutes, stirring often, until mushrooms are deep brown in color. Carefully pour in red wine and cook until completely evaporated, about 2-3 minutes. Add butter and cook until melted. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper.
- Pour mushrooms and butter over ravioli. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and parsley before serving.
- 1 lb. asparagus trimmed and cut into small pieces
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- salt + pepper to taste
- ¾ c. low-fat ricotta cheese
- ¼ c. Parmesan cheese
- 1 ¼ lbs. pasta dough rolled into 6 equal-sized sheets
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Toss asparagus with olive oil, salt, and pepper on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast for about 10 minutes, or until softened and just beginning to brown, stirring halfway through cooking time. Remove from oven and cool slightly.
- Transfer asparagus to large bowl. Add ricotta, parmesan, and salt; stir until well-combined.
- Place one sheet of pasta onto a well-floured surface; brush with water. Drop filling onto the pasta by the teaspoonful, about 1 inch apart. Take a second sheet of pasta and place it on top of the first, carefully pressing to seal around filling. Use pasta cutter, knife, or pizza cutter to cut individual ravioli. Press along edges to make sure they are sealed. (For a visual tutorial, see this article on Allrecipes.com.)
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop in ravioli, about 6 at a time, and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until they float to the top of the pot. Drain in a colander.
I received the Pasta Sheet Roller and Pasta Cutter Attachments from KitchenAid for the purpose of writing this post.
Don't worry, it's not any easier doing it the other way! At least I didn't think so .. the one time I did it, I had a hard time getting the pasta to stick and knowing where to press it together and where to cut, and then I still had to press the edges together with a fork to get it to stick together (although I liked the effect that gave it). It worked out in the end but I almost like your method better!
I kind of thought my way was easier too! I was surprised that this wasn't the way most people do it. I'm going to give the traditional way a try, though. See what I'm missing and such. 🙂
Another great way to do this that I have seen, (haven't been able to try it yet though) is to take an ice cube tray and put the pasta sheet in it then stuff the filling in the individual cubes and put a sheet over using the plastic liner as a guide to where to press down!
I an very new to this and love your ideas, I have never cooked in my life apart fron simple meals but i will have a go, thank you for all your help, Even my rescus ecats wont eat my mistakes but hubby will. GREAT site xx
Kiersten Frase says
I've got 4 rescue cats myself! 🙂 I learned how to cook through lots of practice so if I can do it, anyone can!
Anele @ Success Along the Weigh says
I think I would've said "I said I was a food blogger meaning I blog about food. I don't remember hurling the term expert in there. Jump to conclusions much?" How to win friends and influence people, it's what I'm all about. HA!
I don't think unless you're baking and it requires exact measurements there is no "right" or wrong. If it tastes good, it's good. It could like a plate o' doo but if it makes my eyes roll back in my head, I'm there! But then again, I'M not expert either. 😉
Ha! It was definitely a strange moment. I wish I could have come up with a better response, but I completely lack the ability to think on my feet.
Another winning recipe! Can't wait for your cookbook to come out!
(I make my ravioli the same way.)
You make it that way too?! Oh, that makes me feel better! I'm going to try it the other way, but I think using the squares was pretty easy.
Yes - I always have a hard time using a giant sheet with little blobs of cheese everywhere, I rarely cut it properly/evenly. Sometimes, I even us wonton wrappers for making ravioli - that's really cheating!
I have used wonton wrappers too!
Kare @ Kitchen Treaty says
The most delicious ravioli is wonky ravioli! This ravioli looks absolutely amazing, and I uphold that this method indeed makes you the *expert* of wonky ravioli. So you can tell your doubter to put that in his/her pipe and smoke it! (What a silly thing for someone to say.)
I am most definitely an expert in wonkiness. 😀
I can not WAIT to try this recipe! You have motivated me to make my own pasta again! I haven't made it in so long but now I have a great recipe to use! Thanks!
I can't wait to make more pasta either--it was so much fun! Some weekend I'm going to make a big batch to freeze for later. The mixer attachments make it so easy!
Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche says
I think it looks pretty damn good!
They look good on their own, just not in comparison to other ravioli. 😀 They're rustic! That's all!
I know not to assume anyone is an expert in the blogging world. It's not a requirement!! I love that you chose to share what you love! That's the point 🙂
This looks wonderful!
