Bartolini Sausage Ravioli

Ravioli della Salsiccia dei Bartolini

Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, Easter Sunday, and Thanksgiving all featured one dish, each and every year, and that was a platter of ravioli. Oh, to be sure, there was the obligatory roast of beef, or pork, or lamb, or turkey cooked to perfection on the table, too, along with all the customary fixin’s. None of it made any difference to me, for my eyes were fixated on the platter of pasta pillows. Everything else was a distraction to which “The Others”, my ravioli-eating competition, would, hopefully, fall prey. “Have some more turkey.” “Want some potatoes with that?” “Save room for dessert.” All music to my ears. As they sampled — and re-sampled — each and every one of Mom’s lovingly prepared dishes, only I remained true to the cause. It was ravioli all the way!

Back then we only had two filling recipes for our ravioli. The meat filling recipe I shared HERE and another, not yet shared, that’s used in soup ravioli (cappelletti) which is traditionally served for lunch on Christmas Day, as well as on other special occasions throughout the year. Well, that was until a few years ago. I had finally mastered the family sausage recipe when a friend asked if I’d ever made his favorite, sausage ravioli. I hadn’t and a subsequent phone call to Zia confirmed that no other Bartolini had either. Well, that just wouldn’t do.

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It wasn’t long before I had made a half-recipe of ricotta and followed that with a couple of pounds of sausage, setting aside a pound of the seasoned meat. After cooking some chopped spinach and gathering some grated Pecorino Romano cheese, I was ready to go. I didn’t pay too much attention to amounts. This was just a test to see if these flavors would blend successfully — and they did. My next trip home, Zia and I made a batch of the filling, paying close attention to the ingredients’ amounts. The ravioli not only passed her taste tests, we devoted an entire Ravioli Day to the making of the new Bartolini Sausage Ravioli. If that isn’t acceptance, I don’t know what is. Today’s recipe is the result our collaboration.

Please note. When making sausage ravioli, there is but one commandment to follow: Know Thy Sausage. Compared to most store-bought or strongly seasoned homemade sausage, Bartolini sausage is rather mild – no fennel seed, for example — so I use a little less ricotta than specified in the recipe. That allows the sausage’s flavors to be more predominant. Most sausage meat tends to run on the salty side, as does Pecorino Romano cheese. Because of this, no salt is added to the ravioli filling. Before making your filling, be sure to fry a little of the sausage meat for a taste, adjusting the filling’s seasoning and, if necessary, ingredient amounts, accordingly.

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Bartolini Sausage Ravioli Filling Recipe

Yield: See Notes below. 

Ingredients

  • pasta dough — recipe found HERE.
  • 1 lb. sausage meat, cooked and well-drained — recipe found HERE.
  • 1 pkg (10 oz) frozen chopped spinach, cooked and well-drained
  • 1 cup ricotta — recipe found HERE.
  • 1 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten

Directions

  1. Sauté meat over med-high heat until browned.
  2. Use meat grinder to finely process the meat. (See Notes.) Add all the ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix until well-combined.
  3. Cover the filling and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.
  4. Once the filling has rested, you can begin making your ravioli.

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Ravioli Recap

To see a more complete set of instructions for making ravioli with dies, click HERE.

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Notes

When I recently made these ravioli, I made 1 batch of this filling and 2 batches (8 eggs) of Mom’s pasta dough. I came away with 22 doz ravioli and 10 oz (284 g) of excess pasta dough, with which I made hand-cut linguine.  Now, I probably could have gotten away with using 6 eggs to make the pasta but that would have cut it close. I’d rather have too much pasta dough than find out I’ve not enough and have to make more. Besides, the linguine were delicious!

You do not need a meat grinder to make sausage; a food processor may be used instead. Place some meat into the bowl and pulse the blades until a coarse grind is achieved. Do not just turn it on and let it process. You’re not making pâté. When using sausage meat for ravioli, after it’s cooked, place it in the bowl and pulse it a few times until a smaller grind is achieved.

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Pasta Equipment

I’ve been asked by a few people to talk about the pasta making equipment that I own. Since this is a ravioli post, I’ll start there.

I’ve two ravioli making attachments. One is for my stand mixer and the other attaches to my hand-cranked pasta machine. I’m not all that impressed with either of them. Both have a hopper, situated in the center, for the filling. Dough sheets are fed on either sides of the hopper, passing over a die as the filling drops. The ravioli are formed by the pressure exerted by rollers. My problem with both is that the dough sheets are thicker than what I am accustomed to using. The resultant ravioli have more dough than those of my youth. (Yes, I’m spoilt, but in the best possible way.) You, however, may very well find these ravioli to be acceptable — and that’s just fine. Be forewarned, though, that if the dough sheets are not thick enough, the filling will “run” between the ravioli, making one big mess.

Here is an instructional video to show you how the stand mixer attachment works. The hand-cranked pasta machine attachment works in very much the same way.

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Anyone who has seen my ravioli posts will know that I prefer to use ravioli dies to make my filled pastas. Each will result in a ravioli of a unique size. Starting top-left in the photo below, this die will create 12 ravioli that are 2 inches (5 cm) square. (Bear in mind that, no matter the die used, each raviolo will expand a bit when cooked.) It’s interesting to note that this was the original size of the ravioli that Mom and Zia made by hand until we bambini came into the picture. These were too large for us to handle on our own and our parents had to cut them for us to eat. To help our ravioli dinners go more smoothly, Mom and Zia began making ravioli that were small enough for us little ones to handle on our own.

