Posted by: lisetta | October 19, 2009

Ravioli lessons

When I first started investing in my friendship with Luca last year, I imagined that I’d somehow charm him into allowing me to cook on the line, perhaps making salads or desserts. Ha! One evening when I stopped in after a disappointing coffee date, he did allow me to cook with him, but only in desperation. His sous chef had quit and he was alone in the kitchen, with a rush on orders. I got to make grilled vegetables with bagna cauda and a few salads. My brief stint volunteering in a macrobiotic vegan cafe apparently did not prepare me (but I cut a mean burdock root, really).

A friend and I stopped by the restaurant last night, with a box of butternut squash ravioli I had made the day before. He had put them on his menu the week before, but included only the roasted squash in his filling. After tasting his, I insisted mine were better, with roasted shallots and chopped sage to round out the flavors. I took them in to prove my point. Humbled I was when both chefs, independently, had the same feedback: add parmigiano to the filling, which was both too scant and too “wet”. Good advice, I must admit.

The big news here is not so much that I got a new tip for making one of my specialties even better, but that Luca actually let me step *inside* the kitchen and make them myself! I grabbed the pan, scooped in the butter, pinched the sage and took a few (too many) walnuts …. turned on the gas to brown the butter …. and let Fabrizio step in to do the rest. LOL. Funny thing was that despite having watched them make ravioli hundreds of times, I never noticed that they added a bit of cooking water to the butter moments before adding the cooked ravioli. Hmmm.

I tried it at home tonight:

The butter right before it browned.

The butter right before it browned.

The ravioli, right before I ate them.

The ravioli, right before I ate some.

It felt good to learn a new trick. I’d have liked to cook this for a special occasion rather than a mundane post-Spin meal. Luca says that if I help him charm a woman, he’ll let me train on slow nights in the kitchen; I told him I’d only do it if Joey were my teacher when he wasn’t around. LOL. The more time I spend in the restaurant, the more it becomes clear to me that it’s a business I should be in more formally. Wonder how …



  1. Having been lucky enough to taste your ravioli before, I can only wonder how this new improved version would taste!

  2. Thanks, Lori! Me too; I’m curious to see if they’re right. While I agree with them on little else, they do know food. 🙂

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