Though I'm all about easy dishes that can be thrown together in a pinch, once in a while it's nice to slow down and spend some quality time in the kitchen. Getting reacquainted with your pasta maker and pots and pans can be incredibly satisfying, I swear. Hand me a (large) glass of chilled white wine, play some really great music and send me off with Almond Corner's recipe for white asparagus ravioli and I'm one happy girl.
White Asparagus Ravioli
|For the pasta:||1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting|
|2 large eggs||1 tablespoon olive oil|
|1/2 teaspoon salt|
|For the filling:||7 oz white asparagus|
|2 medium potatoes||2 tablespoons breadcrumbs|
|1 tablespoon creme fraiche||freshly grated nutmeg|
|For the spring vegetable ragout:|
|1 cup fresh or frozen green peas||1 cup fresh or frozen fava beans|
|7 oz green and/or violet asparagus||5 white asparagus stalks|
|1 tablespoon butter||bunch of fresh basil|
|1 tablespoons fresh parsley||1 shallot or 2 spring onions|
|For the goat cream cheese sauce:|
|1/2 cup heavy cream||5 oz goat cream cheese|
|freshly grated pepper or a long pepper||salt|
|To finish the dish:|
|pistachio oil||fresh goat cheese|
|couple of basil leaves|
For the pasta: Sift flour onto a wooden work surface and make a well in the center. Break the eggs into the well and add the oil and salt. Beat flour and eggs with a fork and gradually start mixing it together from the center to the outer rim of the well. As soon as the dough comes together, knead until you have a firm dough. If too sticky add more flour. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it stand at room temperature for 20-30 minutes.
For the filling: Cook the potatoes in salted water boiling. While potatoes are boiling, peel white aspragus and cut into 2 inch long pieces. Cook asparagus in salted water for about 5 minutes, drain. Drain potatoes, let them cool and peel and finely grate once cooled. Puree the asparagus and creme fraiche in a blender. Mix asparagus puree with grated potato, breadcrumbs and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
For the spring vegetable ragout: Bring water to a boil and cook fava beans for about 30 seconds. Drain and cool in ice cold water. Drain again and peel to remove the thick outer skin. Cut the ends of the green and violet asparagus and then cut in half. Peel if desired. Take white asparagus and slice them lengthwise with the help of a mandoline. Chop shallots or slice spring onion finely. Melt butter and sautee onion for 2 minutes, add the vegetables and sautee for about 5 minutes. Mix in thin white asparagus slices. Season with salt, pepper and mix in chopped basil and parsley.
For the goat cheese cream sauce: Warm cream with a halved long pepper or freshly grated pepper until it reaches a boiling point, then remove the pepper and stir in the goat cream cheese and whisk until melted. Season with salt.
To make the ravioli: Unwrap dough and cut into 4 equal pieces. Working with one piece at the time, flour the dough and roll it out using a pasta machine. Place teaspoons of filling onto the pasta sheet leaving about 1 inch between each. Brush a bit of water between the mounds of the filling and around the edges so that the second sheet of pasta sticks to it. Carefully seal the sheets together and cut the ravioli with the help of a cutter in any shape you'd like. Place ravioli onto a flour dusted tray. Boil water in a large pot, add a generous amount of salt and drop 4-5 ravioli into the simmering water. When they swim on top, they are ready. Keep them warm in melted butter until you are ready to serve.
To finish the dish: Put about 2 tablespoons of sauce onto the bottom of the plate. Place 3-5 raviolis on top of the sauce and garnish with the vegetable ragout. Crumble some goat cheese on top and add a splash of pistachio oil and a few fresh basil leaves.
Styling & Photography: Almond Corner
Styling & Photography: Almond Corner