Category Archives: Lamb

Easter Dinner

Easter Table 3I think I might love Easter dinner almost as much as I love Thanksgiving dinner. Both really embrace and celebrate the season, and I love food that is seasonally fitting. Unlike Thanksgiving, where I it’s almost sacreligious to vary the side dishes too much (although recent years have brought new introductions), there are a lot of side dish options which are fitting for spring and bode well for Easter dinner. I typically serve lamb as the main dish, simply because I don’t really love ham and I do love lamb. If I were feeding a big crowd, I would certainly do both. Sorrel soup is usually a tradition for us (my mother always made it as well), but spring has been so slow in arriving this year, that I don’t have enough sorrel in the garden this year and it’s hard to find any place that sells sorrel. As for vegetable side dishes – the list is almost endless…think green and fresh. This year I plan to serve sauteed snap peas with mint, but I will also serve a light arugula salad. Asparagus is probably the most traditional spring vegetable, and I’ve served that many times in the past. Starchy side dishes are also nearly limitless. Buttered noodles with fresh chopped herbs is simple but appropriate, boiled new potatoes with butter and herbs would be equally great, as would simple herbed white or wild rice. I have made risotto (with mushrooms and asparagus) in the past, however, this year I  will be serving my grandmother’s scalloped potatoes (made with canned evaporated milk). My Dad loved these potatoes and my grandmother (my mother’s mother) was always thrilled to make them. I also usually make a quiche for any vegetarian guests – asparagus and mushroom or leek is always a hit. Bread and rolls are another important component of the meal. Last year I made cheddar scallion scones and they were a huge hit, so I’ll make them again this year, but I’m also going to make popovers because they are my families new favorite. Ah, and for dessert: lemon cakeLemon Buttermilk Cake with Lavender Frosting is the standard and I will serve that again this year since it is Auntie Sarah’s favorite and also because I’ll be making one for my friend Sara, but I think I’m also going to make a rhubarb pie or tart, since rhubarb is another spring icon. Last year I served a coconut cake (now “award winning” since it won our local dessert contest on the Fourth of July).

I love decorating for Easter, and I love coloring Easter eggs. Aracauna egg for EasterBlog thru April 4 003Two years ago I decorated the table with fresh Araucana eggs (they are often called the natural Easter eggs because they are beautiful shades of blue, green, beige and even an almost pink). Last year I died Quail Eggs and I loved the way those turned out.

Mini Easter Eggs (Dyed Quail Eggs)

Mini Easter Eggs (Dyed Quail Eggs)

Click here to see instructions for Dyed Quail Eggs

Click here to see Previous Easter Dinner Menu and Recipes

 

Grilled Leg of Lamb (Recipe by Alton Brown)

I take zero credit for this recipe – normally I can’t resist adding my own personal touches to a recipe to make it my own, but in this case, I wouldn’t change a thing. Click on the link above to go to the original recipe and read some of the nearly 100 five star reviews. Many people comment that, like me, they were skeptical of the mustard, but you just can’t argue with the results. Alton’s recipe calls for a charcoal grill, but you can make this on a gas grill, just turn off the center burner when cooking. It’s important to buy good quality lamb meat; if you don’t find what you’re looking for, ask your butcher. As I’ve mentioned before, we happen to have a farm we buy from, so even though our lamb is frozen, the flavor is always outstanding. This recipe is too good to only serve once a year – it would be great to serve at any occasion.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 Boneless Sirloin Leg of Lamb

For the Paste:

  • 4 Cloves of Garlic
  • 8 Fresh Mint Leaves
  • 1 TBS. Brown Sugar
  • 1 TBS. Kosher Salt
  • 2 tsp. Black Pepper
  • 5 TBS. Strong Mustard, such as Dijon
  • 2 TBS. Canola Oil
  • 2 Sprigs Fresh Rosemary

INSTRUCTIONS:

Roughly chop the garlic cloves in the food processor. Add the mint and repeat. Add the brown sugar, salt, pepper, mustard, and oil and blend to a paste. Spread the paste evenly on the meat side of the roast. Roll the leg into a roast shape and tie with cotton butcher’s twine. Leg of Lamb MarinadeFire 2 quarts (1 chimney’s worth) of charcoal (natural chunk is best). When charcoal is lightly covered with gray ash, split the coals into 2 piles and move them to the far sides of the cooker. Close the lid and allow the grate to heat. Then, place the lamb, skin side up, on the middle of the hot grate. Add the rosemary sprigs to the charcoal briquettes and close the lid and grill. After 20 minutes, flip the roast and rotate it 180 degrees. Insert the probe thermometer into the roast and continue to grill until it reaches an internal temperature of 135 degrees, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the roast at 135 degrees. Remove the butcher’s twine from the roast. Cover with foil and rest it for 15 minutes before serving.

