[Sca-cooks] cooking from Martino

Louise Smithson helewyse at yahoo.com
Thu Oct 11 08:16:47 PDT 2007

Serena wrote: 
The redaction was of Ravioli for Non-Lenten times and as always there
are some choices to be made.

It calls for two cheeses one "aged" and one "fatty". Aged is pretty
much a no-brainer and I used Parmesan. For this 15th century Italian
dish, what do y'all think would be a good "fatty" cheese that would be
easily obtainable and not break a feast budget.
> In period I believe they would often have used a fresh unaged cheese, similar to farmers cheese.  In the past dependent on the situation (home cooked/feast) I have used fresh mozzarells (home), fresh mozzarella plus ricotta (home) or shredded mozzarells plus ricotta (feast).
It calls for "good chopped herbs", I used Parsley, Marjoram and Thyme
- any thoughts, critiques etc...?
> You may also want to add mint, it turns up a lot in other recipes from Italy, in fact the trifecta usually is Marjoram, mint and parsley with thyme turning up every so often. 

The only spices listed by name are "pepper, cloves and ginger". I used
fresh ginger, but now that I am thinking on it more, the inclusion of
ginger with two other powered spices might imply that I should have
used powdered ginger. Then again, I am fairly confident that you can
grow ginger in most areas of Italy and the fresh would be widely
available. Anyone have any good arguments for one or the other forms?
> pretty much every time I have seen ginger called for in Italian recipes it is calling for "powdered" or "ground".  It is always (to the best of my recollection) lumped with the other spices, pepper cloves etc. I find that powdered ginger incorporates more fully and gives a much better flavor than chunks of chopped ginger in the ravioli. 

Lastly, it says that it would be better with ground capon breast. Has
anyone eaten capon and if so what is the flavor difference between it
and your standard chicken. I used purchased ground chicken for this
redaction which was probably a mixture of dark and white meats
thinking that our modern chicken breast is probably pretty tastless
compared to capon mean and that the extra flavor from the dark meat
would do good.
> Capon is a bigger, meatier, tastier chicken, go ahead use ground chicken.  Question is does the recipe call for the chicken breast to be cooked and then pounded with the other ingredients.  From my recollection of chicken ravioli from other Italian sources this is usually the step that is taken.  In which case you really should be cooking it first and you may as well just buy whole bits of chicken it would be cheaper, if not then just ignore me.  Are there other fat sources added other than the cheese?  The one I have made with chicken stuffing from Scappi included bone marrow as an additional fat source. 

I look forward to any and all thoughts, discussion/arguments that
people might have.

Glad Tidings,

Serena da Riva

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