Chestnut Ravioli With Brown Butter Sage Sauce
On our last trip to Italy I was amazed to see produce stands selling fresh chestnuts at every street market we came across and I vowed that as soon as I returned home and could get into my own kitchen, I would work on a few recipes using these delicious morsels. This recipe was one that evolved from my original plant, but turned out exactly as I had hoped. I toasted the chestnuts in the oven, then peeled and chopped them. You could however simply use chestnuts from a can or jar which would eliminate that step for you. I combined the chopped chestnuts with some pancetta, onions and a little apple to create a very delicious seasonal stuffing for ravioli. If you cannot find pancetta, bacon will work as well. Because the flavor of the filling was a bit delicate I decided that the only sauce needed was a drizzle of browned butter flavored with fresh sage. I garnished my ravioli with some extra chopped toasted chestnuts that I had left over to enhance the flavor and add a little texture.
Deborah Mele 2011
Chestnut Ravioli With Brown Butter Sage Sauce
Yield: Serves 6
Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
A unique stuffed pasta that is a great way to celebrate fall.
1/2 Pound Shelled Chestnuts, Roasted And Shells Removed, Or 1 Cup Chestnuts From A Jar
2 Ounces Sliced Pancetta, Finely Chopped
1/4 Cup Finely Chopped Onion
2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
1/3 Cup Water
1/2 Cup Finely Chopped Peeled Apple
3 Tablespoons Finely Chopped Fresh Parsley
2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
6 Tablespoons Butter
6 Fresh sage Leaves, Coarsely Chopped
Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
Combine the flour and salt on a flat work surface; shape into a mound and make a well in the center.
Add the eggs and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to the well and lightly beat with a fork.
Gradually draw in the flour from the inside wall of the well in a circular motion.
Continue to incorporate all the flour until it forms a ball, then wrap the ball in plastic wrap and let rest 30 minutes.
While the pasta is resting, prepare the filling.
Cook the pancetta in the two tablespoons of butter until lightly browned, then add the onion and cook until it is translucent and soft.
Add the chestnuts and water and cook until the chestnuts have softened and the water is almost completely absorbed.
Transfer to a bowl and season with black pepper.
Add the chopped apple and parsley and mix well.
Cut the ball of dough in 1/2, cover and cover the piece you are not immediately using to prevent it from drying out.
Dust the counter and dough with a little flour.
Press the dough into a rectangle and roll it through a pasta machine, 2 or 3 times, at widest setting.
Pull and stretch 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 tightening until the machine is at the second narrowest setting; the dough should be almost paper-thin.
If cutting the ravioli by hand, dust the counter and sheet of dough with flour, lay out the long sheet of pasta, and brush the top surface with a little water, which acts as a glue.
Drop 1 tablespoon of the filling on 1/2 of the pasta sheet, about 2-inches apart.
Fold the other 1/2 over the filling like a blanket, then with your fingers, gently press out air pockets around each mound of filling.
Use a sharp knife to cut each pillow into squares and crimp the 4 edges with the tins of a fork to make a tight seal. (A fluted pastry wheel also works well to make an attractive edge around the pasta.)
Dust the ravioli and a sheet pan with cornmeal to prevent the pasta from sticking and lay them out to dry slightly while assembling the rest.
If not using within an hour or two refrigerate until needed.
If using a ravioli form, lay one sheet of pasta over the form and press with the plate it comes with to create indentations.
Spoon a teaspoonful of filling into each indentation and brush the edges with water.
Lay another sheet of pasta on top and using your fingers press out excess air pockets.
Use a rolling pin to press the two layers of dough together and cut the ravioli.
Place on a baking sheet dusted with a little flour or cornmeal.
To make the sauce, heat the butter in a small saucepan over moderate heat until it begins to brown, add the sage and mix. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm.
Cook the ravioli in a large pot of salted boiling water until tender, about 4 to 5 minutes.
Drain, and divide into individual heated pasta bowls.
Drizzle the pasta with the browned butter and sage and serve immediately offering grated parmesan cheese at the table.