Ravioli en brodo and with Alfredo vodey oh dough!

I want to tell you something and that is, despite what you might think  raviolis are easy to make. I think they would be easy if you have a pasta maker,which I don't. {Update: I do now thanks to my dear friend Janny who has become gluten free and moving house so is giving away things she is not going to use! This is the pasta maker she gave me and I love it and it has changed my life.So much so it has expelled my culinary kryptonite. You know, that one thing that you’ve never made because it’s intimidating or it seems overly complicated. In my case home made ravioli. I love to eat it,especially when it has 
a pumpkin or butternut squash filling, but it has always seemed like . . .ya know...
 It makes ravioli making SO EASY. Plus if you have two pairs of hands (the casting role of glamorous assistant was bestowed upon the thespian ) and a ravioli cutter to streamline the process,it makes it even easier.
Ravioli is a perfect last-minute meal for those evenings when you're just too tired, lazy, or broke to head to the supermarket and pick up fresh ingredients. But the difference between prepackaged ravioli and the tender, thin-skinned homemade stuff is about as drastic as that between instant pot noodle and "The real McCoy" ramen; A tin of Campbell´s canned cream-of-mushroom and a rich, complex bowl of homemade chanterelle soup. Sometimes, the shop-bought stuff will do. And sometimes only the real deal will suffice.
Ravioli with Alfredo sauce
1 cup whole milk
1 12 tbsp butter
1 12 tbsp flour
3 tbsp parmesan cheese
12 tsp garlic, minced
1 dash black pepper
Melt butter in sauce pan on stove top with medium heat.
Gradually whisk in flour.
This will create a yellow paste.
Gradually add milk, whisking until incorporated and no lumps are present.
Continue to whisk until hot.
Usually 3-5 minutes.
The longer you cook the base (without the cheese) the thicker the sauce will be.
Add parmesan slowly, again whisking until incorporated.
Add crushed garlic and pepper.
Cook for 2 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Remove from heat.

Luckily, fresh homemade ravioli also happens to be easy to freeze (assuming, unlike me, you don't eat it all), so there's no reason why you can't enjoy it on even the laziest of evenings,and its perfect for those "other suppers" like at the moment when you are not pulling out all the seasonal entertaining stops.
Tortellini en brodo ("in broth") is a traditional first course for Christmas feasts in northern Italy.This is one of Emilia-Romagna’s typical dishes. Because it calls for only a few ingredients, make sure they are of the highest quality, especially the chicken stock (now is a good time to use any you might have in your freezer).What I did for a quick Christmas week supper was to make something similar but not traditional,I substituted ravioli for the tortellini and delicious it was too.
Italian brodo di carne is much more delicate than English or French meat stocks. I made my brodo with chicken bones and carcass (brodo di pollo)left over from the weekend.Like a frugal, and indeed sensible, Italian nonna I cut all the meat off the bones after making the stock and put it towards another meal.You can use any combination of beef,veal and chicken stock for a brodo, but avoid lamb and pork.If you don´t have the time or inclination to make it,you can use a good quality bouillon cube or powder in the same quantity of water as the stock.
Ravioli en brodo
makes 1.5 -2 litres/3-4 pints/1 2/3 -2 3/4 quarts

1.5kg /31/4 lb assorted beef,veal and chicken cut into large pieces
1 onion,halved and stuck with 3 cloves
1 or 2 carrots,cut into pieces
2 celery stalks, cut into pieces
1 fennel stalk or or a few feathery fennel tops
1 leek cut into pieces
a handful of mushroom peelings or stalks
6 parsley stalks
1 bay leaf
1 garlic clove, peeled
1 ripe fresh tomato,quartered
6 peppercorns
1 tsp salt
Put all the ingredients in a stock pot.A about 3 litres/5pints /3172 quqrts cold water,or enough to cover everything,and bring to the boil.The water must be cold to start with,so that the meat and vegetables can slowly release their juices.Set the lid very slightly askew for the steam to escape and turn the heat down to the minimum for the stock to simmer.The best stock is made from liq+uid that cooks at 80ºC/175º F,rather than 100ºC/210F(boiling point.using a slotted spoon,skim off the scum that comes to the surface during the first 15 minutes of cooking.Cook for about 3 hours.
Strain the stock through a large sieve strainer lined with muslin or cheesecloth.Leave to cool and then put in the refrigerator.Remove any fat that has solidified on the surface.When there are only a few specks of fat left,heat the stock and drag apiece of kitchen paper(paper towel) across the surface,the fat will stick to the paper.
taste the stock.if it is too mild,reduce over a high heat until the required taste is obtained.Cover with clingfilm (plastic wrap) and keep in the refrigerator for 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.


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