Sunday, August 2, 2015

Fennel "Ravioli" with Chunky Tomato Sauce

(55-60 "ravioli")

Fennel, goat cheese, tomato and kalamata olives give this dish an interesting flavor combination that's a nice change from the usual fare.

This tasty filled pasta freezes well and can be prepared ahead of time if you wish.

fennel "ravioli"
1 tbsp butter
1 medium sweet onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
1 fennel bulb, finely chopped (about 2 cups)
2/3 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup Pecorino Romano, grated2 oz goat cheese
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
2 eggs, divided
about 60 wonton wrappers

shaved Pecorino Romano for garnish

Heat the butter in a skillet (with lid) over medium heat and stir in the chopped onion. Saute the onion until soft.

Stir in the fennel bulb and add the wine. Cover the skillet, reduce the heat to low and cook until the mixture is soft and has absorbed most of the wine.

Remove the lid and cook a bit longer if the mixture is too wet, otherwise remove from heat and allow to cool.

Combine the onion and fennel mixture with the ricotta, Pecorino Romano, goat cheese and parsley. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Stir in one egg and refrigerate mixture for about an hour.

Beat the remaining egg and set aside.

Drop about one teaspoon of filling onto the middle of a wonton wrapper. Wet the outer edges of the wrapper with the beaten egg. Carefully fold the opposite corners of the wrapper together forming a triangle, keeping the filling away from the edges. (As I went on, I was able to get heaping teaspoonfuls of filling enclosed in the wrappers, but take care not to use too much, otherwise they might pop open when you cook them). Pinch the edges together and lay flat. Continue until all of the wrappers and filling are used up.

At this point you can freeze the ravioli if you wish. Place a piece of parchment paper or silicone matte onto a cookie sheet. Lay the ravioli in a single layer on top, edges not touching and place into freezer. When the ravioli are frozen, remove and place them into freezer bags. Return to the freezer.

chunky tomato sauce
3 tbsp butter
3-5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 medium sweet onion, chopped
2 lbs tomatoes, diced
2/3 cup dry white wine
1 tbsp tomato paste
12-15 kalamata olives, chopped
salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the garlic and when that becomes fragrant, add the onion. Cook until the onions are soft.

Stir in the tomatoes, wine, tomato paste and olives. Cover the pot, reduce the heat and cook until the tomatoes have broken down; about 2-3 hours.

Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.

To serve
Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a gentle simmer. Drop in the ravioli and cook for about 3-4 minutes (add an extra minute or two if they are frozen).

Serve with the chunky tomato sauce and garnish with shaved Pecorino Romano.

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