Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Shitake Pumpkin Ravioli

Here's a fun recipe using some creative home-cooking techniques.  The result is a wonderful layering of flavors that is both earthy and savory, with just a touch of sweet.  Using mushroom powder in pasta dough is a technique that's worth trying regardless of any stuffing or sauce you might add.

Shitake Pumpkin Ravioli

Shitake Powder
 The Dough
2 c unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 c shitake powder
3 large eggs
3 tsp olive oil

For the Shitake powder, place dried shitake mushrooms (or another mushroom variety) in a food processor with the metal blade and chop to a fine powder.  Mix dry ingredients together and form a well in the center.  Add the olive oil and eggs, fold into the dry ingredients and then knead until well mixed.  Add a few drops of water if the dough won't hold a ball shape, but the mix should not be wet.  Wrap in plastic and set in the fridge for at least an hour.

 The Filling
2 c roasted pumpkin (see below)
2 Tbs Olive oil
1 c Parmesan
1 clove garlic
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp white pepper
Pinch of salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

Saute the garlic in olive oil and add the thyme until fragrant.  Add the roasted pumpkin, pepper and salt and stir over low-medium heat until well mixed and the pumpkin is no longer releasing liquid.  Turn off heat and fold in the Parmesan.  Set the mix in the fridge and cool to at least room temperature.

Roll out the pasta dough into long sheets with a pasta maker or hand roller.  Spoon a row of filling onto the sheet and fold over.  Firmly press one inch pockets in the pasta and cut with a ravioli blade or knife.

Voila... awesome Ravioli.

Fresh pasta cooks very quickly, so once it goes into the boiling water, it should be out within three minutes at the most.  For the sauce, I used a simple cream sauce and added dried tomatoes from the garden:

Sun-Dried Tomato Cream Sauce
1/4 cup Dried tomato (i.e. sun dried)
1/2 cup boiling water
4 Tbs Butter
2 Tbs Shallots
1 Cup light cream
Touch of Balsamic vinegar

Soak tomatoes in boiling water for 20-30 minutes.  Lightly heat butter in medium size frying pan and add shallots.  Saute until translucent and add tomato and water from soaking.  Saute until water has mostly evaporated.  Add cream & Balsamic vinegar and heat until sauce has lightly thickened.  Coat the pasta and serve immediately.

Roasted Pumpkin
1 baking pumpkin
Olive oil
Salt & Pepper

The pumpkin I used for this recipe came from an 18 pound monster I cooked up in the fall.  Basically, you simply cut it into chunks, remove the seeds, slather the pieces with olive oil and lightly sprinkle with Thyme, a little salt and a touch of pepper.  You then bake at 350 until tender, remove the skins and mash up the pumpkin.  This produced enough pumpkin for several pies and several cups of filling for freezing.

As a side note, we dropped the skins & seeds into some water and simmered the mix for a couple of hours. After straining, a little brown sugar and chipotle powder were added and the liquid was reduced and carmelized to a thick pumpkin barbecue sauce.  Unique and delicious.

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