Mushroom-Tomato-Garlic Ravioli

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Ravioli is easily one of my all-time favorite foods. I don’t care what kind. Traditional meat, pumpkin, goat cheese, ricotta, mozzarella, salmon, you name it. The problem is that they’re kind of a pain in the ass to make. And when I say “kind of,” I mean “absolutely.” But I took one for the team (my team obviously) and threw these mushroom ravioli together and it actually wasn’t all that bad! And the result is wow. There are awesome flavors happening here including mushroom (my favorite…umami…yum), garlic, sage, sundried tomato, prosciutto…I mean, seriously. Lots of greatness happening here.

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IMG_5870Using wonton wrappers for the “dough” is pretty brilliant and easy. Just be careful when you are separately the thin layers that you don’t make little tears in them, because once you throw them in the water, the filling will slowly seep out into the boiling water.

And just look at the beautiful result! I will definitely make this again — it’s delicious and really impressive if you’re looking to show off a bit.

IMG_5869TW’s Tips

  • Make the garlic in advance when you have the time to roast them — it takes a little while.
  • Find the wonton wrappers in the freezer section of the grocery store.
  • The food processor part of the recipe below didn’t go very smoothly for me. Because the filling is pretty chunky, it didn’t pulse together well. I ended up having to do lots of stirring, pulsing, stirring again and getting the filling down near the blades so it would mix up. It finally worked out, but there was a bit of elbow grease involved. I’m not sure there’s a better way to do it, except to perhaps try doing it in a couple of batches so there’s not so much in the processor bowl at once.
  • You can buy sliced mushrooms or slice them yourself.
  • Don’t even think about using dried sage. Fresh is essential.
  • The wrappers stick to everything, so don’t stack the ravioli.
  • Make sure you press down firmly around the edges of the ravioli to seal the edges.

Enjoy!

Mushroom-Tomato-Garlic Ravioli

Ingredients

  • 2 8-ounce packages sliced white mushrooms
  • 2 heads roasted garlic (see below for directions)
  • 9 sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, 8 halved (about 1/3 cup) and 1 finely chopped
  • 8 fresh sage leaves, chopped (about 1-1/2 tablespoons), plus thin strips for garnishing
  • Salt
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Pepper
  • 40 wonton wrappers
  • 4 slices prosciutto, thinly sliced crosswise into strips

Directions

Roast the garlic in advance. Cut the top quarter off the top of the garlic bulbs. Place them in a pie pan (or wrap them in foil) and drizzle the tops with the olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover them with foil and bake until the garlic is roasted and soft, about 45 minutes.

In a food processor, finely chop half of the mushrooms, the roasted garlic, halved sun-dried tomatoes and chopped sage; stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt. In a medium skillet, heat 1/4 cup olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the mushroom mixture and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let cool slightly; stir in 6 tablespoons cheese.

Meanwhile, heat 1/4 cup olive oil in the same skillet over medium-high heat; add the remaining mushrooms. Cook until golden, about 7 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the chopped sun-dried tomato and season with salt and pepper; let cool.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; lower the heat and bring to a simmer. Lay 20 wonton wrappers on a work surface and place a bowl of water alongside. Place 1 tablespoon chopped mushroom mixture in the center of each wrapper. Using a pastry brush, dampen the edges with water; cover with another wrapper, pressing around the filling to push out the air and seal. Working in batches, add the ravioli to the simmering water and cook for 3 minutes; remove with a slotted spoon.

Divide the ravioli among 4 plates; top with the cooked mushrooms, prosciutto and remaining 2 tablespoons parmesan. Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil on each plate and scatter the sage strips on top.

Rosemary Chicken Breasts, Brown Butter and Balsamic Ravioli, Warm Spinach Salad with Pancetta and Sweet Vinaigrette

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This was a winner! Balsamic vinegar was a theme throughout this Rachael Ray recipe, which was fine with me. The chicken was super flavorful and the fresh ravioli alongside in a simple sauce was the perfect accompaniment. All in all, pretty simple and really delicious.

TW’s Tips

  • Cooking chicken breasts is not my favorite, but these turned out great despite not thinning them out a little with a meat mallet. I turned them several times and got a great sear on the chicken without drying them out.
  • The salad was a little salty so take it easy with the seasoning.
  • Pick a yummy ravioli in the fresh food case–I got a good one from a local Italian shop.
  • Don’t cook the ravioli for long — if anything, undercook, as it will cook more once you mix everything together.

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Ingredients

Chicken

  • 4 pieces boneless, skinless chicken breast, 6 to 8 ounces each
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, eyeball it, just enough to coat chicken lightly
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 stems rosemary, leaves stripped and chopped, about 2 tablespoons
  • Salt and coarse black pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, cracked away from skin with a whack against the flat of your knife

Ravioli

  • 1 package, 12 to 16 ounces, fresh ravioli, any flavor filling
  • 3 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 handfuls grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley, a couple of handfuls

Spinach Salad

  • 6 slices pancetta, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan
  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, eyeball it
  • 1 bunch, about 10 ounces flat-leaf spinach
  • Salt and pepper

Directions
Coat chicken in balsamic vinegar, then olive oil. Season chicken with rosemary, salt and pepper and let stand 10 minutes.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil for ravioli. Salt water and drop ravioli in water. Cook 8 minutes or until raviolis expand, float to top of water, and are al dente.

Heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken breasts and cracked garlic to the pan. Cook chicken 12 minutes, or until juices run clear, turning occasionally. The balsamic vinegar will produce a deep brown, sweet finish on the chicken as it cooks.

When the chicken is 2 or 3 minutes away from done, heat a second skillet over medium low to medium heat. To the second skillet, add butter to the pan and let it begin to brown.

Remove chicken from the first skillet and transfer to a warm platter. In a skillet over medium high heat and add the pancetta. Brown the pancetta bits, about 2 or 3 minutes, then transfer to paper towels to drain and return pan to heat, reducing heat to medium. Add oil and shallots to the pan and let the shallots saute 2 minutes.

When the butter for the ravioli has browned, add cooked ravioli to the pan and turn in butter to heat through. Add balsamic vinegar to the ravioli and cook a minute or 2 longer to reduce the vinegar and glaze the ravioli. The vinegar will become thick and syrup like. Add cheese, parsley, salt and pepper to the pasta and remove the pan from the heat.

To the sauteed shallots for the spinach salad, add sugar and cook sugar with shallots 1 minute. Add vinegar to the pan, scraping up pan drippings. Add spinach to the dressing and turn to wilt and coat it evenly in sweet vinaigrette. Add crisp pancetta to the salad.

Serve chicken along side ravioli and spinach salad, all on the same dinner plate.