March 27, 2010

Week 5: Sheep's Milk Ravioli with Brown Butter and Almonds

This week I made ravioli stuffed with sheep ricotta, parmesan, and orange zest, served with brown butter, almonds, orange juice, and parsley. I mostly followed the recipe from Michael Symon's new book Live to Cook. This recipe is particularly notable because it is a vegetarian recipe from a pork-etarian chef. (There are also some good-looking salads in that book.)

It's been far too long since I've made my own pasta. I think the last time was two years ago when I made butternut squash agnolotti. I've been meaning to give it another go; I even picked up some semolina flour a few months ago. Although I used some of the flour in polenta (per Michael Chiarello), I never got around to making pasta with it.

So this time I made the pasta dough with straight semolina flour and egg yolks. I whizzed it in the food processor to combine and then took it out to knead by hand. Immediately, I discovered that the dough was extremely hard to knead. I wasn't sure if it was supposed to be that way or not, so I just carried on. I managed to slowly knead it to a decent texture, but I had to throw my entire weight into it. The next day, my abs were sore. (Perhaps I should make pasta more often.)

I wrapped it in plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator to rest – a step that was left out of Symon's book. I figured I had enough time to start over with AP flour if it didn't work out, but the pasta turned out fine. I rolled it down to setting five (I may give six a try next time), added the filling, folded it over, and cut it with one of the nested circle cutters that I got for my birthday.

The brown butter sauce turned out well, and the almonds added a nice crunch to the dish. I'm glad we found out that Emily can eat them. We'll definitely give this another try, maybe with meyer lemon instead of orange. I don't know if it will be the next pasta I make, as I also want to try my hand at Keller's sweet potato agnolotti.

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