Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Mushroom Ravioli

I've never been much of a mushroom fan - until lately. It started with the Mushroom Ravioli that Joseph ordered while eating out last year. I didn't even want to try them but he insisted. I gave in and took a bite and I'm pretty sure I begged to switch plates so I could have a little more. A few months later I dug around and found a recipe for mushroom ravioli...honestly I can't even remember where I found it...but, boy, are they wonderful. They turned out just like the ones we ordered in the restaurant. They have a wonderful mushroom flavor and the sauce is so creamy and delicious. I've made them a few times since...and it always feels like a special occasion when we eat them.

Today my son happened to cooperate and gave me a little extra time so I prepared the pasta from scratch. This doesn't always happen, so I've been known to use the wonton wrappers when in a crunch. I've also frozen fresh ravioli when I've made a large batch and they've turned out nicely. (Just make sure to freeze them on a pan before storing them to make sure they don't stick together.)

This pasta recipe also lends itself well to adaptations. This time I switched out over half of the all-purpose flour for whole wheat flour. This made the ravioli dough taste a bit more substantial...if you like tender dough use all-purpose only. (We happened to like the whole wheat though.) I have also used button and baby portabello mushrooms...both were very good. I also reduced the amount of cream and replaced it with milk...just to lighten things up a little.

All in all, it's a lengthy process...but very well worth it!
Mushroom Ravioli

Pasta Dough
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
2 eggs
Place ingredients in a food processor and pulse until dough forms a ball and pulls away from the sides. (You can also place the flour on a counter, make a well and add the salt and eggs. USe a fork to pull in as much flour as you can.) Knead the dough for a minute or until all of the flour is incorporated. Roll out using a pasta machine.
(I used a champagne glass to cut out the actual circles. I have a ravioli cutter...but it never cuts all the way through and seems to be more work than is necessary.)

Mushroom Filling
1 smal package mushrooms - chopped
1 onion - diced
1 Tbsp butter
2 sprigs fresh thyme
4 cloves garlic - minced
1/4 c heavy cream
1 1/2 c white wine
1/2 c asiago cheese - grated
salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Add onions and saute until golden brown. Add thyme and garlic. Saute without browning. Add mushrooms, wine, cream, salt, and pepper. Reduce until almost dry. Remove from heat and add cheese. Puree and let cool.

Cream Sauce
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 c onion
4 cloves garlic - crushed
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1/2 c white wine
1 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, thyme, bay leaf, and saute until onions are translucent. Turn heat to high and add white wine, salt, and pepper. Reduce wine until it is almost dry. Add heavy cream and simmer until slightly thickened. Strain sauce through a fine mesh strainer. Assemble ravioli and drop in boiling water until they float. Remove. Drizzle with sauce, add a little more asiago cheese, and broil until lightly browned.

Leave a comment if you have a second, I'd love to know that people are actually reading this!!

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