blissful eats with Tina Jeffers: Pea Ravioli with Brown butter and morels
Writing for Blissful Eats has been a great opportunity to try things in my kitchen that I have always avoided or thought that I didn't have the time for. I never thought that I would be the kind of person that would make my own pasta, it seemed way beyond my abilities as a home cook. I am sorry that I waited so long. Not only was it easy, it was really fun and my son enjoyed helping me roll out the pasta! I've always been hopeful that my young man would feel comfortable in the kitchen. I don't want him to subsist on frozen pizza and frito pie when he leaves home. I am trying my best to create a little foodie, part of the reason I cook and garden is to expose him to real food cooked from the heart. B says that we should always make our own pasta from now on, and it's nice to be able to spend time in the kitchen together.
This dish may look complicated but it really came together quickly. The ravioli would also freeze easily so you can make a batch and put some away for a later time.
Pea Ravioli with Brown butter and morels
adapted from Martha Stewart
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups fresh or frozen peas
10 ounces ricotta cheese*
1/2 cup grated pecorino romano
1/4 cup finely chopped mint
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
6 tablespoons butter
1/4 pound morel mushrooms
salt and pepper to taste
makes 3 dozen
For the pasta dough:
Place the flour on a clean work surface. Make a well in the center of the flour and crack the eggs into it. Beat the eggs with a fork until smooth. Using the tips of your fingers, mix the eggs with the flour, incorporating a little at a time, add the olive oil and mix with your hands until everything is combined. Once it comes together you need to knead the dough until it becomes smooth and elastic. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest for about 30 minutes to allow the dough to relax.
For the filling:
Place two cups of peas in a small bowl and mash with a fork just to break them up. Add the ricotta, pecorino, mint, lemon juice and 3/4 teaspoon of salt and stir until just combined.
*You may want to drain your ricotta in a strainer for 10 minutes before adding it to the filling to drain excess liquid.
Make the ravioli:
Cut the ball of dough in half, cover and reserve the dough you are not immediately using to prevent it from drying out. Dust the counter and dough with flour. Form the dough into a rectangle and roll it through the pasta machine, 2 or 3 times, at its widest setting. Guide the sheet of dough with the palm of your hand as it emerges from the rollers. *Reduce the setting and crank the dough through again, 2 or 3 times. Continue until the machine is at its narrowest setting.
Lightly dust the counter and dough with flour, lay out the long sheet of pasta. Brush the top surface of dough with egg wash. Drop 1 tablespoon of the pea filling about 2-inches apart on half the sheet of pasta. Fold the unfilled half over the filling. With your fingers, gently press out air pockets around each mound of filling and form a seal. Use a crimper to cut each pillow into squares. Check to make sure the crimped edges are well sealed before cooking. If making ravioli in advance, dust with cornmeal to prevent them from sticking.
Cook the ravioli in plenty of boiling salted water for 10 to15 minutes. Ravioli will float to the top when cooked so be careful not to overcrowd the pot.
For the sauce:
Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and cook butter until lightly browned and toasted. Add half the ravioli and just toss to coat. Transfer to a platter and repeat with the remaining ravioli. Cook remaining 3 tablespoons butter and add the morels, season with salt and pepper and cook until the morels have just started to brown and the butter takes on a toasted appearance. Add the reserved cup of peas and just warm them through. Spoon the mushroom and pea mixture over the ravioli, sprinkle with cheese and serve.
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