© 2013 Can Caramelo

Green & Red Ravioli

The weekend usually starts with me saying “Good that the weekend is finally here, because I want to do A LOT of things!” and Sebastián laughing at me, partly because this repeats every weekend, and I imagine partly because he prefers to think in what he DOESN’T HAVE TO DO on a weekend. He sometimes gets nervous with me running all over the place, doing several things at the same time (of course than I forget with what I started and the end result of most of the things might suffer too) while I get nervous lying down and resting (even though I also love to do so and complain that I don’t have the time, it’s just that I start thinking about all the things I plan to do). But now it’s Sunday afternoon, the flat is clean, I’ve done the decadent salty caramel brownies from Poires au Chocolat, I’ve made the Cranberry-Coconut Lenkabars from the first post, baked sweet potatoes stuffed with vegetables and grilled with cheese for lunch, I’ve been running through the sunshine, admiring the blue sky and the green of the forest of this 26ºC warm “autumn day”, I finally hang up the hammock that my friends Isa & Miquel, two very talented artists and wonderful persons, gave to us (great present!!!, maybe now I get to lie down and relax sometimes), and now I want to share with you the recipe of what we had yesterday, when we came back from a 130km bike ride. I don’t know if it was really good or if I just enjoyed it so much because I wasn’t far from fainting of hunger… Well, Sebastián thought the pasta was a little too thick, but I liked it just fine (next time I’ll use my pasta machine to get it thinner).
ravioli_filling_s
We both loved the colors. And colors are not trivial when we’re eating. We humans rely heavily on vision and this is reflected in the complexity and precision of the visual pathways in the brain. Vision involves not only the perception of a stimulus, but we have to construct a perception of perspective, compute the position of three dimensional objects, distinguish them from the background or other objects, perceive direction of movement, changes in size with movement, speed, shape, color, texture and so forth. But let’s get back to its connection to smell and flavor. In an experiment in the 70ies, by Tryg Engen it has been shown that people tend to rate colored solutions as having a smell when compared to transparent ones. In the same direction, Deborah Zellner showed that color intensity correlates with the strength of the perceived smell. How dramatic the influence of vision on our perception of flavor can be has been shown in a curious experiment conducted at the Faculty of Oenology (the science of wine) at the University of Bordeaux in which the participants had to describe a red and a white wine and then came back one week afterwards to repeat the same. The first time they were given a red and a white wine, the second time they were given a red colored white wine instead of the real white (there was no difference in taste between the colored and the real white wine). As you probably imagine by now, the becoming wine experts mistook the colored white wine for red wine. When cooking I like to play with colors, disrupt or enhance expectations, creating contrasts and combinations, like with this green Ravioli that seem to be meat eating plants when you cut them.

Ingredients

For the pasta:
1.5 cups durum wheat flour (or all purpose)
• ½ cup water
• ½ tsp salt
• 1 egg
• 1 hand of spinach leaves

For the filling
1 small beetroot
• 100g Feta cheese
• 1 leek
• salt & pepper
• 1 tbsp olive oil

To accompany:
1 bunch of fresh spinach
• 1 small onion
• 1 tbsp olive oil
• salt & pepper
• fresh parmesan cheese (optional)

Blend the hand of spinach leaves with the water. Mix with the other ingredients for the pasta. Set the dough aside for at least twenty minutes (for the gluten to develop and make it elastic).

Grate the beetroot and mix with the feta cheese. Heat a small pan with the olive oil and sautée the leek for five minutes or until tender. Add salt and pepper. Add the leek to the beetroot and feta mixture.

Roll out the pasta dough (make it thin if you like it softer). Use a spoon to place the filling on half of the dough. Top with the other half and use a ravioli cutter or a small glass to cut out the raviolis. Repeat this process with the dough rests until no pasta dough is left.

Bring a big pot with salted water to boil and put in the raviolis, they just take 2-3 minutes.

In a pan (you can use the one from the leek), sautée the onion in the remaining olive oil until transparent and add the spinach. Add salt and pepper to your taste. Add the raviolis when ready.

One Comment

  1. Posted 3 Nov ’13 at 8:24 pm | #

    Lenkis, me encanta tu página y que compartas tu arte culinario con todxs! Me siento afortunada de poder probar de tu propia mano las recetas que haces con tanta creatividad, ganas, dedicación y sobre todo mucho amor!
    Me deleitan las mezclas de sabores, olores, texturas y colores que haces, todo siempre con los mejores ingredientes! No dejas de sorprenderme!!!
    Muchos besos!

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