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St. Louis's Italian neighborhood is called the Hill, home to an abbodanza of old-world tradition and treasure like the Volpi Salumeria, America’s oldest and most prestigious manufacturer of hand-crafted, authentic Italian meat products. As the USDA didn't lift their ban on Italian prosciutto until the 1980s, props to the generations of the Volpi family for keeping America supplied with their premium, authentic rendition which still stands head to head with Parma's finest. Oh, and the Hill gave us NY Yankees legend Yogi Berra, a treasure of another sort. Sample Yogi-ism: "Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded." For more priceless Yogi wisdom click here. But before we get on with this St. Louis-style meat ravioli recipe, drop everything and read this post on 100miles.com. Okay then. So take this little test. Hie on down to your gourmet grocer and check out the array of fresh ravioli. What do you see? I see lobster, I see four cheese. I see wild mushroom, I see asparagus. I see pesto and sun dried tomatoes. On a lucky day I might espy a forlorn chicken tortellini lurking in depths of the refrigerated case. Where's the beef? What happened to the ravioli of yore, delicious pillows of lightly seasoned meat in a simple marinara sauce? Chef Boyardee seems to be the only one who's kept the faith. God bless the old dear, there's a time and place for everything, including canned ravioli — like camping trips. Please Chef B., don't take this the wrong way, but I grew up with better. Except on those Boy Scout trips when you and Dinty Moore were the kings of campfire cuisine. . Tracking down the ravioli of my youth is nigh impossible, short of having it flown in from St. Louis. Which in fact dad has done for big family ravioli feasts out in East Hampton with brother Brendan and Karen and their four young eager eaters. So I finally made good on my threats and bought my very first pasta maker: The Imperia Pastaia Italiana Pasta Set ,the pride of Torino. Oh my, it's a beauty. I got the deluxe set, with all sorts of fierce looking cutters I haven't braved touching yet. Luckily rolling thin sheets of fresh pasta for ravioli was surprisingly easy and fun – a first step before progressing to the more intricate attachments. I followed the instructions that came with the Imperia machine, flour, eggs, a bit of water. And even though we've all seen this iconic image of the flour pile with eggs in the middle a million times before, creating my own was a thrill. Imagine having only ever seen a postcard of St. Peter's Basilica and then finally climbing your way up the dome and peering out over the Eternal City. My flour and egg pile was kind of like that. Well, maybe not quite as epic, but emotions did run high. Our table out on the deck was best suited for clamping the roller in place, which gave the proceedings a certain "Real Housewives of New Jersey" feel. Remember the episode when they turned the driveway over to canning crates and crates of tomatoes? Only at Springy Banks we didn't have the harridan Theresa to contend with, she of the gorilla hairline. Make the dough, refrigerate for a couple of hours, and roll and flour and fold over then roll again, and again, and again, dialing down the thickness each time. Presto! Long pliable sheets ready to be filled with lightly spiced meat, enriched with ricotta. In addition to the traditional beef, veal, pork mix, I included a hefty handful of finely minced mortadella (Volpi, natch). Lay out the thin sheets, add a teaspoon of filling, then top with a second sheet. I used a round hand cutter to press and seal the shapes. Dough trimmings ware left to dry on this neato rack. These odds and ends are called Malfatti and boil up into nice floppy, irregular noodles, perfect for an entanglement with a hearty ragu. So what are you waiting for? As Yogi said, if you don't try your hand on your personal ravioli filling, "It ain't the heat, it's the humility." Click here for the recipe for St. Louis Hill Meat Ravioli. Доброго утра! Хорошего дня!. Доброе утро
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