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Ravioli

19 Mar

My love affair with ravioli started early, with the canned variety.

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As I grew older and my palate became more sophisticated, I ventured beyond the can.

For fancy dinners my family would go to an Italian restaurant on Barton Street in Hamilton, Ontario called The Trocadero. That is where I first encountered homemade ravioli. It was a wonder and a revelation. They made marvelous cheese ravioli. Delectable  little half-moons stuffed with cheese and seasoned to perfection. The restaurant is still there, still serving Italian food, though I;ve not been there for many, many years.

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While attending the University of Toronto, I told my boyfriend about my love affair with ravioli. These were the days before the internet, so we went to the Toronto Public Library  near Bloor and Yonge

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and found a book that gave step-by-step instructions on how to make ravioli at home. We bought the ingredients on the way back to my apartment and spent a glorious day making, then eating our ravioli, until we were as stuffed as the ravioli themselves.

Since then, ravioli options have exploded in the grocery store. Cheese, meat, three cheese, four cheese, cheese and spinach, butternut squash,  lobster…. The options are endless, though a simple cheese ravioli is my preference. I judge an Italian restaurant by the quality of their cheese ravioli.

When kids ask, “Miss Gillespie, What is you favorite food?” I always answer, “Ravioli, but not the kind in the can.” I want them to know there is an alternative out there so that, someday, they might have  culinary love affair with a food of their own. Maybe it will be ravioli.

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