 Alternative: Lamb Chop (or Leg of Lamb) Marinade

INGREDIENTS:

  • 12-16 Small Lamb Chops (French Cut) – or 1 Boneless Leg of Lamb
  • 1 Cup Olive Oil
  • 4 TBS. Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice (about 1/2 juicy lemon)
  • 8 Cloves Garlic – chopped
  • 4 TBS. Fresh Rosemary – chopped
  • 4 TBS. Fresh Thyme- chopped
  • 4 TBS. Fresh Oregano – chopped
  • Kosher Salt
  • Fresh Ground Pepper

INSTRUCTIONS:

Pour olive oil into a glass baking dish. Add garlic, herbs, and lemon juice and mix until thoroughly combined. Add lamb chops (or leg of lamb) to pan and season with salt and pepper, turn over and season other side of meat. Spread marinade (including chopped garlic and herbs) over meat. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour (2 hours is better). Lamb chops in marinate

Easter Table 5

 

Rhubarb Tart

Rhubarb Tart

 

Lemon Cake with Whipped Cream and Edible Spring Flowers

Lemon Cake with Whipped Cream and Edible Spring Flowers

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Lamb Stew with Buttermilk, Leek, and Gorgonzola Mashed Potatoes

Lamb Stew with Buttermilk, Leek, and Gorgonzoal PotatesI was going to blog this as Braised Lamb Shanks, but I ended up using lamb shanks, lamb shoulder, and lamb steaks. As I have mentioned in the past, we have a local lamb dealer, and this year I bought half a lamb. Unfortunately, “Mary (literally the name of my lamb lady) had a Little Lamb.” So, my lamb shanks were tiny. I combined 2 lamb shanks, 1 lamb shoulder, and 4 lamb steaks in this recipe, but you could certainly make this with all shoulder or shank (I don’t think the lamb steaks are a typical supermarket cut) – the recipe is for 4-6 lbs. total of lamb (includes bones). All of these lamb cuts have a pretty high fat content(particularly the shoulder), so I recommend braising the lamb in advance and allowing it to cool in the refrigerator so that you can easily remove the fat from the top. The finished product received rave reviews (from my family – worst critics ever). The mashed potatoes were a result of “what’s in the fridge/pantry” – which always results in some of my best recipes – this one definitely qualifies. In fact, it is worthy of it’s own blog, though I will blog it here as well. Serves 4-6.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4-6 lbs. of Lamb (shoulder, shank, steak or any combination)
  • 3/4 Cup of Flour (for dredging)
  • 4 Medium Shallots – peeled and roughly chopped
  • 4 Cloves Garlic – peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 TBS. Red Wine
  • 4-6 Cups of Beef Broth – enough to reach top of meat, but not cover
  • 28 Oz. Crushed Tomatoes (preferably San Marzanos)
  • 3 Carrots- peeled and cut into 1″ Chunks*
  • 1 Package of Baby Bella (or your favorite) Mushrooms – halved
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 Herb Bundle (Rosemary, thyme, oregano, parsley) or 1 TBS. Dried Italian Herbs, 1-2 tsp. Dried Rosemary, and 1/2 tsp. Dried Thyme
  • Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper

* You can add additional root vegetables such as parsnips or potatoes – I served the stew over mashed potatoes, so I did not use them.

