Cataldo Family Christmas Ravioli

The Cataldo Family has a wonderful family tradition at Christmas – homemade Ravioli!

They are so delicious and made from scratch!

A few months ago we all got together for a family gathering to make the ravioli ready for the holidays. I must admit that most of them did not make it to the holidays as we ate them all well before – but more will be made in time for Christmas Day where we serve them alongside Prime Rib and many other delights!

I will admit they are not a fast or simple dish to make – which is why we all made a HUGE batch of them to freeze and eat over time. The results are well worth the effort and time!

I have never made pasta or ravioli before – however the rest of the family had made it many times before! I am delighted to tell you that I passed the test, my Mother-in-Law said I did a great job and she should know she has been making them for decades!

Here’s me with my rolled out ravioli!!

I was very nervous to get started but I had excellent supervision and tutoring! Rolling out the dough is easier than it looks although I did have buff arms after a few batches!!

The family has a cool ravioli rolling pin that really makes the job easier! These gadgets come in all different sizes but we prefer the smaller ones.

After you roll out the dough you put filling in a very thin layer on one half of the dough and then fold the dough over the top and then roll it out using the fancy rolling pin!

Here’s the recipe: 

Ingredients

To make the dough:
28 C flour
6-8 eggs (depending on size and moisture)
a little oil
warm water
To make the stuffing:
3 medium onions, finely chopped
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3lbs ground beef
1lb ground pork, ground black forest ham or ground Italian sausage
4 bunches spinach or swiss chard (we prefer swiss chard)
3 carrots
1 bunch parsley, finely chopped
4 C finely ground breadcrumbs
1 C grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
6 eggs
1 tbsp poultry seasoning
2 tbsp basil
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp allspice
salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. To make the dough: Mix together the ingredients, kneed well (use a machine to help with this stage!) Roll out thinly – so it looks like paper
  2. To make the filling: Chop onions and garlic very finely and saute in a large skillet. Add the ground beef and pork to to the onion mixture and brown. Set aside.
  3. Boil the carrots and and swiss chard/spinach in salted water. When tender, chop coarsely and add to the skillet mixture.
  4. Reserve spinach water in case you need to add any to alter the consistency of the filling.
  5. Add breadcrumbs. grated cheese and eggs to the skillet.
  6. Pour into the food processor and blend until mixed well.
  7. Add the spices and taste! Adjust seasonings to taste.
  8. To assemble the ravioli: Roll out dough very thinly on a well floured surface into a rectangle shape. Brush the entire top surface of the rolled dough with a lightly beaten egg.
  9. Spread ravioli stuffing very thinly onto one half of the rectangle. Fold the uncovered half of the dough on top of the filling and press down lightly.
  10. Using a ravioli rolling pin roll over the dough and PRESS DOWN HARD. Then cut between the ravioli using a ravioli cutter.
  11. If you are not cooking and eating the ravioli immediately:
  12. Place each ravioli on a baking tray covered in parchment paper and freeze. When fully frozen you can transfer them to a freezer proof bag and store until you are ready to eat them.

From our family to yours – we hope you have a fantastic time celebrating the birth of Jesus with your loved ones.

Merry Christmas from Captain America & His English Rose!

We are taking a little blogging break over the holidays and we will be back in the New Year!

Mum’s Christmas Dundee Cake

Mum's Dundee Cake

When I was growing up this was the Christmas cake my parents insisted on having every year – I refused to eat fruit cake as I had decided it was horrible.  

For some reason, one day I tasted some, and I have never looked back!  Now I am the one who requests this cake for Christmas.

It is delicious!

Mum's Dundee Cake

You have to suspend anything you think you know about fruit cake – this is moist, fruity and soft – if you throw it no-one gets hurt, but I might hurt you if you waste this cake!! LOL!

My Mum makes the best version of this cake, she adapted the recipe from Delia Smith, to create this Kelly family delight that we all know and love!

