When I made my first batch of ravioli with a cauliflower stuffing some weeks ago, I contemplated whether I would make it with red wine or with white wine and ended up making a delicious red wine version with great depth of flavor. The idea of a ‘fresher’ version with white wine and lemon lingered, and so I decided to make that one as well. The result was equally delicious, but lighter and fresher. Both cauliflower ravioli recipes are great, it depends on what type of flavor you’re looking for and what wine (red or wine) you’d like to drink with them. The technique is the same: braising the cauliflower gives these ravioli great depth of flavor. The trick is to balance the other ingredients such that they blend into one flavor with the cauliflower rather than tasting the individual elements.
600 grams (1.3 lbs) cauliflower, separated into florets
juice and zest of a lemon
3 anchovy fillets or the equivalent amount of anchovy paste
1 celery stalk, minced
1 small onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp fresh minced flat leaf parsley
180 ml (3/4 cup) dry white wine
60 grams (6 Tbsp) freshly grated pecorino cheese
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp crumbled dried chile pepper
2 Tbsp slivered almonds
1 Tbsp capers, rinsed
extra virgin olive oil
200 grams (1 1/4 cup) Italian 00 flour
Cover and allow to simmer for at least an hour over low heat, stirring now and then. Add only a bit of water or white wine when absolutely necessary. It is fine if the cauliflower browns just a little, but it should not burn.
Add most of the parsley and stir to mix. Taste and adjust the seasoning. The stuffing should taste slightly overseasoned. You could add some more ground cumin or cayenne pepper, but be careful not to disturb the balance of flavors. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate to allow the stuffing to firm up.
Make pasta dough from the flour and eggs according to my instructions. Wrap it with plastic wrap and allow to rest in the refrigerator for half an hour.
Roll out the pasta dough and make ravioli according to my instructions. Cook the ravioli for a couple of minutes in boiling salted water.
Serve the ravioli at once on warm plates with the roasted cauliflower, toasted almonds, remaining grated pecorino, remaining parsley, capers, and a drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil. It is also a good idea to put just a bit of oil under the ravioli so they won’t stick to the plate.
This pairs well with a full-bodied riesling, sauvignon blanc or rueda (verdejo), or in other words a full-bodied dry white with some ‘zing’ to it.
Scallops are perfect for hot smoking and serving them as a snack with drinks, as they have just the right size. Just stick a toothpick in each and you are ready to serve. The smoke does overpower the delicate flavor of the scallops just a bit, but the resulting flavor and texture is delicious all the same.