Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Ravenous? Try Raviolone!

Though I always wanted to be delighted and charmed by dainty ravioli, I never have been. From both a chef's and eater's view, there's too much fastidious detail for so little gustatory payback. Discovering raviolone recently which can vary from dinner-plate to serving-platter size delighted me. A traditional filling contains soft cheese like ricotta or mozzarella burrata while raviolone d'oro boasts of an egg yolk nested in the white mound of milky goodness. Greens are also another familiar addition. Using what was available in our kitchen and garden, that is, regular mozzarella and radishes including their tops, I made what will be the first in a long line of beauties. So many fillings, so little time.

Well-stuffed, simmered then sauteed in butter, and dusted with seasoned Parmesan bread crumbs

makes one six-inch diameter raviolone

  • Mozzarella, coarsely chopped, a handful
  • Radishes and their greens, one bunch
  • Pasta dough (see below)
  • Parmesan, 1 T mixed with bread crumbs, 1 T
  • Black pepper, freshly milled
  • Butter and olive oil for sauteing

When making pasta without a machine, adding egg or oil or milk to the flour allows the dough to be rolled-out thinly. Since there was surplus dough from making beef & onion pierogi for borscht (recipe is here though some photos in this old post are corrupted, text is correct), I used that. Mix 300 grams of all-purpose flour with 1/2 tsp salt and 160 ml milk which is plenty for two raviolone. Knead until smooth and elastic which takes about eight minutes. Extra can be frozen. Roll-out as thinly as possible two circles six inches in diameter. In other words, if you think it is thin enough, it's probably not so flip it over and roll again. Keep repeating until the dough just can't be stretched any further. Saute chopped radishes for a minute or two in some olive oil. Then add their chopped greens, cover, and simmer for a few minutes more. The radishes become tender and somewhat sweet while their greens have a nice peppery bite. Drain/press-out any liquid. Mix with the mozzarella. Salt to taste. Leaving room around the edges, place the filling.

Moisten the edges. Put the second round on top, pressing down to eliminate any air bubbles. Do a decorative edging with a knife or a pizza cutter. Seal with a fork all around.

A starfish in the south seas?

Using a wide spatula, ease the raviolone into boiling water. Simmer for about eight to ten minutes. It will rise to the top and look a bit shiny when it's done.

Put some butter in a frypan and saute the raviolone for a minute or two. Grind black pepper on top.

Towards the end of cooking, sprinkle the bread crumbs mixed with Parmesan.

Slicing into its steamy abundance was thrilling and . . . 

. . . and so satisfying.

What would be a perfect follow-up to the raviolone? Strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries fresh from our potager of course!

My entreating The Calm One to whip up a batch of his luscious Creme Chantilly made it even better.

À la prochaine!

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