Saturday, March 10, 2012

Apple + Kale Ravioli

It's been ravioli night over here every Monday for weeks, and I've kept it pretty classic up until now. However, after an assignment photographing what goes on in the kitchen on No-Menu Monday at Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen this week, I felt liberated and ready to push the boundaries of ravioli. I saw the guys stuffing handmade tortellini with creamed corn and serving it with shaved black truffles. Yeah!

So, I thought about what I could do differently in my own kitchen. Apples, onions, walnuts, and kale called out autumn. They came together really well; here's how it went.

For the pasta dough:
1 cup semolina flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs

Make a well with the mixed flours. Crack the eggs in the middle and mix with your fingers until dough forms. The moisture from the eggs may not pick up all of the dry flour. This is fine. Knead it for 5 minutes. Wrap it in plastic and put it in the fridge for 20 minutes to rest.

For the filling:
1/2 cup sliced white onion
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 Pink Lady apple, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup white wine
1 bunch kale (veins and stems removed, blanched in salted water, squeezed dry)
1 clove of garlic
sea salt and cracked black pepper (to taste)
6 whole walnuts
1/4 cup ricotta
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1 egg
zest from one lemon

In a medium-sized pan over medium heat, sauté the onions in the olive oil. You want them to caramelize (this should take about ten minutes). Once the onions begin to brown, add the white wine and then the apple slices. Place the onion-apple mixture, blanched kale, garlic, salt and pepper to taste, pecans, ricotta, bread crumbs, and lemon zest in food processor and pulse until it's well incorporated but still slightly chunky. Set aside in the fridge.

For the sauce:
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup finely diced white onion
1/2 cup finely diced celery
1/2 cup white wine
2 cups chopped tomatoes (preferably green zebra)
1 teaspoon white balsamic vinegar
1/8 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Heat the olive oil in a medium pan over medium-hight heat. Add the onion and celery. Cook until onion is translucent and beginning to brown. Add the wine and reduce until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add the tomatoes, vinegar, and sugar. Cookmixture until tomatoes begin to break down (about ten to fifteen minutes). Add the butter and stir to melt just before tossing with the pasta.

Roll out this dough to a #6 on the pasta maker. Trim the raggedy edges with a pizza cutter. Add about 2 teaspoons of the filling to the along the sheet of pasta but leave an inch on each side of filling: you are going to fold the top over. Use a pasta tool to seal the front edge and sides. Cook in salty boiling water; as soon as they float, keep them in for another minute. Remove with slotted spoon and put them straight into the sauce. You may want to top it with parsley and parm. 

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