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Ravioli

Ingredients
  • 6 cups canned spinach (4 14-oz. cans)
  • 1/4 lb. saltine crackers, plus 6 more crackers
  • 1 lb. sausage
  • 2 cans pork brains, drained
  • 9 eggs - separate and save whites for dough (keep whites in groups of three)
  • 1/4 lb. yellow cheese (extra sharp cheddar is good), grated
  • 1/4 lb. Romano cheese, grated
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Instructions

Drain spinach, then squeeze in cheesecloth. Cook sausage in skillet, crumbling as you stir. Drain grease from the sausage. Add pork brains and cook mixture for a few minutes. Grind the spinach through a meat grinder, making sure the spinach is well drained of liquid. A few crackers at the end of the grinding will help clean the grinder. Put the meat mixture through the grinder - adding crackers at the end to get all the meat through the grinder. Mix the spinach, meat, beaten egg yolks, grated cheeses, olive oil, salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use. This makes about 5 Cups of dressing, that should be enough to make approximately 300 ravioli. 3 makings of dough will be about enough for the sauce above. 1 quart plain flour about 1/2 cup water 3 egg whites 1 teaspoon salt about 1/3 cup olive oil In a mixer or large bowl, put the flour, mixed with the salt. Add the egg whites, then the olive oil. Mix and slowly add the water, a little at a time until the dough appears well mixed, but not wet. Knead for 8 - 10 minutes, or until the dough has a velvety feel. Put the dough onto the rolling surface and cover with a mixing bowl for 15 - 30 minutes. Cut the ball of dough into 2 pieces and roll each one until thin, almost transparent. While rolling the first half, place the other in the mixing bowl and cover with a damp cloth. A small amount of flour is needed to roll out the dough. After the dough is rolled out, fold the dough in half and cut the sides so that all side appear equal. Unfold the dough and place the dressing on the dough. Put a small amount, maybe 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon, in rows on one half of the rolled dough. After the dressing has been placed on one half of the dough, paint the other half lightly with water immediately before folding the dough over the half with dressing. After folding the dough, press between the dressing pats with fingers. Cut between the pats with a ravioli cutter. Quick freeze the cut ravioli on a baking sheet ( at least 30 minutes, the ravioli should be firm enough to place in freezer bags) and then place in the freezer bags ( Ziploc work the best). Freeze until ready to cook. Cook by adding the ravioli to boiling water (salted with a little olive oil added). Cook until the dough is easily pierced with a sharp knife point. It can take from 15 to 30 minutes. Be sure that there is enough water to allow the ravioli to move freely in the boiling water. Gravy 3 large cans whole tomatoes 1 large can tomato paste (12 oz.) 1 large can tomato sauce (15 oz.) 5 to 6 lbs. chuck roast (bone-in) 1/2 dozen large onions, chopped 1 teaspoon garlic, chopped 2 bay leaves dried parsley (sprinkled generously) 6 stalks of celery, chopped 3 packages dried mushrooms olive oil salt black pepper Begin by draining the liquid from the tomatoes, reserving the tomato juice. Be chopping the onions and celery while the tomatoes drain. Put a little olive oil in the bottom of the pot to be used ( a large pot will be needed). Brown all sides of the chuck roast. Remove the meat when browned and add the onions, celery, and garlic to the pot. Cook until transparent. Add the reserved tomato juice, and chop the tomatoes into small pieces before adding ( a food processor works best). Add the tomato paste and the tomato sauce. Rinse the cans with water and add to the pot. Place the meat into the pot. Add enough water to cover the meat and vegetables. Put in the Bay Leaves and generously sprinkle the parsley. Put the top on the pot and cook slowly for 3 to 4 hours, stirring every 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the meat after the 3 to 4 hours ( the longer the better) and cut the meat into small pieces before returning to the gravy. Add the reconstituted mushrooms at this time along with their juice. If you can find it, add 1 teaspoon of Pesto all Genovese Basil Sauce at this time also. Cook a while longer, stirring to thoroughly mix the meat, mushrooms, and tomato gravy. Cool gravy and package for freezing. This recipe makes approximately 25 cups of gravy. Reconstituting the Dried Mushrooms Put the dried mushrooms in a pan and cover with warm water. The pan can be set on the back of the stove while the gravy cooks. The mushrooms should soak for several hours in the water, more water may need to be added as the mushrooms reconstitute. Carefully lift the mushrooms out of the water and pour the liquid through a coffee filter - making sure to save the strained liquid. Chop the mushrooms into small pieces and add to the gravy along with the strained liquid.

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