Looking at it , it seems like just another old kitchen utensil but the ravioli cutter has quite a history behind it...
We couldn't mention the Mafia out loud.
In our house it was whispered like people used to whisper cancer.
My grandparents were both from Sicily you see.
It wasn't until I was in my teens that I heard about my great Uncle Frank.
It seems Uncle Frank was a Don in the, you know the M word.
He was arrested for tax evasion and sent to federal prison.
Coincidentally my grandmother had the exact same name as Franks younger sister and was able to visit him in prison under the guise of being said sister.
While in that prison Frank was being rehabilitated and one of the things they thought would do the trick was to have the inmates participate in wood working, metal workshops and such.
Frank worked with metal and being Italian, had made a ravioli cutter.
It was made of brass and copper and steel and it was given to my grandmother on one of her visits to the prison.
Not long after leaving prison, Frank disappeared.
They found him in the desert in southern California.
He had been on his way to his farm where he produced, you guessed it, olive oil when he met a very unsettling fate.
Frank was the recipient of an Italian neck tie.
That was in the thirties.
The ravioli cutter became a fixture during my childhood.
Something that was always around and always in use.
Grandma used it faithfully until she died.
Cutting hand made ravioli to serve to family and friends for many years.
I inherited the cutter when grandma passed away and I have it to this day.