This is a decadent dish! I will admit that I cheated and bought frozen duck confit legs; all I had to do was cook them. Preparing duck confit is not difficult, but it’s a process that takes several days, which I did not have. I was very happy with the results, but if you don’t have a trusted gourmet grocery store where you can buy the duck confit, then plan in advance and prepare the confit yourself. If you’re not familiar with duck confit – in a nutshell, it’s duck marinated and cooked in duck fat. I am always looking for dishes in which I can incorporate morel mushrooms, another of my guilty pleasures, and this ravioli was provided the perfect opportunity. Morels were not in season, but I’ve had great luck with the dried morels, so I just reconstituted the dried mushrooms. I didn’t want to make a sauce that would overpower the rich and intense flavors of the ravioli, so I simply tossed it in browned butter with some extra chopped morels and garnished it with Italian parsley. I had a ton of duck confit meat and was in an experimental mood, so I decided to make an additional version of the ravioli. For the second version, I simply cut the amount of ricotta cheese in half and supplemented it with pureed pumpkin.
- Homemade Ravioli Dough*
- 1 Cup Shredded Duck Confit meat
- 1/2 Cup Morel (or other flavorful wild) Mushrooms – chopped
- 2-3 Shallots – finely Chopped
- 3/4 Cup Part-Skim Ricotta Cheese
- 1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan Reggiano Cheese
- Salt and Pepper
- 1/2 TBS. Olive Oil
- 6-8 TBS. Unsalted Butter
- Italian Parsley – Chopped (for garnish)
*You can substitute packaged won ton wrappers (usually available in the produce section of the grocery store).
Cook the duck confit and allow to cool enough to comfortably handle. Using two forks, shred the duck meat. Heat olive oil in a small saute pan; add shallots and cook for for about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and saute until soft. Combine shredded duck meat, cheeses (and pumpkin puree, if using), and all but a few Tablespoons of mushrooms and garlic mixture (reserve a few Tablespoons for your brown butter sauce) in a medium sized mixing bowl.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
FOR THE HOMEMADE RAVIOLI DOUGH:
- 3 1/2 Cups Flour (or a combination of regular flour and semolina flour)
- 5 Large Eggs
- Egg wash (1 beaten egg with 1 TBS. water)
There are a couple of variables that will effect the consistency of your dough, in particular, the size of your eggs. It may be necessary to add more flour to your dough until you achieve an elastic, workable, dough ball that does not stick to your hands . If your dough seems to need more liquid, you can add a little water, but this is frowned upon by purists, so I err on the side of starting with less flour since it can easily be added.
Rather than give the detailed instructions for making the pasta (there are a variety of methods depending on your equipment) I am including several links to good descriptions of the process. If using a pasta machine, you may not want to go to the thinnest setting or your ravioli will be difficult to fill, cut, and cook without it tearing.
Homemade pasta video:http://video.about.com/italianfood/How-to-Make-Fresh-Pasta.htm
Homemade pasta using a stand mixer (video) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31ztSCuPR7Y
Porcini mushroom pasta recipe: http://www.cuisinivity.com/recipe/archive/entrees/porchini_fettucini_mushroomsauce.php
Cut your pasta into strips about 2 ” wide (you can go wider or narrower depending on how you like your ravioli. Starting 1 ” from the end, add about 1 TBS. of filling. Repeat process by adding filling every 2″. Using a pastry brush, brush all edges with egg wash. Cover bottom strip with another strip of similar length. Using a pasta cutter or knife, cut into squares so that filling is in center of the square. If using a pasta cutter/crimper, crimp all sides of the ravioli to seal. If you don’t have a pasta cutter, Use your fingers to tightly seal all sides of the ravioli. You can use a fork to crimp edges.
Bring a medium sized pot of salted water to a boil. Add raviolis and return to a boil. Cook until raviolis float to the top. Drain and add raviolis to a serving platter (or divide among individual plates). In the meantime, add butter to saute pan with the remaining mushroom and garlic mixture. Heat until butter just starts to brown. Pour browned butter over plated raviolis, garnish with chopped parsley and additional grated parmesan cheese (if desired).