soft egg ravioli, almond pasta, rustic bread

First the bread because that really does come first. You'd be surprised how little dry yeast starts this dough the night before and how little attention is given it. It's not even kneaded. You know how yeast is, give them a half decent propitious environment and boom off they go. They're party animals. They have to be kept in line or else they behave with complete abandon imaging themselves taking over the whole world. And they are!

There is 1/8 teaspoon dry yeast added to 1+1/2 cup room temperature water with 2 + 1/2 cups flour and one teaspoon salt. The salt will actually retard the yeast activity somewhat but it won't matter. The next day they yeast has multiplied, taken over the whole bowl, self-kneaded the yeast and grown to its peak. Like this:

Now it's off to the races. 

The oven is preheated to maximum, along with a clay cloche. The wet dough is dumped onto a floured work surface and shaped into a loaf and left covered until the oven and cloche heat up. The shaped loaf is rolled onto the edge of a pie pan to ease transfer into the rocket-hot cloche. 

Now the ravioli. 

This is copied from nearby Palettes Restaurant situated inside the Denver Art Museum. Theirs is a truffle version, and I must say, it is perfect. They've got their act down. It's the most amazing combination of simple ingredients. And the really weird thing about it is the dish is cheapest thing on their menu. And I think it's the best thing on their menu

Here's what their presentation looks like. Odd thing, on the images page, a lot of the images are mine. Weird, huh? Search for them and get myself copying them. Theirs are shown first. And frankly, theirs is better than mine.

Today I decided my dough should have almonds. Toasted almonds are processed in a coffee bean mill along with a greater portion of flour. The almonds bog down to peanut butter consistency so the flour helps keep them dry in the mill. 

My sauce today is flavored cream. 

* mustard powder
* cayenne powder
* garlic
* cumin
* nutmeg

Eh. The pasta smells like almonds more than it tastes like almonds. The almond taste is forfeited to flour, that's dull as a pile of rocks. What a bummer. If I do this again then I'll roll it using the Atlas roller. The sheet was rolled thin as I could and when folded over it turned out too thick. 

It's actually pasta carbonara in ravioli form. There is no real good reason to form ravioli except for being playful. 

I used the smallest eggs available. I think the package says, "medium size eggs." I suppose "small size eggs" is not a useful marketing term. 

I think I like this better with mushrooms. Maybe smoked bacon. On account of the uncooked egg yolks. That's another thing, the ravioli must be removed from the water before the yolks solidify. In the case of eggs inside ravioli and with sprinkled smoked bacon, the pasta carbonara can be considered extravagant carb-loaded bacon and eggs. With un-toasted bread. Whatever. I don't care. I love the whole idea of this, whatever its variation, and it tastes very good. Come on over here, Queen Elizabeth, I'll make us some soft egg ravioli. 

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