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Food Mill

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
What exactly is a food mill? I looked up a recipe for an arrabbiata sauce to coat ravioli in, but it says after I cook it to force it through a food mill.

The aspiring chef,
Rione
post #2 of 12
Food mill - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

It's a way to refine your sauce without puree-ing it.
post #3 of 12
I usually make arrabbiata without passing it in a food mill. The traditional way in rome (or wherever i've been in rome) is to peel the tomatoes first (they have to be GREAT tomatoes otherwise use canned) by putting them for a minute in boiling water and then slipping off the skins. Most people then seed them too. (Cut in half crosswise and pull out the seeds with your fingers. ) This makes it unnecessary to puree later, and in fact the texture is more interesting, and the tomatoes really taste fresh.

Slowly sautee the garlic and hot pepper in olive oil, then add the tomatoes, raise the heat, cook for just a few minutes - 5 to 10, depending on the tomatoes - and then directly put on the pasta. Add fresh parsley at the end - no cheese.

You generally put more long-cooking sauces in the food mill - for instance a "pummarola" where you just slice up carrot, celery, onion, garlic and fresh tomatoes in season, let it all boil (no frying first) until the vegetables are soft, and then put through a food mill. It's a wonderful sauce, and requires no fat, though you might add a piece of butter or a thread of oil at the end after it;s finished cooking. Put your parmigiano directly on the pasta as soon as it's drained, then add the sauce and it sort of creams up with the cheese which the pasta has begun to melt.

However you can use a blender (make sure the sauce is cooled a bit first or it will spurt out and burn you - the heat makes it build up pressure and it's more likely to spurt out) or better, use an immersion blender right in the pot. True, it doesn;t get the seeds out, but it's homogeneous. And don;t blend too much, it shouldn't look like baby food.

Now, as for arrabbiata on ravioli? That is kind of strange. Why would you do that? In general ravioli are kind of delicate and would be killed by a hot pepper sauce, which is really good on plain penne or other short pasta. Is it a special kind of raviolo that's really strong?
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
Actually now that you say it I have to agree with you. I saw the recipe in a magazine and figured that it might be interesting to blend a light cheese raviolo with a hot pepper sauce. But I'm guessing that maybe the sauce would overpower the cheese then...

I'll have to make spicy ravioli then. Anybody have any ideas?

The 13 year old chef,
Rione
post #5 of 12
You're pretty good. Good thinking. Wrong conclusion but good thinking. ;)
post #6 of 12
I agree with Kuan. That's very creative thinking. Keep it up.

Getting back to the food mill, though, for your general fund of information all it is is a leveraged strainer. You turn a crank which drives a bar that forces foodstuff through the fine holes in the bottom.

There are other ways of achieving the smoothness this gives to sauces. For instance, either a real or mock chinois and a plunger accomplishes the same thing. Or just use a stainer and the back of a spoon.

Most of the time this level of smoothness isn't required (some would say even desireable) for the home cook. That a blender or food processor provides all the smoothness you need.

Maybe so. But if fine-straining is your end goal, you should know that there are alternative ways of getting there.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #7 of 12
I don;t know what kind of food mill you have, kyheirloomer, but the point of food mill vs. blender is that it DOESN'T make a velvety smoothness. You would never want an italian pasta sauce to be velvety smooth. The food mill has a larger hole than the chinoise and makes a sort of slightly grainy sauce, its primary purpose being to eliminate the seeds and skin. The blender, instead, does make baby-food type puree, if you don;t watch out, that is, if you don;t just whizz it a couple of times but actually keep it on. There should be some tooth to a sauce, and in fact, for an arrabbiata, there should be actual pieces of tomato.
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #8 of 12
I can't imagine a raviolo that would go well with hot sauce, though possibly some kind of fish ravioli might work (garlicky fish rather than creamy fish). personally i think arrabbiata works best on plain pasta.

Are you actually 13 years old, or have you been cooking for 13 years???

Finally, rione, pronounced ree OH neh, means neighborhood. Is that how you chose your name?
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
Reply
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hmm...The whole reason I was trying to do this was to experiment and find out what the arrabbiata tastes like and use that for future reference. A fish raviolo? Interessante.

Second, yes, I am 13 years old, not 13 years cooking.

I chose the name Rione because it sounds a bit like mio inglese nome.

I think I remember talking with you before...About Pecorino Romano è Parmigiano Reggiano formaggio?
post #10 of 12
Aside from the texture the food mill has an advantage to blenders/Robos in that they don't work air into your sauce. If you are using bright, vibrant tomatoes using a mill will help hold those colours. If you use a blender on the same sauce base it will come out several shades lighter, maybe even leaning towards orange.

--Al
post #11 of 12
Well, complimenti! 13 years old and cooking like that i think there'll be no stopping you. I've had fish ravioli, not crazy about it, but that's my personal taste, but if you really wanted to use arrabbiata on ravioli, it might work.
And i vaguely recall talking about pecorino and parmigiano some time ago. Nice to meet you again.
good luck and buon lavoro
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
Reply
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #12 of 12
A special steel food mill, which is operated by a hand crank to make purees, sauces, dips, etc.
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