Which brings us to the die top-right of the picture. This will create 24 ravioli that are 1.25 inches (3.2 cm) square and this most closely resembles the size Mom & Zia made, and Zia continues to make, to this day.

Moving to the bottom-left of the photo, this die will create 40 raviolini that are 3/4 inch (2 cm) square.  Mom used these raviolini, calling them cappelletti, in soup. Try as I might, I’ve never gotten the hang of this die. The filling bowl is mighty small, the dough must be mighty pliable, and I end up mighty frustrated, which brings us to …

… the die located bottom-right of the photo. I use this die to make my cappelletti. Each cappelletti is 1 inch (2.5 cm) square and the die will make 48 of the pasta pillows. They may not be as petite as Mom’s but I can make these.

In the center of the photo is a round cappelletti stamp. This is the traditional shape for cappelletti. There was just no way Mom would ever have found the time to individually stamp enough cappelletti for a family of five. Frankly, I don’t know how she did it with the smallest of these dies but she did, repeatedly.

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Lastly, in a recent post, I mentioned that Santa gave me a stand mixer attachment that makes a number of pastas — spaghetti, macaroni of 2 sizes, bucatini, fusilli, and rigatoni. I mentioned that the spaghetti was perfectly made but that some of the other pastas were thicker than what one would purchase at a grocery. This is not a problem for me for the superior taste of homemade pasta far outweighs any concerns about its thickness. Thinking that the eggs in my pasta dough may have been the cause for the difference, I said I’m make some dough using water and semolina flour to see if thinner pasta would result. Well, last week I made the dough and the pasta was no different from that which was made with the “egg dough.” Although I’ve no photos of rigatoni made with a pasta dough made with eggs, I did take pictures of rigatoni made with “eggless” pasta dough and compared it to a manufactured brand.

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In the photo on the top, the raw, store-bought rigatoni is on the left and a freshly made specimen is on the right. Beneath that photo is another, similarly arranged picture, and both pastas are cooked. You can see that the homemade rigatoni are thicker than store-bought. The same holds true for the homemade bucatini, both macaroni, and fusilli. It is yours to decide whether that difference in thickness is a deal breaker.

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It’s déjà vu all over again …

I know. It’s still Christmas in your home and the last thing you want to consider right now is dinner on New Year’s Day. Well, if you want to make that dinner truly special, you’ll need plenty of time so that you can find a picnic ham, skin-on, to make a Bartolini family favorite on the first day of the New Year. Pork Roast with Fennel, Porchetta con Finnocchio, is a spectacular dish, one sure to impress you dinner guests as you start 2013 off on the right foot. You can find the recipe by clicking HERE.

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The Bartolini Clan hopes that Yours was a Wonderful Christmas

and

May Peace Reign in 2013.

Happy New Year!

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139 thoughts on “Bartolini Sausage Ravioli

  1. This looks so amazing — I love ravioli, and this post had me dreaming of dies and rolling pins. I also found your comparison of home made vs. manufactured pasta really interesting. I haven’t graduated past my hand-cranked pasta maker, but we can always aspire…

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    • Thank you. I must admit, the wisest piece of pasta making equipment that I bought is the pasta roller attachment for my stand mixer. It is so much easier and faster than using the hand-cranked pasta machine to roll out the dough. I can then pass the dough sheets through the hand-cranked machine to cut the noodles or, as I’ve been doing more and more, grab a knife and cut the noodles by hand. And whether I use the sheets to make noodles, ravioli, or lasagne, the overall process is much quicker. I only wish I had bought it earlier. :)

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  2. Lovely to come for a late Boxing Day check of mail and find this recipe, ’cause I have a weakness for ravioli also! Well, I may not have all the ingredients at home at the moment, but I have the simple ones for the sausage mix: guess what will be tried tomorrow. Australians are huge sausage eaters and there are any number available at the supermarket, but the fat and salt content do make me usually balk . . . Love your ravioli dies . . .

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    • I hope you’ve enjoyed Boxing Day Eha! That’s the thing about sausage. You must have a high percentage of fat or it just won’t cook properly and definitely not taste good. When I make sausage, I augment the fat content with pancetta, which not only adds fat but flavor, too. Salt and fat aside, the main reason I make my own sausage is because I know what cuts of meat are being used. It’s the same reason I grind all of my meats. Quality control.
      If you do try and make these, I really do hope you enjoy them. :)

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    • Thank you so much, Ambrosiana. It is such a treat for me to bring to my Zia a recipe or idea, like today’s ravioli alla salsiccia, and then work with her to perfect it. We have a good time together and a fine dish often results. I couldn’t ask for anything more. :)

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  3. Beautiful pasta and what a nice tradition! I have tried making homemade pasta a few times but never ravioli. The kitchen aid is in the kitchen…maybe an attachment to it would be a good birthday wish :)

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    • Thank you for the compliment. I must admit that my roller attachment has more than paid for itself. It is so much easier and quicker than the hand-cranked machine and, once the dough sheets are rolled, you can use a knife to cut the noodles to whatever width you desire or use a hand-cranked machine to cut them. Bu the time save rolling the dough is the main benefit.

