It couldn't have been more apt.
I was surprised at how easy it was to make homemade pasta. No wonder so many Italian people make their own fresh pasta at home.
It's a truly satisfying experience, to get the right texture and thickness. I would truly recommend it.
I spent ages trying to think of a dish worthy of christening my new shiny pasta machine.
Being the seafood addict that I am, I knew it had to be something truly seafoody and special.
So I thought of one of my favourite Portuguese treats: King Prawn Rissol-Rissol de Camarao.
A light pastry covered in breadcrumbs and filled with a rich, creamy sauce and chunks of juicy king prawns.
I decided to take this Portuguese traditional snack one step further and turn it into an Italian elegant delicacy.
Making the fresh pasta was great fun.
I placed the flour on a large wooden board, made a well and pour the eggs into it.
I then mixed it all in and worked it until nice and soft.
Next, it was a matter of christening the Pasta Machine and I have to say I had a little help with that...
I then moved on to the filling.
I have to say that it was amazing. Really creamy and so very delicious.
Even my students, Italian through and through and amazing foodies, absolutely loved it.
But don't take my word for it. I will leave you with the recipe and I do hope you give it a go.
If don't have a pasta machine or enough time to make your own pasta, you could always use fresh lasagna sheets.
Just moistened them slightly so that they're pliable and you can cut them to shape.
I served the ravioli with with a lemony parsley sauce and I've included the recipe for this right at the end, or, alternatively, you could serve it with some sage butter or just melted butter and lemon.
For all my American friends out there, let me just add that King Prawns are large Shrimps :)
King Prawn Ravioli with a Portuguese Twist
For the Prawn Stock
All chopped finely
1 large onion
2 medium carrots
2 stalks of celery
Shells from King Prawns
1 large bay leaf
For the Ravioli
500gs of shelled King Prawns
3 cloves of garlic-minced
100gs of unsalted butter
50gs of plain flour
50gs of finely chopped parsley
Fresh pasta-as much as you think you may need
Salt and pepper to taste
For the Sauce (depending on how much you would like)
1 to 2 cups of double cream
1 to 2 cups of freshly chopped parsley
1/2 cup of lemon juice-freshly squeezed
Salt and pepper to taste
Make your stock at least 1 1/2 hours before your ravioli.
De-shell the prawns and add the chopped onion, carrot, and bay leaf to the shells and put in a large pot. Cover with water. Let it come to a boil and then simmer on a low heat for at least 1 hour.
When the stock is ready put it through a sieve it until it runs nice and clear.
Then melt 50gs of butter in a pan and add the garlic. Cook for 30 seconds. Don't let the garlic turn brown or burn.
Add the Prawns/shrimps and cook for 3 minutes, until they turn pink.
Chop the prawns into large chunks and set them aside.
I saved a few of my prawns to use as garnish too.
In the same pan, add the remaining butter and let it melt.Then add the flour and mix it well.
Then add gradually add 3 to 4 large spoons of the prawn stock to make a creamy yet thicker than usual roux/sauce.
Add the prawns and parsley and season to taste.
You should end up with a nice, chunky mixture, that sticks really well to the spoon.
Cut the pasta into round shapes. the size is up to you, depending on how big you would like your ravioli to be. Mine were quite large.
Place spoonfuls of the mixture in the middle of the disks. Make sure that the edges are clear.
Fill a pan with boiling water-for the ravioli and season it with salt.
Place your cream in a pan with the parsley and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until the cream starts to thicken.
Place the ravioli in individual dishes, pour over the creamy sauce and garnish with some prawns and parsley.