I don’t know what it is about this overcast weather that we’ve been having recently, but I have been craving pasta like nobody’s business. I’m a big fan of carbs as I always keep repeating, and pasta fits nicely into this category.
My good friend from college came over for dinner last night, so I wanted to make something hearty but also a dish that wouldn’t cause any food comas. It’s rather hard to continue the flow of conversation when all you can think about is lying down and digesting your gigantic meal after all.
Every time I make homemade ravioli, it’s like my brain has blacked out every other time I’ve tackled it, particularly with regards to the time it takes. Whenever I think about making it, I seem to think that everything, prep work and all, can be completed within an hour or so. Unfortunately this is not the case with the little raviolis. Making and rolling out the pasta is second nature to me at this point but dear god the stuffing and cutting and crimping all before my beautiful sheets of fresh pasta dry out is enough to make me want to throw in the towel. Luckily this time around I invested in a ravioli press which made the process so much faster. Once I figured out how the thing worked, I was flying through the ravioli like never before. Needless to say, I will never go back.
for the pasta dough:
- 4 cups flour
- 6 eggs
- 2 pinches salt
- 1 tbsp olive oil
for the filling:
- 4 large portabello mushrooms
- 3 large shallots
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- 1/4 cup shredded grana padano cheese (or parmesan)
- 4 tbsp butter
- salt + pepper to taste
for the sauce:
- 1/2 cup butter
- ~ 12 sage leaves
- 1 tsp salt
large saute pan, large stock pot, pasta roller, ravioli cutter, ravioli press (optional)
Finely dice shallots, mince garlic, finely chop thyme. Clean mushrooms with a damp towel and coarsely chop. (You don’t want the pieces of mushroom to be too big because they’ll tear through the dough of your ravioli).
Measure your flour into a large mixing bowl and create a well in the center for your eggs. Crack eggs into the well, add olive oil, and scramble with a fork. Slowly incorporate your flour into the egg mixture into you have a shaggy dough. Flour a flat surface and knead your dough for 5 minutes, adding extra flour if it’s sticky. Dough should feel dense and thick, but shouldn’t stick to your hands while you’re kneading it. Cover with saran wrap and let it rest on your counter for 20 minutes. Check out my post about making your own pasta for more info.
While dough is resting, melt your butter on medium heat in a saute pan. Add shallots and saute for about 7 minutes until translucent. Add garlic and mushrooms and saute for another 10 or so minutes until the mushrooms soften. Season with salt + pepper and stir in your thyme. Sprinkle shredded cheese over the top and stir in until melted. Turn off heat.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Roll out your dough a 1/4 of it at a time to about a 5 setting if you have the KitchenAid attachment. This is just to the point where you can start seeing light clearly through the dough but it shouldn’t be paper thin. If you’re using a ravioli press, cut the strips of pasta dough to a little longer than the length of the press. Sprinkle both sides of the press with flour or non-stick spray so that your raviolis don’t stick. Place one sheet along the indented plastic side of the press and push the dough into the holes, adjusting the sheet accordingly.
Fill each indent with about a tsp of filling. Place a second sheet of ravioli over the top and use your press to push them together. Remove the shaping end (the metal piece) of the press and use your ravioli cutter to slice along the indents made by the press. Remove ravioli and press down edges of ravioli with your fingers. Place on a floured surface.
When you have finished shaping the ravioli, melt your remaining butter in the small saute pan. Add sage leaves and turn heat to medium low. Add your salt and stir gently with a spoon. Your sauce will be ready once the sage leaves are crispy and brown and your butter solids have just started to turn a toasty brown color. Don’t let them get black!
To cook the ravioli, use a slotted spoon to gently place them in the boiling water. Once they rise to the top and have been there for about a minute, they’re ready to eat. You may have to do this in batches so that you don’t bring down the temperature of the water too much. Remove raviolis with a slotted spoon and immediately place your serving dishes.
Drizzle each plate of ravioli with a good amount of the brown butter sauce, adding a few of the crunchy sage leaves. Finish with some freshly grated parmesan or grana padano and chopped fresh thyme if desired. I had some leftover filling so I added a bit of that in as well.
Tips + Tricks:
*if you’re just not into making your own pasta dough, you can substitute it for wonton wrappers that you can get at most specialty markets. The best part is that they already come portioned to the perfect ravioli size!
*the trick for the butter is to take the pan off the heat right when it starts to turn golden brown because it will continue to cook for a few minutes off the heat.