The other day I cooked a little dish that I’ve decided to rename: ‘I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing.’ This is mainly because I found myself saying this out loud a number of times while I was cooking it. At one point I nearly shouted it. And that my friends, is the goddamn truth.
What I’m talking about is the recipe for the Creamy Ravioli with House Marina.
This is by far the hardest to make Thug Kitchen recipe that I’ve done so far. I’m thinking (and hoping?) that it’s the hardest one in the cookbook. The thugs call it an ‘impressive feat.’ I’d second that, and then some.
I felt like I was in the kitchen for HOURS. This was not quick and easy. At least not for me.
It all started out well, and then it just crashed and burned. Like my son’s helicopter. It has no propellers now. I mean you’re destined to fail if this is how you fly:
I picked up a ravioli stamp in town, and felt super lucky to have found one.
I also managed to find millet and cornflour for some of the other TK recipes…At least I think that’s what I’ve bought. I’ve had the added challenge of translating names of ingredients into a different language. Half the time I don’t know what the fuck I’m buying, and if it’s the right stuff. Oh well, it keeps it interesting.
So, I start by making the dough for the ravioli. This was quite a workout. I suspect you’d have to be ripped to do this on a daily basis. I popped it in the fridge while I got on to making the tofu ricotta filling and the marinara sauce. I’ve got to say, the thugs have got the timing down to a T. They say that the dough needs to sit for half an hour, and that’s EXACTLY how long it took me to make the filling and get the sauce going.
*applauds the thugs*
These guys know their shit.
Making the filling and house marinara was all straight forward enough.
I wasn’t in an aggressive mood after kneading the dough (that in itself is a great stress reliever), so I didn’t smash-up the whole tomatoes, I used a tin of pre-chopped.
I turned the heat down low on the sauce, and went on to roll out the pasta. This is where shit got complicated.
I rolled out the pasta dough and then had to reread the instructions four times, like a fucking asshole. I couldn’t make sense of how you were meant to hole punch with the ravioli stamp, side by side, fill them, flip the dough over to cover and then hole punch again.
It didn’t look like the photo in the book. It looked like they had only hole punched once in the book, and then hole punched once more when the dough was folded over. I was confused. I tried to do it anyway.
First mistake: I didn’t get fifteen pairs lined up. Also, the recipe says to put a tablespoon of filling in the ravioli imprint. My ravioli stamp must’ve been smaller than the one they had, because I was struggling to get even a teaspoon of filling in there. I know they say size doesn’t matter, but in this case it fucking did.
Trying to fold them over, and restamp to seal them was a disaster, with filling pouring out of all the sides, like some fucked up volcanic erruption, or premature ejaculation. I wish I had taken a photo of the mess that ensued. I had flour in my hair, I was exasperated, and I kept having to remember to stir the pasta sauce while all this was going on. My son kept running into the kitchen and offering up random toy airplanes, helicopters, and angry birds. I kept batting them all away because it just wasn’t helping the situation. You don’t need interruptions when you’re ravioli-ing, damnit! I kept thinking of that scene in the film ‘Goodfellas’ where he keeps telling them to stir the sauce and the helicopters are following him everywhere. Can you call it paranoia if you’re actually being followed?
I took my ejaculated pasta rounds and mushed them with my fingers. The Thugs say you can do this if you don’t have a ravioli stamp, you just gotta be brave. I think having some whisky in your blood would also help the process.
At one point I forgot to wet the sides of the ravioli, and then they wouldn’t stick at all. Finally, I thought I’d formed them enough to drop them in the water and get things going. There was shit loads of filling left over because I’d got the wrong size ravioli stamp. Goddamn wrong size. Hole punch? More like Face Punch!
Once it was all done, it looked really nice. I sprinkled some nooch on top and sat down to eat.
What a disappointment. Turns out I hadn’t rolled the dough out evenly. They weren’t light, the dough was heavy and overpowering. The sauce was good, and the filling was good, but the dough was the flavour and texture that won out over everything else.
Looks delicious though right? Looks can be deceptive, my friend.
It’s times like these that I wish I could just get on the phone and ask Thug Kitchen what the fuck I did wrong. Like call on their assistance during times of culinary doubt, and kitchen despair. Like a TK helpline. What I need is a foul mouthed fairy god mother to come show me how the fuck it’s really done.
Because I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing.
What I do know for sure is that I was not a pastry chef in a past life.
And this helicopter ain’t going nowhere.