* from http://ciaoitalia.com
MAKES 7 DOZEN RAVIOLI; SERVES 8 TO 10
Portobello mushrooms can be as large as dinner plates. They are exquisite when simply grilled, with a brushing of olive oil. Creating more elaborate recipes with them is fun too. I developed this mushroom-stuffed ravioli dish when a crate of the brown beauties arrived at my door.
To complement rather than overpower the woodsy taste of the filling, I teamed the ravioli with a cream and Italian Fontina cheese sauce. I knew my efforts had paid off when I took the first bite. If you cannot find portobello mushrooms, use cremini (smaller versions of portobellos) or shiitake mushrooms. This dish makes an elegant first course for a bridal luncheon.
6 tablespoons butter
1 small hot red pepper; diced
1 pound portobello mushrooms, stemmed, cleaned, and diced
Fine sea salt to taste
1/3 cup dry red wine
2 1/2 cups King Arthur™ Unbleached, All-Purpose Flour
3 large eggs
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
3 tablespoons butter
3 large cloves garlic, cut lengthwise in half
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 pound Italian Fontina cheese, diced
1/2 teaspoon peppercorns, preferably Tellichery, crushed
Fine sea salt to taste
In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the chili pepper and cook for about 5 minutes, pressing on the pieces and swirling them in the butter with a wooden spoon. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Sprinkle the salt over the mushrooms and raise the heat to high. Add the wine and let it evaporate. Transfer the mushrooms to a blender or food processor and process to a paste. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
Mound the flour on a work surface. Make a well in the center and crack the eggs into the well. Sprinkle the salt over the eggs and beat with a fork until blended. Pushing the flour from the inside of the well into the center with your hands, gradually incorporate enough flour into the eggs to make a soft dough.
Push any excess flour aside, and knead the dough for 5 minutes, or until it is smooth. Cover the dough with a bowl and let it rest for 10 minutes.
Divide the dough into 4 pieces. To make the ravioli using a ravioli form, roll each piece out through a pasta machine set to the next-to-the-last-setting. Cut the pasta into 13-inch lengths. Place one sheet of dough over the bottom part of a ravioli form, and make impressions with the top piece of the form.
Fill each cavity with about 1/2 teaspoon of the mushroom filling. Place a second sheet of dough over the top and toll over the dough with a rolling pin to create the ravioli. Shake the ravioli out onto a clean towel, trim any excess dough from around the form and save to reroll. Arrange them in a single layer. Continue with the remaining dough and filling.
To make the ravioli by hand, roll each piece out on a lightly floured surface into a large rectangle about 1/8 inch thick. Space 1/2 teaspoon of the filling about 1 1/2 inches apart on one sheet of dough. Cover with another sheet of dough, press down around the mounds of filling with your fingers to seal, and cut into ravioli with a ravioli wheel.
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, pressing on the cloves with a wooden spoon, until the garlic just begins to brown. Add the Fontina, peppercorns, and cream, cook, stirring constantly, until the cheese has melted and the sauce has thickened. Season the sauce with salt, cover and set aside.
Bring 8 quarts of salted water to a boil in a large pot. Add half the ravioli at a time and cook until al dente, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain well, and put them on a warm serving platter.
Meanwhile, reheat the sauce, stirring until smooth. Pour the sauce over the ravioli and gently toss to coat them evenly. Serve immediately.
Note: The filling and sauce can be made 2 days ahead and refrigerated. The uncooked ravioli can be frozen; place on cookie sheets in a single layer and freeze until hard. Transfer to plastic bags and freeze. Cook the ravioli unthawed.