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  4. Beautiful post. This is amazing. I love raviolis and if I were to prepare homemade I would rather use the ravioli dies too. I am craving this dish now :)

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    • Thank you so much Judy. See? That’s the beauty of making your own ravioli. When you crave them. all you need do is reach into your freezer and grab a bag. I tell ya, that is one very nice feeling, knowing that you can enjoy a ravioli dinner whenever you like. You are such a gifted cook, you should really give it a try. You’ll be hooked, no doubt about it. :)

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  5. Santa brought you the perfect gift!!! Of course, everyone around you will benefit with all the lovely pasta you will be making! I love ravioli! I’m with your friend, sausage would be my favorite. I’m extremely impressed with the homemade sausage! Happy New Year John!

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    • Thank you, Tanya for your kind words. Over the years, my friends have benefitted from my love for making pasta. I really do enjoy doing it. In fact, I just finished oiling a “pasta board” that I made and I’m just itching to break out the flour and eggs and put it to the test. Once I get through the holidays … :)
      I hope 2013 is a happy year for you and yours.

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  6. Beautiful photos and post, John. The only answer for me is to get on a plane and elbow my way to your spread. So nervy to suggest I know, but I know every bite is delicious. Such limited vocabulary to describe food experiences and tastes. The wish for a peaceful New Year is a good one. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you. xxoo

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    • Thank you so much, Ruth, for your gracious comments and Holiday wishes. I’d be very happy to treat Real Ruthie to a ravioli dinner. Why should Flat Ruthie have all the fun?
      I saw your “Ukelele Post” so I know you had a wonderful Christmas. I hope that you can say the same about New Years. :)

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  7. Work of art. Simply outstanding…. I only made ravioli twice in my life, had a ton of fun making it, but the kitchen looked like two tornados had hit, a few minutes apart.

    I am also very taken by your porchetta, not sure what we’ll do for New Year’s Eve, but it’s a possibility – Phil’s Birthday is tomorrow and I am still trying to think of what to make for our dinner…. This time of the year is great for cooking….

    Have I mentioned I love your blog? If not, let me state that once and for all! ;-)

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    • You are very kind, Sally. Thank you so much. I have thoroughly enjoyed your blog, too.
      Having made ravioli, you understand why I so enjoy spending couple days each year, Ravioli Days, making ravioli with my Zia. IT can be fun and it is better to make them with others. Pour yourselves a glass of wine and get busy!
      Back in The Day, porchetta was THE dish for a holiday meal. Well, there was a platter of ravioli there, too. The use of fennel in the seasoning mix was a must and Mom and Zia save the fennel fronds in their freezers just so that they’d always have it on hand for a pork roast. I’ve substituted dill, but, to be honest, fennel is better. I guess it’s in my blood. :)
      If you serve porchetta, I hope you enjoy it but, no matter what’s served, I hope Phil’s birthday is a happy one.

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  8. Oh to have ravioli die! Perhaps one day… These are beautiful. I hope your Christmas was good, and May you have a wonderful New Year!

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    • Thanks, David. As good a cook as you are, I’m surprised you don’t own a couple ravioli dies. We’ll have to do something about that! I hope you are having a wonderful Holiday Season and Happy New Year.

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  9. I agree with Sally, a work of art! I have never made ravioli, maybe I helped my aunts one or two times as a kid, but one day I’ll atempt to make it. I do think having the right tools can be quite helpful as I will have to invest in the ravioli cutter.
    I do use your site as reference for making traditional Italian food, so thanks!

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    • You are so welcome, Lisa. That is some compliment and I really appreciate it.
      Although you certainly don’t need any special equipment — Mom and Zia made their ravioli for years without it — ravioli dies certainly do make it easier, at least for me. One day, maybe when your boys are older, you’ll have a little time to make some ravioli. Until then, I think you’ve got a full late already. Find a good Italian market and buy their “homemade” ravioli. I won’t tell a soul. :)

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    • Thanks, Roger. I don’t mind giving up the secrets if it means someone, somewhere, will use them to prepare a dish. I’m trying to preserve a family heritage and it doesn’t matter who cooks the dish just so long as someone does – even if it’s a British ex-pat living in France. ;)

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  10. On it!! :)

    I LOVE making handmade raviolis. And Hubby LOVES this recipe for the sausage filling (he’s a sausage fiend). We sure appreciate you taking the time to make and post this, John. I suspect this will be New Year’s Day dinner, since we both crave Italian on holidays.

    Thanks, too, for all the pasta information….it really helps. We need more practice, but you’re so right – the homemade pasta far out does the store bought in all categories. It’s so addicting.

    Happy 2013!!

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    • We are definitely on the same page, Sarah. I love making pasta and ravioli is far and away my favorite to make. I’m looking forward to making cappelletti (soup ravioli) and blogging about it. That is one delicious bowl of soup, perfect for holidays and special occasions. I’m sure you guys are gonna love it, too!
      Happy New year to you both!

