Food, food culture, food as culture and the cultures that grow our food

New Year’s resolution No. 12: Make a good recipe for yoghurt ravioli

January 17, 2006

Ever since I’ve been back in the city, all I do is act like I’m not busy at all and that these short, dark days are endlessly long. It feels like I’ve got all the time in the world, which I’m guessing is a sign of mental health. Please don’t let the Languedoc wear off.

In between all the other ‘very urban, very important’ things that absolutely must get done this week, all involving lots of writing and revising and asking for huge amounts of money from those that keep our culture out of harm’s way, I somehow got the notion that now is the perfect time to develop a recipe for yoghurt ravioli. ‘Make a recipe for yoghurt ravioli’ is literally at the top of my to-do list. Imagine having my brain for only a day.

It’s the journey, not the destination, and true to form, I didn’t ask the source of my inspiration how they made their yoghurt ravioli, preferring instead to embark on a lengthy process of experimentation. Actually, all the experimenting has yielded some pretty important material information and several methods for preparation, so I’m glad I decided to not confer with those more knowledgeable and just figure things out for myself. When I think I’m done, I’ll feel more like I’m sharing and give them a buzz. Fortunately the recipe so far seems to involve a fair amount of waiting for things to drip.

Yoghurt Ravioli (recipe in development)

These are not ‘ravioli’ that you are going to cook. This is essentially a recipe for little disks of Dutch ‘hangop’, or drained yoghurt, sandwiching a filling. The fattier the yoghurt, the easier it will be to make this recipe work.

linen or tightly woven cheesecloth ~50×50cm
a big ‘ol rubber band
a large deep bowl

Fatty Turkish yoghurt (10% fat! If you can’t get this, add creme fraiche to 5% fat yoghurt - fat is good)
fleur de sel or finely ground sea salt

Soak the linen in water and wring it out. Give the cloth a good ’snap’ to shake out the big wrinkles. Place the cloth over a large bowl and secure it with a rubber band, spanning the cloth tight like a drum head and pulling down on the opposite corners a few times to achieve extra tautness.

In a wide mouthed jar, add the salt to the yoghurt and give it a good shaking. Pour the yoghurt mixture in blobs onto the linen cloth. Make rows or a symmetrical pattern to help ease the removal of the ravioli. You’ll see why you need to do this later, trust me.

Let the yoghurt drip for at least 6 hours. No need to refridgerate unless you have food phobias.

To remove the ravioli: Try to keep the linen cloth flat, avoiding as much as possible letting it bend because this could cause the ravioli to crack. Slip the rubber band off the jar and carefully lift the cloth onto a flat surface.

To fill and remove the ravioli: Place a filling on a ravioli bottom, and then, lifting the cloth, fold it over to place a ‘top’ onto each ravioli, gently letting the ‘top’ stick to the bottom. Very carefully peel back the linen, as you would remove the back liner from a sticker, and let gravity help you in this endeavour whenever possible. Do this to all of the ravioli.

Some of the many possible fillings may include:

roasted (pickled) red peppers out of a jar
saag (spiced creamed spinach)
a hunk of smoked herring or mackerel filet
think of yer own dang filling
thawed fresh frozen peas and crumbled sheep cheese in brine

Serve up some soup that marries well with dairy, like spicy pumpkin, or borscht. It’s too wintry to fuss with contrast. Contrasts are summer’s business. Over the awaiting soup bowl, peel off the ravioli from the linen tea towel, letting it slip gently into the soup. No plopping. Nice and easy.

debra at 22:40 | | post to


  1. So far so stunning. bootiful!

    Comment by kristi van Riet — January 18, 2006 @ 1:18

  2. Why thank you, Ktje. This recipe is fiddly enough to be something that you might enjoy. I can imagine that one of your chutneys or pickles would go great with this. We’ll try it out in March.

    Comment by Debra — January 18, 2006 @ 12:09

culiblog is a registered trademark of Debra Solomon since 1995. Bla bla bla, sue yer ass. The content in this weblog is the intellectual property of the author and is licensed under a Creative Commons Deed (Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5).