INSTRUCTIONS:

Pat the lamb dry and season generously on all sides with Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Lamb Stew with Buttermilk, Leek, and Gorgonzoal Potates 004Dredge each piece of lamb in flour. Heat olive oil (just enough to cover the bottom of pot) in a large stockpot or Dutch oven. When oil is hot, add lamb pieces (you probably have to do two batches) and brown on all sides. Add lamb to hot oilRemove lamb and set aside. Lamb Stew with Buttermilk, Leek, and Gorgonzoal Potates 010Add garlic and shallots to pot and allow to sweat and remove the browned bits from the pan (add more oliveLamb Stew with Buttermilk, Leek, and Gorgonzoal Potates 015 oil if necessary). Add wine and allow to further deglaze the pot; continue cooking until wine is reduced by 1/2. Lamb Stew with Buttermilk, Leek, and Gorgonzoal Potates 020Return the lamb (with any accumulated juices)to the pot and add the tomatoes. The lamb should be covered with cooking liquid; if not, add more beef stock. Add the herbs, cover the pot, and reduce heat. Lamb Stew with Buttermilk, Leek, and Gorgonzoal Potates 024Allow to simmer for about 3 hours – until meat is very tender. Skim fat from the top (if you have time, refrigerate the whole pot and the fat will congeal and be easier to remove) and remove the herb bundle (if you used one). Season to taste with Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Add any additional vegetables to the pot, return to heat and cook until added vegetables are tender. Serve with mashed potatoes, polenta, or wide egg noodles.

* If you like a thicker sauce, you can make a simple slurry of corn starch and water and add to the stew to thicken it.

Buttermilk, Leek, and Gorgonzola Mashed Potatoes

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 Large Russett Potatoes (or 6-8 smaller boiling potatoes such as Yukon gold)- peeled and cut into 1″ chunks
  • 1 tsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 Leek (white and light green parts only) – thoroughly cleaned and finely chopped
  • 2/3-3/4 Cup of Buttermilk
  • 4-5 TBS. Gorgonzola Cheese
  • 1-2 TBS. Butter
  • Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper

INSTRUCTIONS:

To a stockpot, add enough water to cover potatoes. Bring water to a boil and add potatoes. Cook until potatoes are fork tender (but not mushy), about 5-6 minutes depending on the type of potato and the size of your chunks. In the meantime, heat the olive oil in a small skillet and add chopped leeks. Cook until leeks are soft; remove from heat and set aside. Add buttermilk and butter to a small saucepan and heat to just below boiling; add gorgonzola and stir until dissolved and incorporated. Drain the potatoes and mash with a masher or potato ricer. Add leeks, hot buttermilk mixture, salt and pepper (to taste) and mix thoroughly (if you like really smooth potatoes, you can use a hand mixer and whip the potatoes). Taste for seasoning, and add more salt and pepper as necessary.

Grilled Pizza with Lamb, Goat Cheese, Mushrooms, Shallots and Roasted Peppers

Thru November 15 166

This pizza was amazing! Since I am obsessed with grilled bread, why not become obsessed with grilled pizza? You could certainly make this with any kind of meat/sausage, or forego it all together. However, I love well seasoned ground lamb, and the flavor combinations of these toppings really worked well. I used store bought pizza dough (Trader Joe’s has great fresh pizza dough, but most grocery stores sell frozen dough), but if you have a favorite pizza dough recipe, that would probably be even better. I’m not sure how one of those Boboli type crusts would work; it seems like they might get too crispy. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. (Photos are for a double recipe). Serves 4-5.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 Pizza crust (uncooked)
  • 1/3-1/2 Cup Pizza Sauce (I used canned)
  • 1 Cup Shredded Mozzarella
  • 1 Lb. of ground lamb (or other meat of your choice)
  • 3-4 oz. Goat Cheese
  • 1/2-1 Cup Fresh Mushrooms (I used Criminis – sometimes called Baby Bellas)
  • 1 Red Pepper – seeds and stems removed, cut into 4 pieces
  • 1 Shallot – thinly sliced
  • 1 TBS. Garlic Powder
  • 1 TBS. Dried Greek Seasoning (or 1 tsp. dried rosemary, 1 tsp. dried oregano, 1 tsp. dried thyme) + extra oregano for sprinkling
  • 3 TBS. Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Cooking Spray

