Recently, Iâ€™ve been noticing many, many food blogs posting recipes utilizing a certain brand of pre-made â€œfreshâ€ pastas: nothing like a Foodbuzz promo to bring the best out of the food bloggers. Many came up with very creative recipes using a store-bought, pre-made pasta (a difficult compromise for many hardcore pasta lovers). [In case you were wondering, no, Foodbuzz didn’t send us any Buitoni products, and yes, you do detect a hint of bitterness.] A prize of All-Clad Copper Core pots and pans is a pretty damn good prize to inspire the Sandra Lee in all of us. (An Aside: Speaking of Ms. Sandra Lee, has anyone seen that horrid “Kentucky GRILLED Chicken” commercial?Â We wonder if she is going to take a bucket of that chicken, open up a bag of arugula, throw on some Seven Seas Italian Dressing, and then craft one of her cleverly-branded “tablescapes” featuring giant papier mÃ¢chÃ© heads of the Colonel?)
After seeing all these different recipes utilizing store-bought pasta (and upset at having been left-out of this Foodbuzz freebie), I was reminded that the average American still thinks that making homemade pasta isn’t possible, and I was determined to prove them wrong. Although I do understand that there is a time and a place for store-bought stuffed pasta and Semi-Homemade/Sandra Lee nights, I also believe that creating homemade, fresh, stuffed pasta is much, much easier than most people think.
The key is in the stuffing. If you can make a delicious stuffing for ravioli, agnolotti, tortellini, cannelloni or any other shape of stuffed pasta your little heart desires, the hardest part is over. If you donâ€™t have a pasta roller (or a rolling-pin), buy some wonton wrappers and do it that way. The key is that youâ€™ve done it â€“ you made it, the stuffing is fresh and includes zero preservatives. You get to control what goes in the stuffing. Get creative ’cause the possibilities are endless.
Although I did make my own pasta for this dish, the star was the stuffing. It was super simple, quick and very easy to make. We happened to find fresh porciniâ€™s in our local market (a freaking miracle) for about $35 a pound, so we bought two ($8!) and decided to blend those with some rehydrated dried ones and a bit of good old (and too often underappreciated) white button mushrooms. A bit of butter, some fresh parmigiano, garlic, shallots and sage, and youâ€™ve got a fab-u-lous, fresh filling for pasta.
Bottom line, if you havenâ€™t tried making your own stuffed pasta, give it a try. Please. Just try.
- 1 packet homemade pasta or wonton wrappers
- 2 x 8oz boxes of mushrooms (button, brown, cremini or a mixture of any type of mushroom)
- 3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
- 1 shallot, finely minced
- 8-10 sage leaves, finely minced
- Â½ cup grated parmigiano reggiano
- 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter
- salt and pepper
For the sauce:
- 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter
- 5 sage leaves, julienned
- 4 tbsp grated parmigiano reggiano
- Make your filling by gently sautÃ©ing mushrooms, shallot and garlic together in butter until all is soft.
- Add sage and cheese and combine well. Kill the fire. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
- Mixture should be reasonably dry, i.e. not saucy, so that it doesn’t soak into pasta but sits nicely in it. Allow mixture to cool before beginning next step.
- If you want to make your own pasta dough and roll your ravioli from scratch, click here for our foolproof recipe tried and tested many times but, most famously, on a weeknight.
- If not, take your wonton wrappers, and armed with a glass of water, lay the wrappers out and place a teaspoon of filling in the center of each.Â
- Then, follow the latter part of our tried and tested ravioli-on-a-weeknight-recipe.
- To make the brown butter (noisette) and sage sauce, simply melt the remaining butter in a pan and watch it caramelize into a beautiful brown color, adding julienned sage near the end.
- Spoon sauce over cooked ravioli/tortelloni and sprinkle liberally with cheese.
- Enjoy with red wine and the knowing smugness of having done it all yourself, even if there is no reward of free cookware…