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Holy ravioli: Woodcreek High School students build world's biggest ravioli

The culinary arts classes' creation weighs estimated 200 pounds
By: Sena Christian, The Press Tribune
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Some people like really big things. Those people include teacher Susie McGuire and her culinary arts students at Woodcreek High School in Roseville. The students partnered with the Institute of Technology this week to make the world’s largest meat, spinach and cheese ravioli. The ravioli measures 5 square feet and came in at an estimated 200 pounds after an unveiling Friday night. The previous world record ravioli weighed 37 pounds. “I love competition,” McGuire said. “I love to see my students succeed. Every one of them will have created this for the world record. They can tell their kids and grandkids. It’s wonderful.” Fellow students gathered on the campus quad Friday evening to finish cooking and pour buckets of sauce on giant ravioli. But the real work began Thursday when students browned ground beef and chopped up onions. They mixed together Parmesan and cottage cheese, oregano, breadcrumbs, parsley and nutmeg to create the filling, which also featured eight-dozen eggs from social science teacher Laura Bullard’s hen house. “How are the raviolis coming along?” McGuire asked her class of 36 students Thursday morning. “I’m proud of all of you for breaking a world record.” Three culinary classes and one Regional Occupational Program class prepared the filling. Six groups in each class made a batch to add to a large pot. Senior Sarah Schmalenberger, 18, helped her group brown the meat and chop spinach. “At the beginning of the year, (McGuire) told us we we’re going to do this and we were really excited,” Schmalenberger said. Throughout their time in culinary class, the students cook and bake up dozens of feasts, including Belgian waffles, chicken noodle soup, fajitas, muffins and Philly cheese steak sandwiches. Although many of the students don’t necessarily plan on pursuing careers as chefs, they learn skills to make them healthier eaters, and better partners and parents in the future, McGuire said. “I could make cake mixes out of boxes,” said Amy Paulsen, 17. “But (this class) has taught me a lot. It’s probably the best class I’ve ever taken and you get to eat all the time.” Woodcreek High School previously made history with the world’s longest kebab at 3,660 feet, on May 22, 1998. The record still stands. The previous kabob was a mere 2,889 feet long. This past fall, a guest speaker from Bucca di Beppo inspired McGuire and her students to make Italian food for their next world record bid and they settled on the world’s largest ravioli. Anthony Johnisse of the Institute of Technology oversaw his students as they made dough from scratch that included flour, olive oil and nutmeg. On Friday, culinary students from both schools boiled the ravioli in a specially made pan created by Larry Gish at Roseville Sheet Metal Inc., who donated more than 30 hours of his time to make the pan and liner. Mike Philemon of WHS Site Maintenance helped design the pan and prepare the site for cooking the ravioli. The young chefs filled the pan with water and heated the contraption with six propane burners. The ravioli was placed in the pan and boiled to perfection. After draining the pan, students covered the ravioli with class-made marinara sauce and parsley. The finished ravioli will soon be distributed to local food banks, including Roseville Home Start, Roseville St. Vincent de Paul’s Food Kitchen and Sacramento Loaves and Fishes. Thursday morning, before the big ravioli reveal, Tiffanie Harada, 17, rushed around her team’s kitchen space finalizing their ravioli filling. “I’m really excited,” Harada said. “I never thought something this exciting would happen to me.” Sena Christian can be reached at senac@goldcountrymedia.com. ---------- Recipe for Woodcreek High School’s meat, cheese and spinach ravioli filling 64 pounds ground beef, cooked 16 onions, finely chopped 32 garlic cloves, minced 32-9ounces bags fresh spinach, finely chopped 3 containers fresh oregano, finely chopped 10 bunches fresh parsley, chopped 32 cups fresh breadcrumbs 8 pounds grated Parmesan cheese 16-2 pound containers cottage cheese 5oz. salt 5oz. black pepper 2oz. nutmeg 128 large eggs (11 dozen) Directions: Finely chop onion and garlic. In a large fry pan, cook ground beef, chopped garlic and chopped onion, and cook until meat is completely browned. Drain fat from meat in colander. Place meat back in fry pan. Finely chop spinach. Add chopped spinach to cooked meat in fry pan and cook until it is wilted, about two-three minutes. Set aside. Finely chop oregano and parsley. In a large bowl, mix together the oregano, parsley, breadcrumbs, grated parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Stir in cooked ground beef, garlic, onion and spinach mixture. In a small bowl, add cottage cheese and whisk in four eggs and stir into meat, cheese and spinach mixture. Place finished filling in storage container Directions are for a single recipe. Woodcreek’s giant ravioli will be made by 32 groups of culinary students. Source: Susie McGuire, teacher at Woodcreek High School ---------- Guinness World Records for food: Largest muffin: 195.55 pounds, measuring 2 feet 7 inches in diameter and 1 foot 6 inches in height. Baked by master baker Gerhard Hinz at the Schanzenbackerei bakery in Hamburg, Germany, on February 27, 2010. Largest hamburger: 164.8 pounds. Available for $399 at Mallie’s Sports Grill and Bar in Southgate, Michigan, as of August 29, 2008. Largest tiramisu: 1,724 pounds and 14 ounces. Made by Colonia Italiana in Porrentruy, Switzerland, on June, 30, 2007. Longest kebab: 3,660 feet. Made by Woodcreek High School students on the football field in Roseville, Calif. on May 22, 1998. Longest line of pizzas: 1,563 feet, 11 inches. The line consisted of 2,129 pizzas. Made by Tamburino Restaurant in Yeovil, United Kingdom, on June 29, 2008. Source: www.guinnessworldrecords.com.