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat oven to 400 Degrees. Preheat grill to Medium. Combine peppers, shallots, 2 TBS. olive oil and a couple of pinches of salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Mix until all vegetables are well coated. Line a baking tray with foil and spread vegetables in a single layer on the tray. Roast at 400 degrees until browned and softened – remove from oven and set aside.Roasted Peppers and Shallots Season the ground lamb with garlic powder, herbs, and salt and pepper and mix until the seasonings are well incorporated. Season LambForm the meat mixture into small balls. Add 1 TBS. olive oil to a medium saute pan and heat over medium. Add the meat balls to the pan, brown on all sides and continue cooking until cooked through.Brown meatballs Set meatballs aside. Using same pan (do not clean, but you may have to drain some fat), add mushrooms and saute until softened. Remove the skin from the red peppers and slice into strips.

Lightly flour a cookie sheet or cutting board. Stretch dough to desired shape and thickness ( you don’t want to make the dough too thin or you will have difficulty with it on the grill, but if it’s too thick, it won’t cook enough), about 1/2 inch. Stretch and Shape DoughSpray grill grates generously with cooking spray (they make one for grills) and place pizza crust directly on the grill grates and turn the heat down to low. Grill until you have nice brown grill marks; flip over and do the same on the other side.Lightly BrownedNice toasted grill marks

Spread pizza crust with a thin layer of sauce (or be more generous if you like a lot of sauce) . Spread with sauceSpread mozzerrella evenly over the crust. Add “lumps” of goat cheese, meat balls, strips of roasted red pepper, roasted shallots, and sauteed mushrooms. Sprinkle with oregano.Add remaining ingredients

Spray the grill with Cooking spray and place prepared pizza directly on the grill grates. Grill until mozzarella cheese is completely melted and crust is nicely browned. (If you notice that the crust is darkening too much, turn off the burner directly under the pizza, but leave on the two outside burners.) Finished PizzasAllow pizza to rest for a few minutes, then slice and serve.

Greek Lamb Burgers

Greek Lamb Burgers

I’ve mentioned, on several occasions, that we have a great source for (somewhat local) grass fed lamb. We bought all of their remaining ground lamb supply and have been enjoying it ever since. This is one of my favorite uses for the ground lamb, and it’s a nice change from regular beef burgers. The burgers are simply seasoned and finished with traditional Tzatziki sauce, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, and a little extra feta cheese. I served them in pita bread with a side Greek salad. We have great Greek restaurants (Coney Islands) near us, so I usually just buy the Tzatziki sauce (Trader Joe’s also has a good version). I’ve included a good recipe for Tzatziki sauce, but it’s really best if you make it at least a day in advance. (Serves 6)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 Lbs. Ground Lamb
  • 4 Oz. Feta Cheese – plus a little extra for garnish
  • 4 Cloves Garlic – finely chopped
  • 4 TBS. Fresh (or 2 TBS. dried) Oregano- chopped
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 3 Pieces of Pita Bread – cut in half
  • 1 Tomato- thinly sliced
  • 1/4 White, Red, or Sweet Onion- thinly sliced
  • 1/4 English (seedless) Cucumber – thinly sliced
  • 6 Slices Fresh Green or Red Leaf Lettuce

For the Tzatziki Sauce:

  • 1/2 Cup Greek Style Yogurt – strained*
  • 1/2 Cup Sour Cream
  • 1/2 English (seedless) Cucumber – peeled, seeded and sweated**
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 TBS. Olive Oil
  • 2 tsp. Red Wine Vinegar
  • 2 Cloves Garlic – chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. Pepper
  • 2 tsp. Fresh dill

INSTRUCTIONS:

Prepare the Tzatziki sauce: Strain the yogurt by placing a coffee filter in a colander and placing over a bowl; add the the yogurt to the filter and allow to sit for about 5 minutes until liquid strains off.  *Chop the peeled, seeded cucumber, place in a colander in the sink and sprinkle with the salt, allow to sit for 30 minutes- this will sweat out the excess water from the cucumber. In a food processor, combine cucumber, olive oil, vinegar, garlic, pepper and dill and process for a few seconds until cucumber is finely chopped, but not pureed. In a small bowl, combine sour cream and strained yogurt and mix well. Add cucumber mixture. Add additional salt and pepper to taste. Let rest in refrigerator for as long as possible.

