Friday, March 19, 2010

Mar 19th - Porcini Ravioli in Brandy Cream Sauce with Cherry Tomatoes

We bought the pasta at the Bosa Italian supermarket out by Rupert. I think the same supplier sources most of the Italian markets and Whole Foods but I'm not sure. But they all look similar and have similar varieties. Though a couple of the shops do have 1 or 2 the others do not. I was tempted to go for the Yam and Chestnut triangle stuffed pasta at Bosa but D was tired of the desserty type stuffed pastas that have fillings that are pretty close to pie. When I spotted the large square Porcini ravioli with dark brown stripes, I was quite pleased. Our regular First Ravioli shop on Commercial does not carry that variety. They do have a Wild Mushroom which is good. This was much better. The filling was ample, the stuffing was delicate and very fresh. The Wild Mushroom one which I have seen at just about all the fresh pasta places we hit, are very mushroomy but can have a slightly stale, solid texture to the filling. Not this one. The Porcini Ravioli tasted freshly made.

The Brandy Cream sauce was meant to have a Shallot but I used it the other night with my Asparagus and Cannellini bean dish. D was thrown off his game. He was very close to using a red sauce instead. I suggested he roll with it and use garlic instead. I am glad he did. I get easily bored by red sauce, even a Puttanesca.

Brandy Cream Sauce with Cherry Tomatoes on Porcini Ravioli

400 g Porcini Ravioli from Bosa
12 Cherry Tomotoes
2 cloves Garlic (or 1 shallot)
1.5 t dried Basi
1/4 c Brandy
1/2 c Cream
1/4 c pasta cooking Water
Salt and Pepper
1 t Truffle Oil (optional)

In a large pot, boil water for the pasta with a good half handful of salt. Add the pasta when the water boils. The pasta should take 10-12 minutes and the sauce about the same.

In a large sautee pan, heat some olive oil in medium. Sautee the garlic for 1 minute. Add the Cherry Tomatoes cut in half and the basil. Sautee for a few minutes until the tomatoes soften.

Add the brandy by circling the pan. Simmer for a few minutes. Most of the alcohol will evaporate but contrary to popular belief and food shows, it will never fully cook off, even if you flame it. The only way to do that is to cook it for a long long time, longer than is tasty for such dishes. Add a few tablespoons of the pasta boiling water if it gets too thick or dry.

If the sauce is ahead of the pasta, turn down the heat and set the tomatoes aside for a few minutes.

Okay back on track, pasta is a few minutes away. Add the cream and simmer. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add more pasta water if too thick but not too much because some water will be clinging to the pasta.

Turn the heat off the pasta when done. Spoon the ravioli with a slotted spoon into the pan with the sauce. Toss gently and serve.

Top with some freshy grated parmesan and a dribble of truffle oil to bring out the mushroomy goodness. MMMMM!!!! We are getting the Porcini one again to be sure and the cream sauce was perfect with it. Did not drown out the flavour.

Baby Greens with Tarragon Mustard Vinagrette

3 - 4 c washed Gaby Greens mix
1/4 c chopped fresh Cilantro
1 T Tarragon Mustard
2 T Red Wine Vinegar
4 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

In a large salad bowl, whisk the Mustard and Vinegar until smooth. Drizzle the oil in, in a thin stream while whisking continuously. Season with Salt and Pepper to taste.

Toss the greens right in the dressing in the bowl.


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