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Ravioli

6 cups canned spinach (4 14-oz. cans)
1/4 lb. saltine crackers, plus 6 more crackers
1 lb. sausage
2 cans pork brains, drained
9 eggs - separate and save whites for dough (keep whites in groups of three)
1/4 lb. yellow cheese (extra sharp cheddar is good), grated
1/4 lb. Romano cheese, grated
1/4 to 1/2 cup olive oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Drain spinach, then squeeze in cheesecloth. Cook sausage in skillet,
crumbling as you stir. Drain grease from the sausage. Add pork
brains and cook mixture for a few minutes. Grind the spinach
through a meat grinder, making sure the spinach is well drained of
liquid. A few crackers at the end of the grinding will help clean
the grinder. Put the meat mixture through the grinder - adding
crackers at the end to get all the meat through the grinder. Mix
the spinach, meat, beaten egg yolks, grated cheeses, olive oil,
salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use. This makes about
5 Cups of dressing, that should be enough to make approximately
300 ravioli.


3 makings of dough will be about enough for the sauce above.

1 quart plain flour
about 1/2 cup water
3 egg whites
1 teaspoon salt
about 1/3 cup olive oil

In a mixer or large bowl, put the flour, mixed with the salt. Add
the egg whites, then the olive oil. Mix and slowly add the water,
a little at a time until the dough appears well mixed, but not wet.
Knead for 8 - 10 minutes, or until the dough has a velvety feel.
Put the dough onto the rolling surface and cover with a mixing bowl
for 15 - 30 minutes. Cut the ball of dough into 2 pieces and roll
each one until thin, almost transparent. While rolling the first
half, place the other in the mixing bowl and cover with a damp
cloth. A small amount of flour is needed to roll out the dough.
After the dough is rolled out, fold the dough in half and cut the
sides so that all side appear equal. Unfold the dough and place
the dressing on the dough. Put a small amount, maybe 1/4 to 1/2
teaspoon, in rows on one half of the rolled dough. After the
dressing has been placed on one half of the dough, paint the other
half lightly with water immediately before folding the dough over
the half with dressing. After folding the dough, press between
the dressing pats with fingers. Cut between the pats with a ravioli
cutter. Quick freeze the cut ravioli on a baking sheet ( at least
30 minutes, the ravioli should be firm enough to place in freezer
bags) and then place in the freezer bags ( Ziploc work the best).
Freeze until ready to cook. Cook by adding the ravioli to boiling
water (salted with a little olive oil added). Cook until the dough
is easily pierced with a sharp knife point. It can take from 15
to 30 minutes. Be sure that there is enough water to allow the
ravioli to move freely in the boiling water.


Gravy

3 large cans whole tomatoes
1 large can tomato paste (12 oz.)
1 large can tomato sauce (15 oz.)
5 to 6 lbs. chuck roast (bone-in)
1/2 dozen large onions, chopped
1 teaspoon garlic, chopped
2 bay leaves
dried parsley (sprinkled generously)
6 stalks of celery, chopped
3 packages dried mushrooms
olive oil
salt
black pepper

Begin by draining the liquid from the tomatoes, reserving the tomato
juice. Be chopping the onions and celery while the tomatoes drain.
Put a little olive oil in the bottom of the pot to be used ( a
large pot will be needed). Brown all sides of the chuck roast.
Remove the meat when browned and add the onions, celery, and garlic
to the pot. Cook until transparent. Add the reserved tomato juice,
and chop the tomatoes into small pieces before adding ( a food
processor works best). Add the tomato paste and the tomato sauce.
Rinse the cans with water and add to the pot. Place the meat into
the pot. Add enough water to cover the meat and vegetables. Put
in the Bay Leaves and generously sprinkle the parsley. Put the
top on the pot and cook slowly for 3 to 4 hours, stirring every 15
to 20 minutes. Remove the meat after the 3 to 4 hours ( the longer
the better) and cut the meat into small pieces before returning
to the gravy. Add the reconstituted mushrooms at this time along
with their juice. If you can find it, add 1 teaspoon of Pesto all
Genovese Basil Sauce at this time also. Cook a while longer,
stirring to thoroughly mix the meat, mushrooms, and tomato gravy.
Cool gravy and package for freezing. This recipe makes approximately
25 cups of gravy.


Reconstituting the Dried Mushrooms

Put the dried mushrooms in a pan and cover with warm water. The
pan can be set on the back of the stove while the gravy cooks.
The mushrooms should soak for several hours in the water, more
water may need to be added as the mushrooms reconstitute. Carefully
lift the mushrooms out of the water and pour the liquid through a
coffee filter - making sure to save the strained liquid. Chop the
mushrooms into small pieces and add to the gravy along with the
strained liquid.

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