Thursday, September 23, 2010

Monday, Sep 13th - Porcini Mushroom Ravioli in Herbed Marinara Sauce

If you follow me regularly, you know we have fresh Pasta quite often, at least once every two months if not monthly.  We do our own thing on the saucing but I love getting fresh stuffed Pasta from the pros.  Normally we go to the First Ravioli Shop on Commercial but if we do not have the time for our big Saturday shop, we will go to Granville Island Market to get some, at a premium, at Duso's or Zara's.  I think the source is common to all three but there is about a 30% mark up on the Island.  That said, D likes to point out to me that given the time, mileage and carbon footprint to drive to Commercial negates the savings unless it's a big shop.  He needs to do that because I do not drive.  I have only sat behind the wheel of a real car to turn the radio on.  I generally know what Gas costs through our household budget but how that translates to trips to Commercial Drive for Ravioli does not click for me automatically.

If you even want to go a step up, you can find the same producer (I think) but a bigger selection at Bosa Foods near the highway. (Vancouver only has one, seriously.)  They too are more expensive but I would say we have never had a disappointment with theirs, whereas, we have had less than stellar experiences at all three of the others.  Of course, that said, we've only picked the more expensive ones at Bosa because they look so pretty in the display.  What does less than stellar mean?  Well, have you ever ever had Chef Boyardee?  If you say no, I think you're either lying or are very lucky.  I'll admit I had it as a child.  Mom did not make alot of 'white' food and so if I wanted to try Ravioli, it was going to come from a can.  Well, the filling in those are uniform in colour and consistency.  It looks like a brownish-greyish mush.  It lack real flavour of the intended filling.  It tasted more like the pasta and the sauce.  The worst case the filling may taste like a stale sponge.  Well, we have experimented with alot of the flavours and occasionally the filling will be that brownish/greyish mush which is flavourless to stale in taste.  It is strange because it does not always depend on the robustness of the ingredients listed or the price.  We have seen this with the Porcini, Feta and Sundried Tomato and others.  Hit and miss but I know the minute I bite into it.

So when D chose Porcini on Saturday at Duso's I was a bit hesitant but since I did not have an alternative proposal, I rolled with it.  We had had the Porcini at Ravioli store and had the grey stuff.  Their cheaper Wild Mushroom Ravioli was nicer and mushroomier.  Well, it was a pleasant surprise to cut into the pasta to see recognisable bits of Porcini Mushroom.  The texture was nice and full of flavour.  The gentleman behind the counter insisted three times we cook it for 8 minutes but we have had dozens of goes at this and knew he was wrong.  We cooked it 10 and it was still slightly too al dente.

My tip to you is.  Ask them to cut 1 in half for you to have a look inside.  Even if they are chintzy enough to charge you, you will save yourself a disappointing meal and 10 dollars.  You should recognise the listed stuffing.  If it is Ricotta or Feta, look for a nice white cheese, for example.  If not, pass on it and choose something else. 

We served the Porcini Ravioli with a simple Marinara sauce with Olive Oil, Garlic and tinned Italian Tomatoes dressed up with a bunch of our fresh Balcony Herbs like Rosemary, Thyme, Parsley, Oregano and Basil.

Duso's Italian Foods

Granville Island
120 - 1689 Johnston Street
Vancouver, BC V6H
(604) 685-5921
Duso's Italian Foods on Urbanspoon

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