Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Ricardo's Pumpkin and Veal Ravioli

One of my favourite Canadian chefs is Ricardo Larrivée, a French Canadian with such an easy-going nature and a simply delicious repertoire. In this time when the Food Networks seem to find it necessary to cater to the lowest common denominator by introducing a heavy-handed line-up of anxiety-producing "reality" shows and competitions, laid-back Canadian Ricardo produces light-hearted elegance and a passion for home cooking.

I love how he spotlights local places where foods are grown and produced, his love for his country is infectious. Even more importantly, his cooking style is fun and relaxed without sacrificing elegance and flavour.

This week we made his Pumpkin and Veal Ravioli. His recipe is with springroll dough, but I just made my own. The resulting pasta is simple, elegant and very French - even with the accent of curry in the sauce.

Make this for someone you love, put on your Billie Holiday CD, and break out a nice bottle of wine. You'll thank me later. ☺

Pumpkin and Veal Ravioli
Ricardo Larrivée
from Food Network Canada
Yield: 8 Servings

Ravioli Filling

    * 1 Turban squash (will need 1 cup puree)
    * 1 onion, chopped
    * 2 cloves garlic, chopped
    * 2 tablespoons olive oil
    * 6 ounces ground veal (200 g)
    * 1/4 cup white wine
    * 1/4 cup almonds, finely chopped

Ravioli Assembly

    * 50 squares spring roll dough, thawed
    * salt and pepper

Curry Sauce

    * 3 green onions, chopped
    * 1-1/2 tsp curry (or to taste)
    * 2 tablespoons butter
    * 2/3 cup white wine
    * 1-3/4 cup chicken broth
    * 3 cups 35% cream
    * salt and pepper

Ravioli Filling

   1. Position the oven rack in the center position. Preheat oven to 350 °F (180 °C).
   2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
   3. Cut a small turban squash in half and use a spoon to remove the seeds.
   4. Lay the squash with the opening face-down on the baking sheet and cook for about 1 hour, or until the flesh is tender.
   5. Remove from the oven and reduce to a puree using a food processor.
   6. In a skillet, cook the onion and garlic in olive oil until tender. Add the veal and cook completely while crumbling. Season with salt and pepper.
   7. Deglaze with the wine. Add the almonds and squash puree. Stir a few minutes over low heat until well mixed. Adjust the seasoning.
   8. Set aside in a bowl, let cool.
   9. Cover and refrigerate until the filling is cold.

Ravioli Assembly

   1. On a work surface, lay out four squares of dough at a time. Use a brush to moisten the dough with water.
   2. Put 4 tsp. (20 ml) of filling in the center of each square. Cover with another square and press the edges to confine the filling.
   3. Use a round punch of about 4 in. (10 cm) or a glass to shape the ravioli. Set aside on a sheet and repeat the operation with remaining ingredients.
   4. In a saucepan of salted boiling water, cook the ravioli six at a time while stirring slowly so that the ravioli don’t stick together.
   5. Drain and put them on a greased sheet. Repeat the operation with the remaining ravioli.
   6. Put a few ravioli at a time in the selected warm sauce to reheat them.
   7. Serve 3 ravioli per adult. (I added some Parm on top)

Curry Sauce

   1. In a skillet, cook the green onions and curry in butter until tender. Deglaze with the wine.
   2. Add the broth and simmer until it is reduced to one half. Add the cream and simmer until the sauce thickens slightly.
   3. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.