Mum's Dundee Cake

This year I convinced Mum to make it to sell at a Bake Sale here as part of our Mission Team Fundraiser – it was a huge success!

I hope you enjoy this as much as we do!

Merry Christmas!

Mum's Dundee Cake

 

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Chocolate Bark

 Chocolate Bark

Are you looking for an inexpensive gift for a foodie friend?

Look no further – this is the answer!

I made a variety of barks for our bake sale recently.  I had seen so many different types on Pinterest that I got inspired to create my own.

Feel free to experiment with flavors and textures….it’s lots of fun and very easy!

Enjoy!  Continue reading

Gingerbread Latte Cupcakes

Gingerbread Latte Cupcakes

Following on from the HUGE success of the Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes at last weeks bake sale, Captain America and I were thinking up more ‘seasonal’ cupcake ideas.

I found this recipe for Gingerbread Latte Cupcakes from my favorite go-to baker blogger, Bakers Royale.  She was the inspiration behind the Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes, and this recipe surely did not disappoint!

I am NOT a fan of gingerbread, and being brutally honest, molasses makes me gag, however these turned out REALLY well, and are now Captain America’s joint favorite with my Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting! Which means a happy household here….I can have all the Peppermint Mocha cupcakes and he can have the Gingerbread Latte ones! Continue reading

Grandma’s Shortbread

Grandma's Shortbread

Everyone wants the perfect Shortbread recipe, right? Well, apparently this is it!

Every year people pay my friend, Debra to make this for them.  I asked her for the recipe and promised to show it (and her!) some love in exchange.

Grandma's Shortbread

She said it is due to the secret ingredient…..cornstarch!  I would never have even though of putting cornstarch in Shortbread, and Debra says she has never seen another recipe with that ingredient!

This shortbread is SPECTACULAR!

It literally melts in the mouth! It is rich, buttery, horribly bad for you (but what shortbread isn’t?) and wonderful!

Grandma's Shortbread

I made it for the bake sale, and let’s just say not as much made it to the bake sale as came out of the oven 😉

Thanks Debra, and her Grandma, for creating and sharing such a gem of a recipe!  

I hope you enjoy it as much as we…..and all it’s current fans do!

Enjoy!

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Red Velvet Cupcakes

Red Velvet Cupcakes

I have a confession to make….I have never made Red Velvet Cake until now!

We just don’t have them in the UK….they are starting to become more popular but only in the last few years, so I grew up without ever eating one….my first time was in 2007 when  I first moved here, a friend made them for christmas and I got to taste them.  I was converted! So delicious!

I decided to make some for our recent bake sale as I know that this flavor and color is popular at Christmas….so I went searching for a recipe.  Like many cupcake recipes here the Red Velvet ones are quite complicated…it seems that it actually matters with Red Velvet cake the order in which you add and mix the ingredients…..something to do with chemistry that’s way beyond me!

I found this recipe from Martha Stewart, that I adapted slightly and made…and it was a huge success!

I used my favorite Cream Cheese Frosting recipe (omitting the cinnamon of course!), and added christmas colored sprinkles for added festiveness!

Enjoy! Continue reading

Traditional Almond Biscotti

Traditional Almond Biscotti

I am a HUGE fan of Biscotti and so is Captain America!

He grew up with his Mom making it every year, and even sending him some when he was in Italy over Christmas one year so he didn’t miss out!  Apparently his Italian room mates didn’t believe his Mom genuinely had Sicilian roots….and then they ate her Biscotti….they didn’t doubt again!

Captain America gives this Biscotti recipe his firm seal of approval….not something given lightly AT ALL!  He said it comes a very close second to his Mom’s 🙂  The family love it…and have requested it again! Yeah!! So this is real….the genuine recipe!

It is relatively simple, although a little time consuming as there are a few stages.  The only challenge is cutting the biscotti before you bake it for a second time…..hopefully my pictures and directions will help you!

Enjoy!

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