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  11. I don’t think I’ve ever had an Italian sausage without fennel. How fabulous to have grown up in a home where this sort of fare was presented to you at every festive occasion. I would love to make this ravioli; it looks absolutely delicious. What a great start to any dining experience. xx

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    • Neither Mom nor Zia ever used fennel seed in their sausage. Mom just didn’t like the taste and felt that too much was used in sausage. As a result, my family’s sausage is rather mild in comparison to most. I can assure you, Charlie. With your skills in the kitchen, making ravioli would not be a problem. You may start out a little slow but, with a little experience, you’d be whipping them up like a Bartolini. And you’re right. Homemade ravioli is about the best primo piatto I could hope for. :)

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  12. Hi John, wow, what an informative post! Thank you! As of pasta, nothing is better than a homemade pasta, no matter how thin or thick it is. I haven’t had pasta for a very long time, I just hated it, until my mother came to the rescue: apparently, I grew up eating only homemade pasta! I started to make it, using my mother’s recipe, then experimenting on my own, and now I am back in love with pasta, so is my family (needless to say that when I didn’t eat pasta neither did they) :)
    I love your collection of ravioli molds, hold on to the one from your mother, even if you don’t use it – it’s precious! I would seriously hang it on the wall in the kitchen, (sorry, I am sentimental when it comes to family.)
    I see that you eat raviolis with red sauce, which is not very popular in my family. Except teenager, everyone else prefer ravioli with no sauce but just a little cheese and herbs on top. We do love unfilled pasta with red sauce though (homemade, of course). I love your sausage filing for the ravioli, sometimes I make something similar, but never cook meat prior to stuffing. I shell try it your way next time. Thanks again for a lovely post!

    Have a wonderful week! :)

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    • Thank you, Marina, for such a great comment!
      I’m trying to imagine what Mom would have done if one of us said we didn’t like pasta. She probably would have checked to see if there was a mix-up at the hospital where we were born. :)
      Don’t worry about that raviolini mold, Marina. I would never part with it. I have a few items from her kitchen that I kept and still use. She’s always in my kitchen.
      My family never served ravioli without a meat sauce, although I’ve served some with a cream sauce and a brown butter sauce. No matter what meat was used in the filling, Mom & Zia cooked it first. You’ve little worry, then, about problems resulting from meat that wasn’t cooked thoroughly.
      I hope you have a great week, too!

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      • Thank you John! Oh, no, I ate pasta when i grew up and lived with parents. Then after I started my own life I didn’t eat any pasta, except the one my mother made when I was visiting them. All other versions were untouched. :)
        We never worry about raw meat, it cooks perfectly in pasta shells. Speaking of raw, does your family eat carpaccio? See, I was born and raised on raw milk, cheeses made off raw milk, carpaccio, etc. I wish I have the choice what to eat here, in US too.

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        • Yes, we ate carpaccio, though rarely. I think “they” were concerned because pork was used in their ravioli and cappelletti. Back then, trichinosis was a very real threat and pre-cooking the meat took care of that fear.
          I agree with you. I wish we were allowed better choices of what we eat, with labels that actually state what it is that we’re buying.

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  13. I’ve never seen sausage ravioli before. What sauce do you serve them with? Just butter and sage?
    I always make ravioli by hand with a pastry cutter. I’ve tried dies and attachments but don’t like them.
    Thanks for sharing another family recipe!

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    • We dress our sausage ravioli with a marinara or meat sauce, Stefan. Mom & Zia never prepared a butter and sage sauce, although I have.
      When I was very young, they would make all of their ravioli on large round sheets of hand-rolled dough. Each dough sheet was 3 to 4 feet in diameter. They’d cover half of the sheet with little balls of filling and then fold the other half of the dough sheet up and over them. They then used the long handle of a spoon to press and seal the dough sheets between each ball of filling before using a pastry cutter to cut the individual ravioli. It truly was something to see, Stefan. Back then, the only freezer they had was the small one on top of the refrigerator. As a result, all of the ravioli was made the day it was eaten. This meant on Christmas Day, for example, they were making ravioli at 5:00 am!

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      • Oh, dear John, this comment gave me goose bumps: that’s is a picture from my childhood too! I remember those huge dough sheets, with one part hanging over the side of the table, and we, kids, would sit under the table and look through the thin dough, sometimes making a small hole in it. :) We do have similar memories!

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        • So true, Marina! I remember seeing dough sheets on the backs of chairs and even on floured sheets atop a bed! Sitting under the table was a good place to be. We knew to stay out of Mom’s way when she was in “high gear” making ravioli and cappelletti. :)

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      • Sounds similar to how I make it, except that I use a pasta machine to roll out the dough and therefore my dough is only 6″ wide. I often involve my guests and make ravioli at the last minute :-)

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  14. Wow. Tremendous post. You definitely know your stuff. I’ve made ravioli using the attachment for the hand-cranked pasta machines, and never really liked that method. I usually use the ravioli wheel method. I should definitely check into the die method – that looks super. Terrific post – thanks.

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    • I agree about the hand-cranked pasta machine ravioli attachment and had the same problems with the stand mixer attachment. I ended up throwing away far too much dough and filling with them. I’ve never tried the wheel method and would be afraid of not having the filling lined up properly. It would be the attachment problems all over again. The dies work for me. When we work together, I roll out the dough strips and Zia fills the dies and cuts the ravioli. Her neighbors have stopped by to watch and are amazed. We do work well together.
      Thanks, John, for your kind words.

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    • We’re on the same page, Michelle. I was surprised to learn how easy it was to make sausage. The only problems I had was when I tried to copy my family’s seasoning. Now that I’ve learned the family recipe, I’ve been experimenting with other spice combinations. No matter how I spice ‘em up, it is always better to know what meat is being used. My meat grinders are an indispensable part of my kitchen.

