We have a friend who grew up in a large extended Italian family in Vermont. One of her memories from childhood is going out into the woods and helping to forage for porcini mushrooms. “Everyone would talk back and forth while searching for the porcini. When someone got really quiet, you knew they had found something. We would bring all of the mushrooms back and spread them out on the kitchen table. Half would be dried and the rest would be made into porcini ravioli.”
Since my cooking assistant is home, newly graduated from college, I thought we would make ravioli together.
I flavored the pasta dough with porcini powder made by grinding dried porcini in a spice grinder (actually it’s a coffee grinder from a second-hand store) but you don’t have to. I had to add some olive oil to the dough since the porcini powder made the dough a little drier. If you omit the porcini powder, omit the olive oil. You could skip making the pasta and use Asian dumpling wrappers, a form of pasta. However if you do use dumpling wrappers, work with them and cook them carefully because they can be more delicate than regular pasta dough.
You could also make this with crimini mushrooms.
This recipe made 26 two-inch wide ravioli. We served five ravioli as a serving.
Porcini Mushroom Filling
Makes enough filling for 26- 2” ravioli
½ pound fresh porcini mushrooms
1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Tablespoons olive oil, for cooking
1 cup ricotta cheese
2 Tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1. Make the ravioli dough (recipe below) and refrigerate.
1. Wipe the porcini clean. Trim the bottom end of the mushrooms and slice them lengthwise. Set aside.
2. Place a non-stick sauté pan over medium-high heat. Swirl in the olive oil. Add the mushrooms and
3. When the mushrooms are cool, place them into a bowl of a food processor and pulse them until chopped. (This can also be done by hand). Transfer the chopped mushrooms to a bowl. Add the ricotta and Parmesan cheeses, season with salt and black pepper and mix until all the ingredients are combined. Cover and store in the refrigerator.
4. Assembling the ravioli: Roll out the pasta sheets; We rolled our sheets out to the thickness of the number 6 setting on the pasta machine. Use flour to prevent the dough from sticking. Set the pasta sheets aside. You can either cover the ravioli filling with a second sheet of dough or place the filling halfway down the pasta sheet and fold the other half of the pasta sheet over to cover the filling.
Spread a pasta sheet on a lightly floured surface and place a tablespoon of the filling evenly spaced on the pasta sheet. Brush the bottom pasta sheet with some beaten egg.
Cover the filling, pressing the dough down around the filling, pressing out any air.
Cut the ravioli into individual pieces.
Place the completed ravioli on to a tray lined with parchment paper.
Repeat until all the filling is used. Place the ravioli into the freezer. When the ravioli are frozen, remove the ravioli from the tray and into a sealable plastic bag. Freeze the ravioli until needed.
5. Cooking the ravioli: We used 5 ravioli per person when we made them. Place a pot of salted water over high heat and bring to a boil. When the water is boiling, drop the ravioli into the water and cook for 4 to 5 minutes. While the ravioli is cooking, place a large non-stick sauté pan over medium heat. Add one tablespoon unsalted butter per serving to the pan. Melt the butter; cooking the butter until it begins to brown. Season the butter with salt and set aside. When the ravioli have finished cooking drain the ravioli into a colander. Place the pan with the brown butter back over medium-high heat. Add the ravioli and toss the ravioli in the brown butter. Season the ravioli with freshly ground pepper. Remove the pan from heat. Portion the ravioli into bowls and serve.
This makes enough dough for 26 - 2” ravioli. You may have to take some of the pasta scraps and roll them again.
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
Option: 1Tablespoon porcini powder plus 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin olive oil
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, place the flour, salt and porcini powder. Add the eggs, olive oil and mix with the paddle attachments until a ball of dough forms. Remove the dough and knead the dough for a minute or two on a lightly floured surface. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour before rolling out the dough. The dough can also be mixed by hand.