A ravioli by any other name

What’s the difference between a pierogi and ravioli?

You’re expecting a joke or a pun, aren’t you?

Well surprise, you’re gonna get a fun fact instead – the only difference is geography. Pierogis, ravioli, manti, dumplings, and more, are all filled pastas (fillings dependent on the culture) from different countries (And yes, I did spend a solid chunk of my night reading about the varieties of filled pastas from around the world)

Anyway, I spent a morning last week with a cup of coffee and my pasta maker rolling out fresh sheets of dough and filling them with – get ready – spinach and artichoke dip.

Yes.

I made a batch to freeze and then boiled some up to munch on, but THEN I thought how I could make these even more luxurious and naturally, a quick dip in some hot oil was the answer. So, three hours and a flour covered apron later, I had crispy spinach & artichoke dip ravioli.

In other news, long time no chat. I *just* finished up my Junior year of college and am now officially a – wait for it – SENIOR in COLLEGE (!!) It is absolutely bewildering to me how fast the last few years have flown by, but Junior year was especially quick.

I am immensely grateful for all of the opportunities the year provided for me – I have met some bright, exceptionally wonderful people, learned both in and out of an academic setting, travelled, and shared many laughs and joyous memories in fun places and over delicious plates of food (of course).

But at the same time, it was a challenging year in more ways than one. I won’t dabble into the details, but now, looking back, all of the things that arose were placed in front of me to push me to grow or to change my perspective for the better – I have no doubt about it. More than all else, I think I learned the importance of genuinely enjoying my time – I began taking more time for myself, doing things I actually want to be doing, and trying to be far more mindful of who and what’s around me.

With that said, I am looking forward to a summer working a job I enjoy, exploring a city I love,  spending my time with some delightful people, and, of course, baking, eating, and writing aplenty.

Currently, I’m writing this while sitting in my favorite coffee shop (feeling extra pleased because Kendrick Lamar’s voice is playing through the speakers and filling this wonderful space), and I am ever-so thrilled. (Side note: you know what’s a weird thought? All the conversations that happen in a coffee shop. Good, bad, funny, sweet, sad. Imagine if those walls could talk – I’m sure they’ve heard it all.)

Anyway, I hope you all have a day filled with lovely conversations and bellies filled with fantastic food – let me know if you end up trying this recipe!

Hugs,
Elaine

P.S – Friends, if anyone wants to try these my freezer is filled and my apartment welcomes you!!

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You could certainly use thawed frozen spinach, but sautéing some up with olive oil and a few cloves of garlic is far more fun (and flavorful).

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Oooooh yeah.

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Ravioli means ‘envelope’ in Italian, but I think ‘pillow’ is a solid descriptor, too, no??

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*drumroll please*

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Spinach and Artichoke Dip Ravioli

Dip

4 cups fresh spinach

3 cloves garlic

1 tbsp. Olive Oil

1 24 oz. can Artichoke Hearts

12 oz. Mozzarella cheese

8 oz. cream cheese

1/2 cup Greek yogurt

Salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

Fresh pasta dough (storebought or homemade)

For frying

1 egg, lightly beaten

1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs

  1. Over medium heat, sautéed the spinach with olive oil in a saucepan for 5 – 8 minutes until the spinach cooks down in volume and becomes a deep green color.
  2. Turn the heat to low and add the minced garlic – I add this at the end in order to make sure the garlic doesn’t burn…believe me, it happens faster than you’d think.
  3. Turn off heat and set aside.
  4. Drain the can of artichoke hearts and chop into small, bite sized pieces.
  5. In a large pot over medium heat, add the cream cheese, greek yogurt, and mozzarella cheese. Stir occasionally until cheeses begin to melt.
  6. Add the chopped artichokes and spinach. Stir until well-incorporated and cheeses are melted.
  7. Add salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste.
  8. Turn off heat and set aside.
  9. Roll out pasta dough (either by hand or with a pasta maker) until it is about 1/8th of an inch thin – you don’t want it to be too thick or your ravioli will be very doughy..remember, we’re gonna fold the dough in half.
  10. Dollop 1 tbsp. of the dip across one side of the length of the dough (like in the picture above), and brush the edges with water.
  11. Place the other side of the dough on top, and begin shaping the ravioli by pushing the air out of the pocket and sealing the sides.
  12. Use a ravioli cutter (or in my case, a handy dandy glass) to cut out around the filling.
  13. Remove the cut ravioli from the strip of dough, and pinch the edges of the dough.
  14. Set aside and repeat. Allow shaped raviolis to sit for 20 – 30 minutes before frying, or freeze in a sealed plastic bag. (You can cook these up by boiling some salted water and cooking them for 7 – 9 minutes until al dente)
  15. For frying, heat a pot of oil over medium-high heat – you can use wooden spook trick to test the oil (place the end of a wooden spoon in the oil – if bubbles form around its edge, the oil is hot and ready for frying. If not, wait a bit longer)
  16. Dip the ravioli in the egg mixture until it is completely coated, then roll it around in the breadcrumbs until it is entirely covered. Set aside and repeat with the rest of the batch.
  17. Place 1 – 2 breaded ravioli in the oil at a time and fry until both sides are golden brown – keep a close eye on them, they fry up quickly!
  18. Remove using a slotted spoon/web, and place on paper towels to drain excess oil.
  19. Enjoy!

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