On the Road to the Sierras: Pie and Ravioli

My BFF and I had plans to spend a couple days at my friend’s cabin in the Sierras.  It is nice to get away from the hustle and bustle, do some hiking, see some wildflowers, and eat and cook good food.  There is never a lack of good food with these friends of mine.  These trips to the cabin typically involve Bay Area grocery shopping prior to leaving town.  This was not the case on this particular trip.  We were assigned a main entrée and a dessert for Saturday dinner.  My BFF had suggested a stop to Vinciguerra Ravioli Company in Jackson.  Her friend had brought her some of these raviolis before which left a good taste in her mouth that reminded her that this needed to be a stop when on Highway 88.  Entrée?  Check.  Dessert was still in question.  I did a quick yelp search for pie near Jackson and was intrigued by the pie at Clements Ridge in the town of Clements, which was also located off Highway 88 in the town of Clements which was on the way to Jackson.  Dessert?  Check. 

We hit Clements Ridge first and there was a lot of pie to choose from, including chicken pot pie.  We asked the guy at the counter which pie was his favorite and he recommended the blackberry pie.  We picked up a take and bake frozen pie so we could bake at the cabin.  Since we hadn’t had lunch yet, we shared a chicken pot pie and a slice of strawberry pie.  The individual sized pot pie was quite tasty, and also dense and filling.  The strawberry pie was an amazing cold pie that hit the spot.  The strawberry filling and the whipped cream brought a sweet and delicate mouthful.

On to Jackson we drove to pick up our ravioli.  Vinciguerra Ravioli Company is a shop where you order your frozen pasta and sauce from a window.  The owner Jim is a very friendly man.   After talking to us for awhile, he invited us inside the shop to show us the ravioli machine.  This hand cranked machine is a one of a kind that he purchased from San Francisco many years ago.  Jim learned to make ravioli from his grandma Teresa.  Grandma Teresa immigrated to the United States from Italy in 1913.  Her husband was a miner and she ran a boarding house in the area.  You could tell that Jim enjoys sharing his pasta with others.  We picked up a box of mushroom ravioli, a box of cheese ravioli, and plenty of marinara sauce.  We followed Jim’s instructions for cooking the pasta and they came out wonderful.  Since we cooked both kinds of ravioli together, it was a bit difficult to distinguish the two.  The texture was similar, and they both were very creamy.  I slightly enjoyed the cheese variety more.  Thank you Jim for sharing!

After baking for one hour, the smell of blackberry pie filled the cabin.  Did it taste as good as it smelled?  Yes it did.  The blackberries were a good balance of sweet and tart.  I took home the last piece of pie and look forward to eating it and reminiscing about the great weekend full of fun, relaxation, and good food and company.