Sunday, January 26, 2014

Pasta Making and Old Friends

Three of my high school girlfriends and I have been getting together for a girls' weekend for over 20 years now.  We've had back-to-back years and, when life has gotten in the way, we've gone 3-4 years between our trips. We've gone to the Monterey/Carmel area and San Francisco on many occasions. For the second time we recently went to a friend's house in Cayucos, which is located between Cambria and Morro Bay along California's scenic Highway 1.

We all had a desire this trip to stay close to the house, none of us were really interested in doing much shopping or sightseeing.  We wanted to relax and reconnect. We packed more pajamas than any other type of clothing, this was to be a comfy weekend! We watched movies, read, browsed cookbooks and Pinterest, caught up on our lives, talked about the "old" days.  We found an "oldies" radio station (I find it quite depressing that my high school era music is now considered an oldie!) and sang and danced. Two even tried to recreate an old songleading routine. Wine can make you think you are still 18! We had a wonderful, relaxing weekend. We go back many years, two of the girls were in diapers together. Though our visits are few and far between, we pick right back up when we're together.  I love these women and am so blessed to call them friends.

I've been practicing my beginning pasta-making skills a lot lately.  On New Year's Eve I made fettucini. A few weeks ago I made a beef-spinach ravioli.
When the girls and I were discussing what our meals would be they expressed an interest in learning how to make pasta.  I loaded my car down with my food processor, KitchenAid mixer, pasta attachment, and ravioli press.  Pasta Making 101 was about to take place! . My pasta-making skills are improving each time I do it and I was able to show the girls the process.  I'm confident that pasta will soon be produced in their own kitchens.  We had a very efficient assembly line going.  One worked on the filling, I made the pasta dough and rolled it out, the others filled up the ravioli tray and we all tinkered with the sauce. 
It was during this time that the music was blaring and the wine flowing so we did have to stop for some dancing and singing when a favorite song came on.  We had a blast!  And, oh my goodness, the ravioli were amazing!

Shrimp Ravioli with Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce

1 recipe of fresh pasta ( I rolled to setting 4)

Shrimp Filling:

8 ounces shrimp
8 ounces ricotta
1 egg
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons minced parsley

In a medium saucepan, simmer shrimp until they curl and turn pink, about 3 minutes.  Let cool and peel.

Transfer the cooked shrimp to a food processor fitted with the steel blade.  Pulse until minced.  Combine the shrimp with the ricotta, egg, parmesan and parsley.

Make ravioli according to the instructions with the ravioli press.  Or, place a rounded teaspoon of filling every 3 inches along the length of a pasta sheet.  Using a pastry brush or your fingers, wet the pasta along the edges and in between the rounds of filling. Lay a second pasta sheet over the filling.  Press around each ball of filling to seal the two layers of pasta together.  Use a pasta roller to cut between the filling to form squares of ravioli (or use a ravioli stamp).  Transfer the formed ravioli to a flour-dusted baking sheet until ready to cook.

Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce

4 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, diced
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup Parmesan

Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat.  Add the sun-dried tomatoes and cook until the butter starts to bubble.  Add the white wine. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally for about 3 minutes.  Whisk in the heavy cream and cook, stirring constantly, until well combined, about 2 more minutes.  Add salt and pepper, to taste.  Stir in the Parmesan cheese and remove from the heat.

Cook 8-10 ravioli at a time in boiling, salted water, about 4 minutes per batch.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer cooked ravioli to a serving platter and top with sauce.

Note:  We had extra shrimp filling and added it to the sauce. I would definitely do that again!

I am linking up at A Stroll Thru Life's Inspire Me Tuesday!


  1. Love you Jules, Terri & Jody. So much fun

  2. How fun, wish I had been there. Love it. Thanks tons for linking to Inspire Me. Hugs, Marty