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The Selmi Family Holiday Ravioli Tradition

Freshly floured handmade ravioli drying on towel.

Mary and Katy Selmi standing next to each other.

Homemade ravioli has been a holiday tradition in the Selmi household for decades. Up until 2002, Mary, my mother-in-law, made the traditional family ravioli for our Thanksgiving and Christmas feasts. That same year, Mary knew her health was in decline and wanted the Selmi family ravioli tradition to continue. So, she taught my daughter Katy how to make the ravioli from scratch.

Mary’s handwritten secret recipe is now framed along with a picture of her and Katy before Mary left for the hospital for a blood transfusion that same day. Before Mary left, she instructed Katy to carefully place the ravioli away to freeze for the Christmas dinner. Our beloved Mary passed away a few weeks later before Christmas Day.

The following Thanksgiving, the whole family gathered to make Mary’s coveted ravioli. Katy inherited Mary’s role as she had been presented with the rolling pin, pasta machine, and towel used for drying the ravioli.

Person folding pasta over ravioli fillings.

This year’s Thanksgiving marked 19 consecutive years that we’ve gotten together since Mary’s passing. Fifth-generation Selmis know how to do most of the work now, carefully feeding the dough through the pasta machine, plopping the filling, folding the dough over to cut, and sealing the sides with the fork.

Our holiday tradition of making ravioli from scratch each Thanksgiving morning will continue to live on in honor of the joy and delicious comfort Mary’s ravioli brought to our family.


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