In a non-reactive mixing bowl, combine ground lamb, garlic, oregano, and feta cheese. Mix until all ingredients are incorporated, but do not overmix. Divide meat mixture into six portions and form into 1/2 moon shaped burgers (you can form into regular burger shapes, but the 1/2 moon shapes will fill out the pita bread better). Season burgers with salt and pepper. Grill* over medium heat until cooked to desired doneness (I like the burgers cooked medium, without too much pink). Put burgers into pita bread and garnish with onion, tomato, and cucumber slices. Add additional crumbled feta cheese and tzatziki sauce.

Enjoy with a side of Greek Salad or Rice Pilaf.

* You could broil or even pan sear the burgers if you prefer.

 

 

Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd’s Pie

I decided to make this Shepherd’s pie in an effort to use up the thousands of pounds of leftover buttermilk mashed potatoes we had (I’m quite sure Bryan trained as an army cook).  I really hadn’t heard of Shepherd’s pie until I moved to New England where it appears on the menus of most family style restaurants. The dish is often made with ground beef, but if it is, it’s not technically Shepherd’s pie. Being an English teacher makes me a bit of an etymologist as well; so let’s be clear- a shepherd is one who herds sheep, not cattle. Hence, Shepherd’s pie should be made with lamb. Given my penchant for lamb, this is the ultimate casserole. There are some variables with this dish (not including the type of meat you use). Some people start with a layer of mashed potatoes and then top the dish with more mashed potatoes (not a bad idea when you have thousands of pounds of leftover potatoes). Some people layer the vegetables as well, rather than mixing them with the meat. And then there is the whole debate about which vegetables are traditional. Carrots, peas and corn are the most often included. I suggest you do as I do, and include the vegetables your family likes. This proved to be quite eye-opening for me because I was under the misguided impression that my family members did not like peas – they informed me otherwise, and I included peas. Finally, there is the question of how to serve the “pie.” You can make one large casserole and serve from that, or you can make individual servings (I did both, but the photos are only of the individual servings because I froze the large one). This dish is easy to make, and you could certainly add a shortcut by using store bought mashed potatoes. As for the family rating, out of the mouth’s of babes came: “Why don’t we have this more often?”

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 Lbs. Ground Lamb
  • 1 TBS. Olive Oil
  • 1 Cup Chopped Onion
  • 1 Cup Chopped Carrots (about 2 carrots)
  • 1 Cup Peas (frozen- thawed)
  • 1 Can of Corn or 1/2 Cups Frozen Corn
  • 2 TBS. Chopped Garlic
  • 2 TBS. Thyme (fresh is preferable)
  • 1 TBS. Rosemary
  • 3 Cups Chicken Broth
  • 5 TBS. Flour
  • 4 TBS. Tomato Paste
  • 3 TBS. Worcestershire Sauce
  • 6-8 Cups Mashed Potatoes (link to Buttermilk Mashed Potato Recipe)

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large saute pan over medium heat, cook ground lamb. Drain off excess fat, mix in flour and set aside. Heat olive oil over medium heat, add garlic, chopped carrots and chopped onion. Saute until onion is translucent and carrots are tender.  Add carrots, onion, and all remaining ingredients except for mashed potatoes to the lamb mixture and combine thoroughly. Add mixture to a baking dish, or individual oven proof dishes to form a layer about an inch and a half thick. Layer the mashed potatoes on top of the meat mixture. Set baking dish on a foil lined baking sheet (you will likely get some bubble over) and bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes (potatoes should be brown on the edges). Allow to rest for 10-15 minutes before serving.

Lamb and Goat Cheese Ravioli with Morel Mushrooms

Lamb and Goat Cheese Ravioli with Sage Cream Sauce

The filling in this ravioli is exquisitely rich with a mild, but distinctive, flavor. You could substitute ricotta cheese, but the goat cheese has a nice subtle tangy quality that goes perfectly with the lamb. I’ve experimented with this dish a couple of times and have tried different complimentary flavors. The problem is that I can’t decide which I like best, so I think  it’s only fitting to incorporate them all.  Please note that the pictures show various stages/results.