Thank you! 🙂
[email protected]'s Recipes says
Talk about the gourmet ravioli! Love the earthy look of these asparagus raviolis.
I made them with whole wheat flour. I can never find whole wheat ravioli at the store, so it was nice to be able to have ravioli that wasn't made with white flour!
Jad @ New South says
Love that you shared your "mistake" with your readers. I say "mistake" because I'm sure they taste amazing. It took me 3-4 times of making several hundred raviolis before I had it down and I still wouldn't consider myself an expert at all! Our passion makes us experts.
Thank you! They were definitely delicious, if imperfect. Now I've got to try making them again the traditional way!
Kelly @ A Girl Worth Saving says
I love a little bit of wabi sabi in life and cooking. They look amazing Kiersten!
Me too! I used to never care what anything looked like because I felt the imperfections gave my food character and showed that it was homemade, but food blogging has made me a little bit self-conscious about my cooking. 🙂
Carol @ Always Thyme to Cook says
Looks great to me, however you got there 🙂 Delicious combination of asparagus with the mushroom topping. Love it!
Jackie @ The Beeroness says
It's so funny how people react when you tell them you're a food blogger. I usually say, "Food writer and food photographer," or "recipe developer," because it's more to the point of what I actually do.
Oh, and I can not pin this fast enough 😉
Sometimes I say food writer, but that always leads back to the blog. 🙂 And most of the time, I don't mind because it gives me an opportunity to pass out my awesome business cards. But yeah, sometimes people are a little weird about it.
Cassie | Bake Your Day says
This is such a unique and amazing recipe, Kiersten. Love those mushrooms! And stunning photos too!
I know what you mean - I didn't tell many people what I was doing in the beginning either and even now, I get some strange looks when I tell them what I do. It's a passion and as long as you're doing what you love, that's what's important. Beautiful ravioli - I agree, as long as they taste good, who cares how you got there!
Yup, this is definitely the most satisfying job I've ever had, so if other people don't get it, that's okay. 🙂
Kelly @ Texas Type A Mom says
I wouldn't have known these were "perfect" if you hadn't told me! These look so tasty! I'm impressed you're making pasta from scratch!
I guess I should have pretended I made them the right way. Maybe no one would have known!
Brenda Williams says
Next time make round ones and cut the dough with your biscuit cutter. They really look good just like they are and no one but you would know they were not perfect:) WOW just the title homemade ravioli with a roasted asparagus and ricotta filling sounds like the best recipe ever.
I am looking forward to the day you tell people you are a food blogger and COOKBOOK AUTHOR!!!
I don't have a biscuit cutter! But I might pick one up this weekend. 🙂 I was thinking about trying to make sweet potato biscuits soon.
I look forward to being able to tell people I'm a cookbook author someday too! 😉
well, I kept reading how you "did this wrong" and figured we were looking at photos of the "done right" because these all look fantastic, girl! and yes, if you get a delicious and successful result in the end, is it REALLY a wrong way?
Thank you! I figured if I posted them without the disclaimer, someone would surely come along and scold me for not doing it the traditional way. You know how that is. 😉
I totally failed geometry twice in high school. From honors algebra to passing geometry on my 3rd trice with a D. It was not pretty.
These looks good. I've always wanted to try making tortellini but haven't got brave enough yet. You give me hope that I may be able to pull it off.
Ha! I was in honors algebra too. I only passed geometry the third time because my husband (boyfriend at the time!) did all my homework for me. I loved algebra and statistics, but I could not manage to figure out geometry.
And I want to tackle tortellini next. 🙂
What is up with being great at algebra and sucking balls with geometry? I admit I am glad I am not alone. 🙂
Sometimes, the best things are arrived at doing it 'your way', kind of like the happy accidents in watercolor. I would not hesitate a second to eat this. It sounds/looks fabulous!
Yeah, it usually seems like when I try doing things the traditional way, it ends up being a mess. I should just embrace my own imperfect methods. 😉
Kiran @ KiranTarun.com says
I love the rustic look of those homemade raviolis' albeit failing geometry 😉
Square ravioli is boring! I like to mix things up with rectangles and trapezoids. 😉
Mushrooms Canada says
In my "professional" opinion, if it tastes great, you've done it right! Such a beautiful recipe and I love the use of Crimini Mushrooms...my personal favourite. Thanks for sharing!
Thank you! They definitely tasted good, so I try to focus on that part. 😉