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  15. Know thy sausage.. oh i tried this year but there was not enough pork.. next season I shall truly know my sausage, (more pork) .. then i shall go back and use your recipe (to make the sausage) and then i can make this (recipe) perfectly.. Morning darling.. i am home!.. and back in the slow swing of things! hope you had a fab christmas!!! Our John sends his love.. c

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    • Ah! Welcome home, Dear. I thought about you a few times yesterday and today, wondering where you were on your return journey. It is a long trip, to be sure, but it seems even longer when coming home. You did make it, though, and the snow avoided us, for the most part, while you were away. Now that you’re home, I hope Old Man Winter doesn’t try to make up for lost time and bury us.
      If you make sausage with that pork of yours, I bet it will be the tastiest ever!
      Wish Your John, Triple T and all Happy Holidays for me. Get some rest now. :)

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  16. Oh man, what a post! That picture of ravioli with sauce and cheese — torture to see it on the screen but not on a plate in front of me! And everything made from scratch … I am in awe of your skill. I know that, were I to have one bite of this dish, I would never be able to go back. Thanks also for all the guidance on using the ravioli dies; I always learn so much in the Bartolini kitchens!

    Peace to you too for 2013. Happy New Year!

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    • Thanks, Mar. When I serve ravioli as the primo piatto for a dinner, I literally count them out per serving. If I don’t and serve it “family style”, people will fill up on the ravioli and not have room for the main course. Not many people can resist homemade ravioli, no matter the filling used.
      I hope these posts help to de-mystify ravioli making. It really isn’t a difficult process, just repetitive. None of the food bloggers I follow would have a problem making them — that includes you, our Neighbor Across the Lake. :)
      Happy New Year!

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      • I appreciate your faith in me! Actually, I have made ravioli by hand in the past, using my own homemade pasta, and it was delicious, with a potato and cheese filling. I made the ravioli by hand, without a die, and as I recall they *mostly* stayed sealed 😊 Trouble is, I only did this twice, about 12 years ago and my pasta machine has been languishing ever since. The Culinary Enthusiast and I have talked about how this would be a fun project one weekend. Time to put talk into action!

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        • I, too, have made them “free form”, without any equipment. That works fine for a single meal and for larger sized ravioli. It’s just that if I’m going to make them, I’m making enough for a few dinners, storing them like a squirrel does nuts for the Winter. If your CE is willing to help you, Mar, then I say make time to do it. It is a much more pleasant activity when there are 2 involved. Just open up a bottle of wine and get busy. :)

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  17. It is true that after all I have eaten in the last 48 hours there is no reasonable excuse for finding such a rich ravioli dish as delicious as I do! It really is very special that you spent so much time working alongside Zia to perfect the family recipe. I didn’t know that KitchenAid made a ravioli attachment-a good investment! I have an interesting old “rolling pin” with indentions and raised elements that I presume was a ravioli die-cut device. I found it in my grandmother’s kitchen things after she passed. I never knew her to make any ravioli, but it was obviously an old kitchen item. I probably ought to try it sometime just to see how it works. And thank you for the New Year’s blessing. I, too, pray for peace in all of our homes and hearts. And add a special blessing back to the whole Bartolini clan. Your loved ones have become special friends, too. :-)

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    • Thank you so much, Debra. Some of my family read these comments and you’ve just rewarded them for doing so. :)
      For me, the KA attachment wasn’t such a great idea, well, for meat ravioli anyway. The pasta has to be too thick, compared to what I’m used to eating. It’s dies/molds for me, all the way. I did google the ravioli rolling pin that your Grandmother owned. From what I gather, it is best to use it to make cheese ravioli. You roll a stip of dough, cover half with the cheese feeling, fold the dough to cover the filling, and form the ravioli with the roller. You;ll still need a pastry cutter to cut them. You can see a short video of a ravioli rolling pin in use by clicking HERE. I hope this helps.
      Wishing you and yours every happiness in the New Year.

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  18. Another incredible post, John. Sausage ravioli sounds delicious, I haven’t made ravioli in so long, makes me want to get out my die and whip up a batch! I also have the wheel which allows you to cut your own pasta in any shape. And my individual round ravioli die was from little Italy in NYC!
    Hope you had a great Christmas and all the best to you, Zia and your canine buddy, Max.

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    • Thank you, Eva, from me and my posse. :) I hope you and JT had a wonderful Christmas & Boxing Day, too.
      I know you watch your carbs and, unfortunately, ravioli cannot be a part of a low carb diet. Would that they could. With your culinary skills, I bet you made a “mean batch” of ravioli!
      I’ve a mold that makes star-shaped ravioli but, try as we might, neither Zia nor I can use it — and we’ve tried a few times. I may try it again for a “specialty” ravioli. We’ll see. ;)

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  22. John, These not only look amazing, I know they must taste just perfect. With all your testing and every part made with loving care, I’m so impressed! I’d tackle this only if I had someone in the kitchen with me!! Ravioli was for the holidays for us as well. My mom would make them with her sister. My dad would make the sausage with my mom. I love the memories of family all getting together to make and share in the dinner! Merry Christmas John

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    • Thank you so much, Linda. Like you, I treasure those memories of the family preparing for the holidays. I still cannot figure how they did it. Our little refrigerator with it’s tiny freezer compartment was all they had to store food and yet they managed to prepare a seafood dinner on Christmas Eve, cappelletti for lunch on Christmas Day, and a main meal that night featuring ravioli and some major roast. It’s like the old-time magician pulling everything, and a rabbit, out of his hat. :)
      I hope you had a great Christmas, Linda, hope 2013 is a very good year for your and your family.

