Today’s chakra is green and governs the heart. For me, this is one of the most important and challenging areas of life to keep in balance. Relationships, love, forgiveness, compassion, self-control and self-acceptance. I think the color green makes sense here – it has always seemed like a soothing color to me. It’s also my favorite color. Guess Mom was on to something when she said eat your green leafy vegetables!
Today’s chakra: Anahata – Un-struck Sound (Heart)
Color: Green: acceptance, nurturing & unconditional love
Location: Along the spine behind the heart
Associated body organs: Hands & arms, heart, thymus gland
Controlled emotions: Love, self-acceptance, social identity, compassion, peace, kindness and equality
[For an explanation of the chakras, see Sunday's post.]
Today’s dish is a nourishing, warm comfort food. Easy to eat, not too crunchy, not too spicy, just yummy. [Semi] homemade spinach-mushroom ravioli ala Giada De Laurentiis.
This isn’t necessarily hard to make, but it is a lot of work, so I always double it and freeze whatever portion I’m not going to eat right away. (The proportions below are already doubled from the original recipe. )
First, sauté button mushrooms and spinach. Drain if necessary, then process in a food processor. Transfer to a large bowl and mix with parmesan and mascarpone cheese.
Rather than making pasta from scratch, this recipe uses egg roll wrappers. They’re a bit thinner and lighter than traditional pasta, and very easy to use.
You can make four raviolis with two egg roll wrappers. Brush one sheet with an egg-water mixture, spoon on four portions of filling, and cover with a second sheet. Press to enclose filling, then cut with a fluted ravioli cutter.
Cook in batches of three to prevent ravioli from sticking together in the pot. For the sauce, combine two or three varieties of finely chopped mushrooms with either storebought or homemade marinara sauce and warm. Top raviolis with sauce and more fresh-grated parmesan and serve.
1/4 cup plus 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
12 ounces button mushrooms, sliced
1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
2 (10 oz) packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
1/4 cup all-purpose flour (for dusting baking sheet)
12 egg roll wrappers
1 large egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water
1 cup finely chopped assorted mushrooms (such as cremini, button, or stemmed shiitake)
5 cups marinara sauce
In a large sauté pan heat 1/4 cup of oil over a medium-high flame. Add the sliced button mushrooms and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Sauté until the liquid has evaporated from the mushrooms, about 6 minutes.
Add the spinach and sauté for 2 minutes. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until a coarse texture forms. Transfer the spinach mixture to a large bowl and stir in 2/3 cup of Parmesan cheese and the mascarpone. Season the filling with more salt and pepper to taste.
Lightly flour a baking sheet. Arrange 6 egg roll wrappers on a cutting board. Brush with the egg and water mixture. Using a tablespoon, spoon 4 mounds of the spinach mixture 1 inch apart on each wrapper, forming 2 mounds on the first row and 2 mounds on the second. Top each with another wrapper and press around the filling to seal the edges. Using a fluted ravioli cutter, cut out the ravioli squares, forming 24 total. Place the ravioli on the prepared baking sheet and cover with a clean towel.
In a large, heavy sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over a medium-high flame. Add the chopped assorted mushrooms and sauté until soft and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 8 minutes. Carefully stir in the marinara sauce and simmer for 5 minutes. Season the mushroom sauce with more salt and pepper to taste.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the remaining two tablespoons of oil. Adding 4 ravioli at a time to the boiling salted water, cook the ravioli until tender, about 3 minutes (working in small batches will prevent the ravioli from crowding in the pot and sticking together). Using a slotted spoon, transfer the ravioli to 4 plates. Spoon the mushroom sauce over the ravioli, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, and serve immediately.
If you freeze uncooked ravioli, to make sure they don’t stick together, line a cookie sheet with either wax paper or plastic wrap, arrange a single layer of ravioli on the sheet, freeze for 15 minutes, and then place them into a resealable plastic bag and store in the freezer. When you are ready to serve, toss the frozen ravioli into boiling salted and oiled water and cook for 3 minutes.