Sumptuous, sunny Spring! This ravioli dish with browned butter is stuffed with what makes Spring so sensual

Fresh ravioli with Spring ingredients, made luxurious with a browned butter sauce

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One of the chefs we work with, Christophe Poteaux of Bastille in Virginia, fondly recalls his mother making a browned butter sauce. (We’ve got some new shows on our YouTube channel coming out in June that features Chef Christophe’s recipes — stay tuned!)

And what’s not to love about browned butter? Nutty and sweet in flavor, browned butter turns everything into a feeling of gratitude.

I, for one, have much to be grateful for this Spring. And to inspire your own list of gratitudes, make this dish, sit down with a fork at your table, and get out a piece of paper with a sharpened pencil. Every bite will encourage your thankfulness to grow. At the top of the list, I hope you can put: “Living a good life, with good food, that’s simple and delicious.”

Spring time goat cheese ravioli

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Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 cups goat cheese, room temperature

  • 3/4 cups ricotta cheese

  • Zest from one lemon

  • Freshly ground pepper to taste

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 T. finely minced shallot

  • 1 T. finely minced flat leaf parsley stems

  • 1 egg yolk

  • Assorted edible flowers (check with your grocer or nursery — these are beautiful, and even mythical, because you are eating Spring, you know)

  • Fresh sheets of pasta (as pictured) or wonton skins, both of which you can find in your grocer’s refrigerated section

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Procedure

Chef Patrick McKee of Portland. Visit him at Estes, hosted by the elegant Dame restaurant pop-up space.

Chef Patrick McKee of Portland. Visit him at Estes, hosted by the elegant Dame restaurant pop-up space.

  1. Make the filling in a bowl, incorporating the cheese, yolk, zest, salt, pepper, parsley stems, and diced shallot

  2. Working on a flat surface gently score the fresh pasta sheet to mark off the edge of the grid for the squares (useful photo guide here at the Pillsbury site — albeit for pumpkin ravioli)

  3. Place 2 teaspoons of filling in the center of where each square will be cut

  4. Place a fresh flower on top of the goat cheese mixture (or tear up the flower as needed to fit)

  5. Cover with the top layer of the pasta sheet

  6. Wet the edges of the bottom side and gently press the edges together keeping the filling inside. TIP: If you have a ravioli stamp, use it. It presses the edges and cuts at the same time. Genius.

  7. On a cookie sheet lined with wax paper, place your cut ravioli

  8. Set inside the freezer for a good hour.

  9. Once firm, place frozen ravioli in a freezer safe bag until ready to use, for up to a week.

I freeze them, as my friend and Iron Chef winner Patrick McKee taught me. They just hold up better when you cook them. True. True.

To cook

  1. In your EuroCAST Dutch, oven bring a small amount 3-4 inches of generously salted water to a boil.

  2. Slide the frozen ravioli into the water and let gently cook until done, about 2-3 minutes. Test one for doneness, and because you know you want to.

  3. Remove and sauce with your favorite things … and my browned butter suggestion should be near the top of your list. Read on.

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Browned butter sauce

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When you’re ready to eat your ravioli, lunch (or dinner) is moments away. Do it this way.

Ingredients

Serves two

  • 1 stick unsalted organic butter (I love grass-fed butter — but give me a ticket to France and I’ll go for the butter made from cow’s milk where those bovines have been munching on marigolds all day)

  • 8 ravioli

Procedure

  1. In your medium to large EuroCAST skillet, add the butter to the pan, slide in the freshly boiled ravioli over low heat, and continually spoon over the butter until the butter begins to brown and get nut colored. This technique keeps the butter from burning while cooking your ravioli.

  2. Remove the ravioli and as much of the butter as you like to two shallow bowls.

  3. Top with lemon grass leaves if you can find them, or leaves (chopped or not) of fresh parsley

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Chopped baby vegetable salad

On the side, or spread around the bowl, consider this other gorgeous celebration of Spring.

Chop up or slice (as you see fit)

  • Breakfast radish (what’s a breakfast radish)

  • New green tomatoes

  • Sliced shallots

Sprinkle on fresh peas (or frozen that have come to room temperature). Then finish with marigolds. Because they’re edible and not just for our friendly French cows, the best butter-makers.

La vache ferrandaise. Photo (c) 2007 by  Cyrille BERNIZET . Used under GNU Free Documentation license. “The rolling hills of Puy de Dôme are home to a breed of cattle specie called La FERRANDAISE. It was the most breeded cattle in the Auvergne region until the end of the XIX century, but then tend to disappear due to intensive agricultural practices. Thanks to a few passionate breeders the Farrandaise cow has been saved and they still fight to protect it.” — From LaFerrandaise.com

La vache ferrandaise. Photo (c) 2007 by Cyrille BERNIZET. Used under GNU Free Documentation license. “The rolling hills of Puy de Dôme are home to a breed of cattle specie called La FERRANDAISE. It was the most breeded cattle in the Auvergne region until the end of the XIX century, but then tend to disappear due to intensive agricultural practices. Thanks to a few passionate breeders the Farrandaise cow has been saved and they still fight to protect it.” — From LaFerrandaise.com





Paul WardComment