The first time I made the ravioli, I prepared a plain pasta dough and a mushroom flavored pasta dough to make bi-colored ravioli. The flavor was outstanding, but the texture was not my favorite. I pureed the mushrooms as best I could, but they stubbornly retained some of their texture; I probably could have added even more oil to the puree, but I was worried about compromising the pasta dough. I have since found a recipe for porcini mushroom pasta which uses porcini mushroom powder (you make the powder by pureeing dried mushrooms, so you could use any dried mushrooms). I have included the link below, but I have to admit that I have not yet tried the recipe.

I added some sauteed morel mushrooms to the finished ravioli; I love the earthy flavors of the mushrooms and the lamb (you could use whatever mushrooms you like or are readily available). Finally, I decided to incorporate some pumpkin; so, in addition to the sage cream sauce, I added some swirls of pumpkin cream sauce. The slight addition was a nice touch without overpowering the dish with pumpkin flavor. So, my final vote goes to using unflavored ravioli with a lamb and goat cheese filling,  sauteed wild mushrooms (morels if they are available), and a smothering of the delicate sage cream sauce with just a few accents of pumpkin cream sauce. I have included a recipe for basic pasta dough and some links for decent “how to” videos.  If you don’t want to make your own pasta dough, store-bought wonton wrappers are a quick and easy (and perfectly acceptable) substitute. Also, you don’t have to have a pasta machine to make homemade pasta, you can roll it out by hand and cut it.  If you decide to venture out, you will likely be amazed and delighted by homemade pasta; but let’s be real…when it comes to convenience, you can’t compete with the boxed pasta.

Recommended preparation schedule:

(I recommend reading through the entire blog and checking out some of the suggested videos before you begin).

Prepare the meat portion of the filling. While the filling is cooling, prepare the pasta dough. While pasta dough is resting, add cheese to meat filling. Roll out pasta dough, fill and cut raviolis. Set raviolis aside (single layer on a well floured surface). Prepare cream sauce (and saute some mushrooms if you’d like). Cook raviolis, top with cream sauce (s), garnish with sage leaf or parsley sprig and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

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

FOR THE LAMB AND GOAT CHEESE FILLING:

  • 1 Medium Leek (white and light green parts only) – finely chopped*
  • 1 Lb. Ground Lamb
  • 1 TBS. Fresh Garlic – finely chopped
  • 1 TBS. Olive Oil
  • Pinch of Cayenne Pepper (optional)
  • 4 – 8 Oz. Goat Cheese (plain)**

* You can substitute green onion, sweet onion, or chives

Heat olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add leeks (or onions) and garlic and saute until leeks are wilted or onions are translusent. Add ground lamb to pan and cook thoroughly. Remove from heat, drain off excess fat, and allow mixture to cool. When mixture is cooled, add goat cheese, cayenne pepper and mix thoroughly. Season to taste with salt and pepper.  ** I only used 4 oz. of goat cheese, but if you want more of a cheese filled ravioli, you’ll want to use more cheese.

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 a link to a good description 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.

http://www.mangiabenepasta.com/rollncut.html

Cut your pasta into strips about 2 ” wide strips (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. For a good demonstration (although the shape is half moon rather than square), watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dnj-chlS_WQ&feature=fvwrel

Cook the ravioli in salted boiling water for 3-5 minutes (cook time depends on how thin your pasta dough was). The raviolis will float to the top as they cook, but I recommend testing one for doneness. The filling is cooked, so all you need to worry about is how tender you want the pasta.

For the Sage Cream Sauce:

  • 4 TBS. Unsalted Butter
  • 2 TBS. Fresh Sage – chopped
  • 1 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream*
  • 1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese – grated
  • Salt and Pepper

Over medium heat, saute sage in butter. Add cream and reduce by 1/2. Add Parmesan cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper.

*You can reduce fat and calories by substituting 1/2 and 1/2 or whole milk, but the sauce will be noticeably less rich.

If you’d like to accent the plate with some pumpkin cream sauce, simply combine equal parts of cream sauce with canned pumpkin.

Some pictures:

Step One of making the dough

Adding Mushroom Mixture to Dough

Combine Two Types of Dough to form Bi-Colored Mushroom Ravioli Dough

Lamb and Goat Cheese Filled Bi-Colored Ravioli

Another Dinner for Three