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Ravioli caprese

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Feasting On Art

(Read caption) Ravioli caprese is a simple pasta with a chicken and ricotta filling and topped with a fresh lemon basil sauce.

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Classified as a filled pasta, ravioli dates back to the 14th century from the writings of Francesco di Marco (1). The word ravioli is similar to the Italian verb "to wrap," riavvolgere, although it is not a derivative. Traditionally, pasta dough is rolled out as thinly as possible and then wrapped around a filling. Italian-Americans pioneered the canned style, often beef in a tomato or tomato-cheese sauce.

Growing up as a Midwesterner, the dish was synonymous with the purveyors of the canned variety – Chef Boyardee, an Ohio company dating back to 1924. This recipe offers large ravioli, with three to four equating to a generous dinner. The olive oil, lemon and fresh basil keep the dish light, otherwise the filling pasta becomes a stodgy meal – much like it’s canned counterpart.

István Csók was a Hungarian artist who worked all over Europe in the late 19th and early 20th century. Stylistically, he combined the Naturalism and Impressionism of the French after studying in Paris in the 1880s. Amalfi was painted later in Csók’s career the same year he held the solo exhibition Fränkel Salon in Budapest. He is one of the select few non-Italian artists who have a self-portrait hanging in the prestigious Uffizi Gallery in Florence (2). Allegedly, Csók also claimed a position within pop culture history through the 1971 film Countess Dracula where his 1896 painting of the Countess Elizabeth Bathory torturing young women can be spotted in the opening credits.

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