Zia Lena's Raviolis
- RECIPE YEAR: 2017
- YIELD: Serves 8
- PAIRS WELL WITH: Mazzoni clone Zin
Born in Italy in 1897, Lena Mazzoni was the beloved great-aunt of Mark and Lisa Mazzoni, the owners and winemaker of Zialena wines in Geyserville. Every year around the holidays, Lena would set about making her raviolis for the entire Mazzoni family. She made them by hand, and it took her 3 days to complete them. The family loves them so much that they keep this tradition alive today.
- 1 whole chicken
- 1 onion, halved
- 2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
- 2 carrots, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup canned tomatoes
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 2/3 loaf day-old French bread, sliced paper-thin
- 2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
- 1/2 pound ground veal
- 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 pounds spinach
- 4 eggs, lightly beaten
To prepare the ravioli filling, in a large pot, make the chicken broth by simmering the chicken in water with the onion, celery, carrots, tomatoes, salt and pepper. Strain the broth. Refrigerate the broth and chicken overnight. Skim off the accumulated fat from the broth. Remove the breast meat from the chicken, discarding the skin and bones. Finely grind the meat. Set aside. Bring 4 cups of the broth to a boil. In a large bowl, soak the bread in the broth. Add the cheese to the bread mixture and stir well. In a large fry pan, slowly brown the ground beef and veal until cooked through. Add the parsley, garlic and ground chicken and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper, and add the allspice, nutmeg and cinnamon. Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan, cook the spinach until tender. Drain the spinach very well, squeezing it dry, and finely chop. Add the spinach to the bread mixture, then add the meat mixture and the eggs. Stir well. Refrigerate overnight.
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 eggs
- Salt, to taste
- Cold water as needed
To prepare the ravioli dough, place the flour in a large bowl and form a well in the center. In a small bowl, beat the eggs with a pinch of salt and pour into the well. Mix well by hand, slowly adding just enough cold water to hold the mixture together. Then knead the dough until it’s a smooth, yellow ball. Let rest for 30 minutes.
Filling and Cooking Raviolis
- Olive oil as needed
- Salt, to taste
To fill the raviolis, cut off pieces of the dough and roll out paper-thin. Place the filling by the teaspoonful in a row along the dough. Fold the dough over the filling, then cut out each pocket of dough-covered filling with a ravioli cutter or the bottom of a glass. Using a fork, press the edges of the dough together. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add olive oil and salt. Working in batches, add the raviolis in the slowly boiling water and cook until they rise to the top and then scoop out.