We have been digging the fresh pasta lately. And, really digging herb ravioli.
The delicate flavor and texture of freshly made pasta accompanies all of our wonderful spring produce so well. We have been inspired by Grassa here in Portland which makes some of the best pasta around and whose menu is always changing with the seasons. If you have never gone in and sat at their counter, do so immediately. It is mesmerizing to watch the pasta being rolled out and formed into delectable shapes.
Making fresh pasta can be a daunting task, but the process is fairly simple and there are some great resources out there (see links below). The best thing about pasta is that you can dry it, (or freeze it in the case of raviolis) and have high-quality pasta anytime! It also makes a great gift. Generally we make linguini or angel hair pasta, and thought we would try our hand at raviolis, which turned out marvelously!
This recipe uses some deliciously fresh and flavorful NW asparagus but these would be equally delicious with mushrooms + parmesan, squash+ ricotta + walnuts or garlic scape pesto + carmelized onions.
We included a recipe for pasta dough below, though good examples can be found at Bon Appetit and the Food Network. The secret to pasta dough is patience. Truly letting the dough rest for 30min can change your dough from “too dry and crumbly” to perfectly moist and stretchy.
Spring Asparagus & Herb Ravioli
- 1 recipe pasta dough
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large shallot
- 1 bunch asparagus diced , (preferably smaller, washed, tough ends discarded)
- 1 tbsp dry white wine
- 2 tbsp fresh herbs , chopped (we like tarragon, mint & chives for this recipe)
- ¼ c mascarpone (or fresh ricotta)
- ¼ c parmesan
- salt + pepper
- 1 olive oil
- 1 shallot , minced
- 1 c dry white wine
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp butter
- ½ c peas
- 150 g Flour
- 150 g Semolina Flour
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 tsp salt
Mix together flours and salt, make a slight well in the center and crack both eggs into it. Slowly begin to whisk eggs, incorporating a little bit of the flour with each stroke and making sure that any clumps dissolve before incorporating more. It is tempting to stir everything together quickly but doing it slowly lets the flour become distributed through the egg mixture and become smooth. Wrap in plastic and let rest 20-30min.
Let dough rest while prepping filling and sauce.
Heat oil over medium heat in small saucepan. Add shallot and cook until translucent, 5-8min. Add white wine and white wine vinegar, simmer until reduced by ½ or more, about 15-20min. Meanwhile, prep filling. Once reduced, lower heat and add butter in small chunks, stirring to melt after each, then add the lemon juice. Remove from heat. Just before serving, reheat and add peas for 2-3min until cooked through but still bright green.
Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat, add shallot and cook until translucent, 5-8min. Add diced asparagus and white wine and cook until just tender but still crisp and bright green- 3-5min. Turn off heat and stir in fresh herbs, salt and pepper. Stir in mascarpone and parmesan until melted. Set aside to cool.
Roll out dough using a pasta maker into thin sheets (we used the second to the last setting on our machine). The sheets should be as wide as your pasta maker, about 4-5”. Lay out sheets and carefully spoon about 1 tbsp of filling about 2” apart along one edge of the dough. (You will be folding the dough lengthwise over the filling- hot dog style, not hamburger style J) Fold the top half of the dough over the filling and gently press with your fingers to press out air pockets and seal the edges of the raviolis. If your dough isn’t sticking together, gently brush a little water along the edges before pressing. Using a biscuit cutter or knife, cut your raviolis apart.
Bring pot of salted water to a boil, add raviolis and cook 2-5min depending on the thickness of your dough. Do not overcook as the raviolis can burst and all your delicious filling will be lost!
To serve, spoon sauce over raviolis and garnish with fresh parmesan and pepper. Enjoy!