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  23. Bonjourno John! I started to read your post this morning before all of the chaos but now it is all sorted. With everything made from scratch, how can these raviolis not taste just out of this world… My mouth is watering. “Know thy sausage” is a great commandment and since your recipe is cooked you can try it first. I love your measurements as they are just like mine, add to taste. This is one great difference between Asian boiled dumplings and Italian Ravioli. In dim sum cooking the pork mixture is always raw before adding the the dumplings and then to the boiling water or fried so you cannot taste test first. If you need a QA analysts to check your ravioli I will be right over. Take care, BAM

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    • Buona notte, BAM! It is really important to taste the sausage you’re going to use for the filling. They vary so greatly in spice and salt content. If one isn’t careful, you can end up with an odd tasting, salty mess. A quick little taste will ensure a better ravioli. If you’re going to go through the trouble of making them, do what you can to ensure a good result.
      Have a great weekend, BAM, and Happy New Year!

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  24. I recently acquired a pasta machine but have not yet tried ravioli. Am still working on getting my pasta to the right thickness. (The “fettucine” I made last time looked like giant white worms when it was cooked!) However, the next time we have a gals’ weekend, we’ll try this sausage ravioli. Mmmm! Can taste it now.

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    • Like anything else, making pasta and ravioli takes practice. I was fortunate to have Mom to watch and learn from. Even so, I think she’d be surprised to see what I’m making now — and that’s starting with today’s sausage ravioli.
      I don’t know if this will help … Pasta machine rollers are numbered. Some rollers are widest apart when set to 1, others when set to 10 or 9. My rollers are at their widest at 1 and I usually cut my fettuccine once I’ve cleared number 6. Zia’s rollers are at their widest at 10. We cut her fettuccine once we’ve cleared number 5 on her machine.
      I hope that helps. If I can be of further help, just drop me a line. Good luck!

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  25. Ok – True Confession Time:
    I got a pasta roller (hand-cranked) and a ravioli die for Christmas. LAST Christmas… It’s still in the box. I am really hoping that this is the year I can start making pasta…Maybe the next time Sarah brings the Little Man for a visit, so there are extra hands.
    Thanks for the reminder!

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    • You’re welcome … I guess. The last thing I want to do, Marie, is put another thing on your “to-do” list. Pardon the pun but you’ve got a full plate already without adding ravioli to the mix. (Sorry about that.) If I’m not mistaken, don’t you have a great Italian market nearby with ravioli made on-site? For now, I think those would do rather nicely. Your pasta machine and ravioli die aren’t going anywhere. They’ll be waiting for you when you have the time — and I’ll be here to help in any way I can. :)

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  26. Lovely, and mouthwatering. I would like some of that ravioli RIGHT NOW. I don’t have a ravioli-making attachment for my Kitchen Aid, and it’s unlikely I’ll get one, as I like making ravioli by hand. I’ve experimented with dies and pastry cutters, but my new acquisition, which I absolutely LOVE, is a ravioli rolling pin. I don’t think it would work for a meat-filled ravioli, but its phenomenally good for everything else.

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    • Thank you, Susie. I just saw a video of a ravioli pin in use. I think you’re right and it is only good for cheese ravioli. It all boils down to whatever one is accustomed to using. I’m finally really comfortable using my ravioli equipment and shudder at the thought of trying something new. Not only that but I’ve quite a collection right now. Any more pieces and I’ll be able to open a museum. :)

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  27. Now this is truly a labor of love & I am so impressed I’ve read this twice. I love any kind of ravioli but sausage is my favorite. Never made my own sausage mixture & have to say that it’s hard to find a good one so maybe, just maybe you’ve inspired me to give this a try myself. My husband’s aunt used to make cappelletti & I’m getting serious hints about trying that myself.

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    • Thank you, Diane. I really hope you try your hand at making sausage. It is really quite an easy process and so much healthier. You know exactly what is going into each one. I have a meat grinder but you can use a food processor, as I mentioned in the post. I no longer make sausages but use the seasoned meat to make burgers. Not having to fill casings removes the hardest part of the process and I find the patties to be so much more convenient.
      As for the cappelletti, I’ll be blogging Mom’s recipe later this Winter and would love to see your husband’s family’s recipe. I hope you’re able to share it. Cappelletti makes a very flavorful soup and it’s my favorite, hands down.

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        • Then you fully understand why I started this blog. I feared my family’s recipes would disappear. Granted, some may never be prepared again but they are here if anyone, family or not, cares to use them.

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          • That’s exactly what caught my attention about your blog. Years ago my husband sat with his mother writing everything down & forcing her to take a step to measure what she was using.
            Now I’m trying to document some of our family favorites in my blog for my daughter & I’ve forced myself to make notes on recipes that I’ve changed up in some of my cookbooks.

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          • This has been a very rewarding experience for me, Diane. Food and our family dinners played a major role in our lives back in the two-flat. With each recipe I bring back or tale I tell, someone in the family will remember an anecdote. It’s been amazing. I hope you’ll find the process equally rewarding.

