Ravioli, no Red Sauce
Hubby wants to try mushroom ravioli. I would like to try it without marinara. Maybe make some sort of sauce with Parmesan cheese, wine. What would you suggest?
A lemon cream sauce. Like Marcella Hazan's pasta al limone. Tart and creamy and oh, so good. Or maybe a simple agrodolce (sweet and sour Italian style) of white wine vinegar and sugar reduced for a little bit..... adam
The alternative to a white sauce or a browned butter/sage sauce (one of my faves to make) is a walnut pesto...
1/4 cup walnuts
1/2 garlic clove
1 1/3 cups packed fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 1/2 tablespoons finely grated Pecorino
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
toast nuts til fragrant and golden. pulse together nuts and garlic, then add in the rest of the ingredients til parsley is coarsely chopped throughout.
I like to make a light "self-sauce" sometimes with ravioli or other pasta using the starchy water the pasta cooked in. I tire of red sauces and usually (with a few exceptions) would like to avoid the cream sauces.
So, cook the pasta and when it's just shy of al dente, put it into a skillet or saute pan in which I may have sauteed onions and other vegetable ingredients for the finished dish. (Sometimes I will have deglazed the pan between cooking the veggies and adding the pasta.) Anyway, to the skillet holding the sauteed onions, garlic, shallots, fennel, peas, corn, arugula, or whatever, add a ladle of the starch water from the pasta pot. Through in a handful of grated cheese, if desired. Stir and cook down a little bit. Throw in the pasta and cook a little bit more with the veggies, cheese and pasta water.
I did this last night with spaghetti, shallots, garlic, baby spinach and peas. I had deglazed the pan with red wine. It was delicious and healthful.
I did a nice healthy sauce the other day that I think is killer with mushrooms and pasta.
I made pasta.
In a fry pan I put in a tablespoon of butter. I let the butter brown slightly then added 1 tablespoon of olive oil. I then added about a half a cup of chopped onions and a pinch of salt. I let that sweat for a few minutes around 5. I then added a whole chopped garlic clove for about one minute. I turned up the heat slightly and deglazed with apple juice about 3/4 a cup. I let that reduce for a few minutes then added about a 1/4 of the pasta water and some pepper and frozen peas I let that simmer for a few minutes. Finally I took the pasta and sauted for a few minutes in the sauce while adding parmessan.
It was great. I think it would work perfect for a ravioli especially a mushroom ravioli.
It is so easy too.
We like our mushroom ravioli with a sherry cream sauce - doesn't overwhelm the mushroom flavor.
duxelles and cream to really gild the lily. simpler just excellent cream and quality parm and butter.
i also really like artichokes with mushrooms and you can make a puree of steamed artichoke hearts, with olive oil, garlic, lemon, a little crushed red pepper and some of the starchy cooking water to get the consistency you like.
I like making a butter parmesean sauce these days for my ravioli (spinach ricotta, pumpkin, mushroom, braised meats). I find brown butter to be a little oily, I'm not a big fan of the seperated milk fats and frankly they tend to upset my tummy.
This is more of a technique than a recipe. Since there are only two ingredients you obviously want the best meaning the best quality unsalted butter you can find and for the cheese try to get real 12mo aged Italian Parmigiano Reggiano instead of generic "parmesan."
In a heavy saute pan add as much butter as you like and a few table spoons of your boiling well salted pasta water. Over a low heat tilt the pan bringing the butter and water to the edge and shake back and forth slowly melting the butter and incorporating the pasta water. The trick here is to not break down the emulsion of the butter! This is essential to make a creamy smoothly textured sauce. Take the pan on and off the heat as needed so as not too overheat the butter. When the butter and water have been fully incorporated take the sauce off the heat. When your pasta is ready add to the sauce and gently toss it with the butter over low heat again making sure not to break the emulsion adding more water if needed.
At the last minute, off the heat, add the freshly grated cheese which has been finely grated (I like to use a microplane) and toss with the pasta and sauce. The cheese should disapear and be completely incorporated into the pasta and sauce leaving a lovely nutty taste. Again it's important to do this off the heat so the cheese disapears into the sauce and you are not leftt with gloopy clumps of melted cheese.
Now at the very last you can add some herbs if you like any combination of parsley, thyme, rosemary, chives, etc. I like to finish with just a little more grated cheese and maybe a drizzle of the best extra virgin olive oil I have.