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Comforting Colorful Ravioli #FoodieReads #Sponsored

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However, all opinions expressed here are my own.

I found myself reading, taking notes, but not heading to the kitchen to post any inspired recipes for the entire final quarter of 2021. But I'm catching up now. So, let's start with Mothertrucker: Finding Joy on the Loneliest Road in America by Amy Butcher.

On the Page

In this poignant, heart-wrenching memoir, essayist Amy Butcher narrates her unlikely adventure on the loneliest road in America with this country's lone female ice trucker. The late Joy 'Mothertrucker' Wiebe was effervescent and inspiring. Through Butcher's recounting, we see her exploration and conversations with Joy about issues including Indigenous rights, religious beliefs, hypocrisy, and even environmental challenges.

I read this book in just two sittings. A word of warning: if you are triggered by descriptions of domestic violence, skip this book. Both Joy and Amy detail past abuses. Before Amy goes to Alaska to meet Joy, she writes, "I realize all I know of Joy is a series of stark bullet points I have shaped into a character. I know, for example, that she is petite with long brown hair and looks like the kind of person who could make a very fine rustic soup—something with potatoes and red lentils, stewed kale and the half-moons of carrots."

And it is just that dichotomy - a petite woman who works as an ice trucker - that makes this book fascinating and compelling.       

On the Plate

There was actually quite a bit of food mentioned in this memoir. The breakfast bar at Butcher's hotel had my mouth watering: "The breakfast bar is beyond bountiful, with not one but two Belgian waffle makers, a pot of simmering oatmeal, a bevy of omelet fixings, and the soft, smooth roundness of bagels. There’s a setup of ramekins heaping with sliced almonds and dried cranberries, agave syrup and chocolate chips. I fill my plate with scrambled eggs and waffles and a tiny single-serving packet of Nutella."

I thought about making pie in honor of the Hilltop Truck Stop "—a gas station, convenience store, and diner all in one and the last business establishment before the Dalton Highway. 'Their official slogan,' Joy tells me, laughing, 'is simply I BRAKE FOR PIE.'" That's a slogan I can get behind!

Of course Joy's moose roast was intriguing though I don't have any idea where moose meat would even be available to me. 

And I enjoyed Joy chastising Amy for her food choices. "Joy told me earlier in the supermarket, scanning the ingredients on a bottle of kombucha—women know well enough to plan ahead. 'You eat Fritos, you become a Frito.'"

But, in the end, I was inspired by some superfood powders that I had gotten from and the book's cover. If you thought that* only sold nuts, you are not alone. Really, until I started working with them earlier this year, I assumed they only sold nuts. But I started exploring their offerings and excitedly noticed that their products run the gamut from nuts and seeds to coffee and tea.

They also sell chocolates, sweets, whole grains, artisan pastas, and - what I am showcasing in this post - superfood powders. I pitched the idea of using some of their powders to color handmade pasta. So, here we go. These colors reminded me of the colors of the Northern Light from the cover of the book.

And I was inspired by this passage: "Here in the Prudhoe Bay Hotel, we are all hungry and fatigued and lonely. We are comforted by ravioli. We miss our familiar world within driving distance, the ability to order shrimp lo mein. It’s so tough up here, they tell me. It’s so lonely and remote. But Joy is always the friendly face, the woman with the electric smile. They say her name with great affection. They all tell me the same thing: that any friend of Joy’s is a friend to them, absolutely." Pasta is definitely one of my comfort foods.

I have been making a lot of handmade pasta recently. A lot. For this, I made three pastas doughs - one colored with their Organic Cherry Powder, one colored with their Organic Wild Blueberry Powder, and one plain - and I laminated them together to make some beautiful Springtime ravioli. If I blew your mind with the fact that the website sells more than nuts, how about that you can laminate pasta dough without a pasta machine. Just you and your trusty rolling pin. 

Ingredients serves 4

Basic Pasta Dough

  • 200 grams semolina flour (approximately 1-3/4 cups)
  • 125 grams pasta flour (approximately 1-2/3 cups)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 to 3 Tablespoons water or more as needed

Blue Pasta Dough
  • 200 grams semolina flour (approximately 1-3/4 cups)
  • 125 grams pasta flour (approximately 1-2/3 cups)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons Organic Wild Blueberry Powder
  • 2 to 3 Tablespoons water or more as needed
  • Optional: plant-based food dye if you aren't happy with the color of the dough without it
Pink Pasta Dough
  • 200 grams semolina flour (approximately 1-3/4 cups)
  • 125 grams pasta flour (approximately 1-2/3 cups)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons Organic Cherry Powder
  • 2 to 3 Tablespoons water or more as needed
  • Optional: plant-based food dye if you aren't happy with the color of the dough without it
  • 1 cup chopped garden greens (I used rainbow chard from my CSA box)
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped Spring onions
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh herbs (I used oregano and parsley from a friend's garden)
  • 1 egg 
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • three kinds of pasta dough (above)
  • Also needed: flour, rolling pin, water in a spray bottle, ravioli cutter
  • sauce (I used a jarred sauce)
  • herbs
  • semi-dried tomatoes
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • olive oil for drizzling
  • parmesan cheese for grating
Pasta Dough
The procedure is the same for all the doughs, so I am only writing it once time.

Place all of the dry ingredients medium mixing bowl. Add the wet ingredients. Whisk until it comes together in a shaggy ball. Turn the dough onto a floured cutting board and knead until smooth and elastic, approximately 5 minutes. Wrap the dough in plastic and let rest for, at least, 30 minutes at room temperature.

Stir all of the ingredients together until well-combined. Set aside.

Cut each dough ball into quarters and wrap the piece you aren't using in plastic.

One quarter at a time, roll the dough out till it's approximately 11" x 6". Lay that on a floured parchment and repeat with the different colors. Before laying the next dough on top of the pile, spritz it with water and gently press the doughs together. At the end, your dough stack will look like this.

Trim the uneven edges of the dough and set aside. You should have a long rectangle. Cut the rectangle in half and stack the halves on top of each other like this. Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.

Slice the laminated dough into 1/2" slabs. Place that on a clean, floured surface and roll the dough out as thin as you can with a rolling pin.

Place a mound of filling on the dough, in the top third, and spray the entire surface with water.

Fold the rolled dough over the top of the filling. Press out any extra air to create a seal around the filling.

Using a ravioli cutter, cut around the filling carefully. Place the finished ravioli on a floured parchment-lined cookie sheet. Repeat until all of the dough or all of the filling has been used.

To cook these: drop them into salted, boiling water. Cook for four to five minutes. Gently remove them from the pot. 

As I mentioned, for this batch, I used a jarred sauce and just served it with a sprinkle of salt, pepper, a drizzle of olive oil, and some fresh herbs and semi-dried tomatoes as a garnish.

I can't wait to try this with the other colored powders from!

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*Disclosure: I received compensation in the form of product samples for recipe development and generating social media traction. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the sponsor.


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