Premeditated Pasta

Ravioli with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

The other day I was craving ravioli.  Toothy, substantial ravioli.

Out came the rolling pin, flour, olive oil, eggs, and salt.  The camera?  I glanced at it from across the kitchen counter but didn’t feel compelled to record a step-by-step.  When my hands are communing with the most basic of ingredients, it borders on spiritual.  (And if you hadn’t already gathered, my lil’ ol’ blog ain’t Martha Stewart, but I’ll give you some good ideas.)

Earlier, I roasted a small stash of veggies.  When I pulled them from the oven, their heat-altered beauty was breathtaking.  Garlic glowing like topaz.  Cherry tomatoes with garden-fresh goodness in every wrinkle.  Mushrooms in hues echoing their earthy origins.

Out came a Chianti bottle and a rustic-looking bowl.

(That’s about as Italian as my props get.)

As I snapped away, a rapturous aroma propelled my menu “plan” in ten different directions.  To chop or not to chop?  (Apologies to Shakespeare…)  Tomato sauce or filling?  Garlic-y Alfredo sauce?  Mushroom and tomato sauce?

The plus side of photographing dinner-in-progress is that it generates more ideas, which intoxicate me as much as aromas.

Maybe even more.

Ravioli art

Pasta Its Whats For Dinner

Once everything cooled down (including my inflammatory food imagination), I opted to make the filling out of freshly-made ricotta (another near-spiritual experience without photographic evidence), basil, oregano, half the garlic, an egg, a good amount of grated Parmesan, and one mushroom slice per pasta packet.

By the way, ravioli “rectangles” taste just as good as square ones.

As for the cherry tomatoes, I tossed ’em on top.  (Cherry tomatoes — self-explanatory.)  After a drizzle of olive oil, some additional Parmesan, and a grind of the peppermill, dinner was served.

Well… photographed (quickly) and served.

I don’t mind taking pictures as long as dinner’s still hot when I eat it.

Has food photography changed the way you cook — or eat?

Enjoying premeditated pasta,

~ Kimby

36 thoughts on “Premeditated Pasta

  1. Even without the pictures, your words paint a gorgeous image. So lovely to read this post :) that looks like a meal I would thoroughly enjoy! And since I’ve never eaten rectangular ravioli, I’m going to just take your word that they taste just as good! Photography used to be a part of the meal experience for us before, but since I stopped blogging for a whole year, it’s been more disciplined now. Must take picture if I want to post! :) and now I don’t have time to whip out the big camera. The phone will have to do :) loved this post, Kim! Hugs :)

    • Marsha, thank you so much for your comment! xo I sense you grew up in the day (as I did) when food was once more than adequately described by words… the rest was up to the reader’s imagination. Photography has thrown a whole new glitch into the process — love it / tolerate it — but I’d just as soon “read” what a dish might taste like.

      Don’t let the push toward visual illustration dissuade you… a picture’s worth a thousand words (so they say), but 999 well-written words are as much of a treat as “seeing” it. Looking forward to your next post, with or without pictures! (Hey, we might just start a “new” trend… I’ve got one in the works sans photos.) Thanks again for your affirmations… I feel very hugged!

    • Maureen, I soooo hear ya. My sis & I recently discussed our “food roots” and where my here-to-fore aversion to shrimp may have originated — which has nothing to do with this post, but everything to do with your comment! Turns out, we consumed ‘shrimp patties’ as kids — a mandatory meatless Friday entree, often overcooked to rubbery-ness that I’d forgotten about, repressed, or retained as an automatic “yuck.” To this day, it’s influenced my seafood preferences, until I started cooking shrimp “on my own.” Thank you for recognizing the past mingled with the present… and the whole new playground awaiting us in the kitchen!

  2. I’m now beyond impressed w/you!! I mean you are a sheer genius making your ravioli from scratch!! OMG, I just know from the description of the birthing of it, no photos at all needed, that it was heavenly, then lookeee atchur table, girrleee…just a Boho mixed pattern of beauty!! I know the MOFW was grinning from ear to ear~~no words needed!! xoxo

    • Ally, truthfully, I made an “alternate” meal for the TMOFW (such are my culinary exploits), but he opted for the homemade ravioli… two bowls-full! Thanks for noticing my tablescape… it involved a bolt of upholstery fabric from my Ma and two fave bowls gleaned from a yard sale — I forget where — lol!), but it “pictured up” purdy. Anyhoo, I love making homemade “noodles” and apparently TMOFW does when I do, too!