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  28. I have ravioli dies on my list. It’s one of my favorite foods and I like you would have held out for the ravioli and not used my energy or stomach space on anything else. I’ve been known to fill my plate with only one particular dish at the holidays, forsaking all others. Your ravioli is no doubt one I would do that for. And how awesome is it that you have a rigatoni maker attachment!!!! That is one of my favorites. We did make your spaghetti carbonara with my attachment for Christmas Eve. Everything turned out beautifully. In fact, Miss A devoured her spaghetti and Mr. N told me that it was his favorite Christmas Eve dinner yet. Mike too was blown away by how good it was with the fresh pasta. Thank you for playing a role in our special night John. Happy New Year!

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    • I will be happy to read that you’ve gotten ravioli making equipment because I’m sure your ravioli will be fantastic! I’ll be “borrowing” that recipe for sure.
      I am thrilled that you chose a dish of mine for your Christmas Eve dinner and to read that it was so well-received. You could not have given me a higher compliment and I’m grinning ear to ear because of it. I know Mom would be pleased, just as Zia will be when I tell her. Thank you so much, Kristy.
      Happy New Year to you all, too.

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  29. Mouth’s watering – what with sausage ravioli dreams, and the notion of pork roast with fennel for New Years – yum!!!!!!!. But all, of course, will have to wait till I go back to Oz because ingredients here … There’s always a worm in Paradise! Happy New Year to the Bartolinis :)

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    • I’ve been following your travels via your photography. I wouldn’t find that worm too much to take. :)
      Thanks for the wishes and may 2013 be a good year for you and as worm-free as possible!

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      • :) :) :) Thank you John, but I suspect there’s worms of some sort in most places.

        Strangely it’s food more than anything that I’ve come to miss – my few weeks in Venice last year was more than usual like being in heaven, and to be able to buy ricotta, in fact non-process cheese of any type will be another Paradise – I do miss cheese!

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        • I’ve done some traveling and it always struck me as strange the things that we miss while away. For me it varied from place to place but I must admit I was never in a place long enough to miss cheese. Touring Europe, cheese was ever-present and I was most happy with that. I’m with you, though, and wouldn’t be at all happy if I had to do without for a great length of time.
          Hang in there!

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          • There are, of course, compensations, and I concentrate on that. I must admit I’m enjoying compiling a mental “things I’m looking forward to” list as a sort of lever to help me to set the final departure date. Reading your recipes usually adds something to it John!

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    • Thank you so much, Giovanna. It looks easy because it is. Like your fantastic cross-stitch, practice makes perfect. :)
      I hope you and your lovely family have wonder-filled 2013!

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  30. Wow – you certainly do “know thy sausage”! And now this has made me think that it´s been waaaay too long since I made ravioli and I realíse it´s because I don´t have the moulds for it. I know I could do it without, so maybe I should just go for it or hope that The Three Kings bring me the right gear! Love the comparisons between the rigatoni…very interesting and well done for photographing it so well :)

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    • Thank you, Tanya. I bet Amazon.UK carries ravioli moulds, as would many cooking shops. They aren’t expensive but be sure to shop around to make sure you’re getting the best price. If all else fails, I’ll just send you one. We ravioli makers have to help and support each other. :)

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  31. Excellent post, John. I love ravioli and the Ravioli della Salsiccia die Bartolini looks divine. I’ve been wanting to get some ravioli dies and this post may well inspire me to do so, soon! Wishing you and yours a Happy New Year filled with good food, blessings and laughter.

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    • Thank you for the nice compliment, Richard. When you’re ready to buy, if you’re interested, I’ve a great website where I buy most of my ravioli making equipment. Their prices are better than the large, well-known culinary equipment sites and they’ve an extensive inventory. (I’m not affiliated with them in any way.)
      Thank you for the good wishes and may this be the happiest of New Years for you and your family.

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  32. Oh my goodness…what a fascinating post. I’ve never made my own pasta, but I’m in awe of people who do! I’ve been to Italy 3 times and one of my favorite things to do is watch people make pastas. It’s such an art- your ravioli are just beautiful. I have a list of things I want to try in the kitchen this year and I think I’m going to add pasta to the list. Thanks for the inspiration!!! Happy New Year!

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    • You really should give past-making a try. It isn’t that difficult and the pasta is the best you’ve eaten since leaving Italy. No doubt about it.
      Thanks for the visit and for taking the time to comment.

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    • I’ve been meaning to tell you but, let’s face it, I have no memory. You are known as the “Mama Mia Man” when I show Zia your posts. A while back you said “Mama Mia” in one of your comments and she laughed as I did when I first read it. Now, when I share your posts, it’s easier to remember “Mama Mia Man” than the “Man & his WIfe who live in Arkansas and his Grandparents came from southern Italy…” :)

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    • If we lived closer, Betsy, I’d be at your door with a platter. Ravioli are very good for mending sprains. Just don’t tell anyone or there’ll be a line at my front door with people wearing every kind of Ace bandage available. :)
      Thanks for the holiday wishes and I hope 2013 is a very good year for you and yours.

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  33. Next time I visit Adams market (this is a local food market that makes its own Italian sausages) I must read the label on their packages. I know they make a hot and a sweet but never thought about the other spices, really need to pay more attention.. I am between meals and your ravioli is making me very hungry.

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    • Thank you, Norma. I have a number of ethnic markets in my area and they all have their own sausages. Most are made with ground pork and the spices vary from one nationality to another. You would not believe the difference in taste! That’s why i advise to taste the sausage before you make the ravioli filling. You have to take those spices into account.
      I hope you and yours have a wonderful New Year, Norma!

