Monday, 7 June 2010

Orange-Ricotta Stuffed Ravioli in Brown Butter and Almond Sauce

"Eat butter first, and eat it last, and live till a hundred years be past."
Old Dutch proverb
Well, I have definitely added about fifty years to my buttery life with this dish.
My philosophy is that if noodles are good - stuffed noodles are even better. This week we made Michael Symon's totally delicious Sheep's-Milk Ravioli with Brown Butter and Almonds. Although I would have been thrilled to use sheep's milk ricotta, or even goat's milk ricotta, I had to settle for plain old cow. Sorry cows, didn't mean to imply that you are dull, just that you don't have the same tang as your smaller cohorts. No fault of your own, I am sure.
I use a ravioli press (Norpro, bought about 5 years ago in Canada) but the instructions tell how to make them without such a handy-dandy gadget - and if you have never made homemade ravioli before - it is high time you gave it a go!

Orange-Ricotta Stuffed Ravioli in Brown Butter and Almond Sauce
adapted from Michael Symon
Live to Cook
for Michael Symon Sundays

Ravioli Filling
1 cup ricotta (sheep's milk if you can find it)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 large egg
Grated zest of 1 orange
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

1 lb pasta dough, rested

12 tbsp butter
1/4 cup slivered almonds
Grated zest and juice of 1 orange
1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley


Make your pasta dough, I used this recipe.

Ravioli Filling
Strain ricotta overnight.
Combine filling ingredients and refrigerate until needed.

Roll the 4 pieces of dough through the first setting of your machine. They should each measure about 4-5 inches wide and 18 inches long. Lay out the sheets of dough on a counter top dusted with flour. Along one half of each sheet of pasta, place four 2-tsp-size dollops of filling. Moisten the edges of the pasta with water, fold the unfilled side of the dough over the filling side, and press around the perimeter of each mound to seal. Using a round ravioli or 2-inch cookie or biscuit cutter, cut out the ravioli and place on a floured rimmed baking sheet. Your should have 12-16 ravioli. You can wrap and refrigerate the ravioli at this point for up to a day or freeze for one month.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and add enough salt so that it tastes seasoned. When the water returns to a boil, add the ravioli and boil until they float. Once they float, cook for one minute longer.

While the ravioli are cooking, make the sauce. Heat the butter over medium-high heat in a sauté pan large enough to later accommodate the cooked ravioli. When the butter is foaming, add the sliced almonds and sauté until golden brown, about 2 minutes.

Scoop the ravioli from the cooking water with a slotted spoon, leaving excess water clinging to the pasta (to help form the sauce), and transfer to the sauté pan along with the orange juice. Toss once or twice until the contents of the pan are well acclimated.

Remove the pan from the heat, add the parsley and orange zest, and divided among four shallow bowls, spooning sauce and garnish over the ravioli.