  3. OH MY GOODNESS KIM! You had me at pasta and then….roasted vegetables. Perfect combination! You know my love of pasta and everything roasted! Yes food photo ops definitely has “affected” our eating and by ours I mean my poor family. Rule at our house is: you don’t start eating until everyone is served and seated (a bit old fashion but still our rule) so my poor peeps sometime have to wait for me to get the right pic! ooops bad blogging etiquette I guess :)

  4. Hahaha! I like how you’ve named your pasta – premeditated?? I’ve to admit your ravioli pix leave me salivating! Honestly, I used to eat hot food before blogging but many food bloggers are eating only cold food now. Lol! Even my family is complaining……… can we eat yet?? But I try to keep it minimal.

    • Shirley, I have the “luxury” ;) of only cooking for TMOFW and myself, while you have a growing boy & your hubby to consider! One of my “tricks” is to plate up 3 servings — one for him to eat right away, and two for me (and my camera.) If my food gets cold, it’s my own doing, ha! but at least he gets to eat it while it’s hot!

  5. How incredible is making your own ricotta, and then using it fresh to fill pasta. Such a simple thing, and yet so comforting, tasty and just good! So nice to know that I’m not the only one who gets a bit giddy over oven-roasted vegetables!

    • Jas, I started making my own “cooking cheeses” (primarily ricotta & mascarpone) because our local stores don’t carry them or they’re astronomically priced, plus I can make as large or small of a batch as I need. Here’s a link to my mascarpone method. :) https://alittlelunch.com/2011/06/04/lifes-too-short-to-not-eat-breakfast/ Ricotta follows a similar process, but I omit the confectioners’ sugar and use a blend of whole milk and heavy cream. So worth the time it takes! Three cheers for the roasted vegetable fan club!

      • I had the most horrible experience with buying ricotta the other day. We can normally get fresh ricotta at the supermarket deli counter, but the staff have to cut/spoon your portion from a big mound of it. I was going to whip mine and use it to cover a cake, until I saw that the knife used by the deli girl to cut my ricotta had just been use to slice ham and there were pieces of ham all through the ricotta where she’d sliced it. I politely declined, bought some full-cream milk and went home and made my own. I find the curds in home-made ricotta a bit too tight to whip though, and that you need to add cream to them to bring the consistency together, whereas the fresh store-bought stuff is spot on :)

  6. I love your writing Kim, especially when describing food, it immediately sends me into a cooking frenzy (which isn’t so practical as it’s close to midnight here…).
    I so agree with making your own ricotta, it’s incomparably better to store ones, and love mine made from sheep’s milk (Sicilian nostalgia here…).

    • Thank you so much, Gourmantine! It’s close to midnight here now and I’m hungry for it all over again. :) I bet sheep’s milk ricotta is divine… I’m also a Manchego cheese fan. (Not Sicilian, but in the near vicinity!) xo

    • ChopinandMysaucepan, I thought long and hard about this pasta… what to fill it with… what to top it with. (Don’t you just love thinking about “flavor” possibilities?!) Sometimes simplest is what’s called for, all things considered. :)

    • Sue Ann, THAT is a brilliant perspective on food photography! You’re right — when I look back at various photos, I “remember” the taste, the aroma, the setting, everything — I honestly hadn’t thought of it that way before. Thank you for sharing that insight. You’re a gem! xo

  7. Sometimes when you’re hands are covered in flour or icing sugar or meatball mixture, it’s difficult to take a photo! I love the look of your ravioli and that’s a fantastic meal you’ve prepared xx

    • Claire, I hope you try it. Making homemade pasta is my consolation for not being much of a gardener — I have a white thumb instead of a green one. :) You already have the knack — go for it!

  8. Oh yum! I can’t believe I’ve never made ravioli with my own pasta dough. I only made them once, and it was funky but I used egg roll wrappers. LOL! It was actually really good – it had a butternut squash filling with some kind of cheese and onion and garlic and a sage butter sauce on the outside. mmm. I have to admit, I don’t really like having to photograph my meals. I just want to eat sometimes. It’s more like my eating has changed my food photography – lol. I now do the quickest photos I can so that I can eat as soon as possible. Once upon a time I took step by step photos and tried to do a nice setting for the food photos but that is all in the past. I love sharing recipes, though, and just take enough photos that I can give an idea of what the dish looks like. Because recipes without photos are just not OK. :)

    • Catherine, go to your WordPress admin homepage, scroll down to the icon that looks like a “head and shoulders” and hover over My Profile. There’s a link there for Gravatar.com where you can upload your photo and fill out a bio. Then your photo should show up. Hope that helps!

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