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  34. I always get a little rush of excitement when I see your blog begin with a photo of your silvery shiny ravioli dies, John. You’ve really gone all out, describing each and every step along the way to make it easy for a novice (like myself) to try making this on my own. I have a pasta attachment but no ravioli attachment. Just watching the video makes me wonder if it’s just as much or more work than doing things the traditional way like you’ve done with your dies. Thick or thin, none of that would matter to me.. it’s the pillowy softness of the pasta you’ve shown and the luscious filling. The combination of fresh home-made pasta AND filling must be just out of this world! I, too, would hope all eyes would be diverted from the prize at Christmas:D xx

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    • What a coincidence! While you were here, writing such a nice comment, I was at your house admiring your recommended reading list. Love that list, by the way.
      The ravioli dies/molds aren’t that expensive and once you get a little practice under your belt, you can make a lot of ravioli in an afternoon. My advice is to open a bottle of wine and invite a friend to help. You’ll easily make enough for both households and you’ll have a great time doing it. Who knows? One day you, too, may have a Ravioli Day like Zia & I do. :)

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    • I’m feeling a little under the weather and your comment gave me a broad smile. Thank you for that!
      Mom felt that fennel overpowered everything else in her sausage and refused to use it. I like it better her way and I bet your family’s is every bit as good. I “followed” your blog so I can find out what else our families share. :)
      We were young when Mom taught us how to roll gnocchi, a skill the grandkids were taught when they came of age. I love em! Gnudi weren’t something she made but I got my recipe from another source. Both recipes are on my “to post” list. One day …
      Thank you for dropping in and taking the time to comment.

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      • Benvenuto! I write about food now and then, usually during holidays or whenever I’m hungry. :) On Toni’s page, you’ll find our family recipes for baccala and al’oglio that we haul out for Christmas and a few pieces about la famiglia ~ Jersey Girl (my Aunt Philomena the bookie), Zia Mary, Uncle Joe and Grandma, and my Dad. My roots are in Avigliano. Yours? Looking forward to more of your recipes and tales :) Toni

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        • E anche te! … I was looking around your blog and though we’ve some of the same recipes, there are differences. We don’t use anchovies in our aglio e olio, for example, but I will definitely be giving that a try. The differences are definitely because our people are from different spots on the peninsula. Mom’s family, the Bartolini, are Marchigiani and came from the Ancona Province of Le Marche. Dad and his family came from the Republic of San Marino. It’s a tiny city-state on the border separating Emilia-Romagna from Le Marche. You can read a bit of our family history in my blog’s Roots page. Click HERE to go there. Once there, click on a photo to see it enlarged for better viewing.
          I look forward to getting to know you better through your words as well as your foods. :)

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  36. What an incredible post John! You leave no stone unturned! Your instructions so clear, so complete! Your soft pillowy ravioli are simply Beautiful! Of all the things that might show up on a plate, Ravioli are some of my favorites!! I will find that friend you suggest, open that bottle of wine, pour, and get cracking! What a beautiful way to start the new year! I’m going now to see what dies I can find! Another terrific post John! Happy New Year, friend!

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    • Thank you so much, Spree. I really do hope you’re sincere and find a friend with whom to make ravioli. If that friend is Smidge, though, I insist you wait until I get there. This I would have to see. :)
      Zia and I have some of our best times together when we’re making ravioli. It is a great afternoon. You’ll see …
      I’ve a good place to shop for kitchen supplies and ravioli dies, in particular, if you’re interested. I’m not at all affiliated with them and can email you the info. They’ve a complete inventory, while their prices are competitive and much better than some of the more expensive supply stores. Let me know.
      Happy New Year to you, Spree, my friend. :)

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  37. Your blog is truly one of my favorites. The combination of family history and made-from-scratch goodness keeps you on the top of my list! My friends and I are going to do a late summer Italian menu – when all the produce is fresh. Your blog will be the first place I go as I compile our menu….

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    • That is a very kind thing for you to say. I would be very happy to learn that you used one of our recipes with your frieds later in the year. I cannot wait to show my Zia this comment; she’ll be quite pleased to read such a nice compliment. Thank you so much.

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  39. Great post. One can never have too much sausage! I’m yet to purchase a pasta machine, but whenever I see a delizioso post like this I’m very tempted… if only my kitchen cupboards weren’t bulging at the seams.

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    • Oh, I can identify with a lack of cupboard space. Still, though, I cannot imagine life without my pasta machine. I use it far too often to go without. I hope you can free up some space for one. I’m sure you won’t regret it.
      Thanks for the visit.

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  42. I have a Kitchen Aid (and pasta attachment) and pasta maker on my one-day wish list… even though I don’t have/make the time or the energy currently, you inspire me and I know one day I will be referring to your posts. I would love to see you published in a big colourful hard copy book, that I could suggest to the G.O. to buy me for Christmas and I could flip through while I sit on the verandah sipping tea… or wine :)

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    • You are so kind, EllaDee. I doubt if any publisher would be interested in a book by me.
      I, too, have the KitchenAid ravioli attachment. I’m not all that pleased with it but I think I’ve been spoiled eating our “version” of ravioli. Ours use a very thin sheet of pasta. To use that attachment, a thicker sheet of pasta is required. Yes, we Bartolini can be very picky when it comes to our pastas. :)

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