Kees and I like to enjoy Spring Break in Miami Beach to enjoy some long awaited sun after the cold rainy winter with little daylight in the Netherlands. As Miami Beach is relatively close to DFW, we thought it would be a great idea to visit Richard McGary of REMCooks and his Baby Lady. Luckily they thought so too, and thus we arrived in sunny DFW for a weekend of cooking and eating. Mimi hopped on the bandwagon as well, and came over for dinner on Saturday night. It was great to meet two of my favorite bloggers.
We had a great weekend and enjoyed ourselves immensely. Richard and Baby Lady, we can’t thank you enough for your generous hospitality and warm welcome! We are already looking forward to your return visit and hope Conor and the Wife will be able to make it, too
This is Richard making a salsa verde to go with the delicious sous-vide duck carnitas that he prepared for us. Mimi enjoyed the rare occasion that someone else did the cooking very much, and took lots of pictures.
Richard had dinners planned for Friday and Saturday, but on Sunday we were going to cook together. We had to improvise as an ice storm had hit so we couldn’t go out to get more groceries (although Baby Lady did brave the icy roads to get some parmigiano at the nearby market). We wanted to prepare a fusion between both of our cooking styles, using what was available.
Richard had some of his wonderful maple cured, pecan smoked bacon left. Of course some type of chiles had to be included (Richard even served me peach preserves with chiles in it for breakfast — needless to say it was delicious). There was fresh milk and cream, so I made some lovely homemade ricotta. When I improvise, I cook Italian food. Handmade ravioli are my specialty, so we decided to make ravioli stuffed with ricotta and ancho chile, served with a sauce of clarified butter, fresh sage from the garden, and Richard’s homemade smoked bacon.
They turned out lovely and we’ll probably both make this again. The only thing that we will probably change is to use more ancho chiles, as the chile flavor was very mild and there was hardly any heat. The ravioli were very elegant and the combination of creamy ricotta, earthy ancho chiles, smoky bacon and the sage worked very well. This is what we did…
For 30 ravioli, 5 servings as a primo piatto
For the stuffing
250 ml (1 cup) homemade ricotta, made from 4 cups milk, 1 cup heavy cream, 2 Tbsp distilled white vinegar and a pinch of salt
1 ancho chile (or more, see above)
80 grams (1/2 cup) freshly grated parmigiano reggiano
salt to taste
powdered chiles to taste
For the pasta dough
200 grams (1 1/4 cup) Italian 00 flour (we used 100 grams semolina flour and 100 grams all-purpose flour, because that is what we had)
For the sauce
5 slices maple cured, pecan smoked bacon, sliced into strips crosswise
2 Tbsp minced fresh sage
115 grams (1 stick) clarified butter
additional grated parmigiano for sprinkling
While the chile is soaking, make fresh pasta dough from the flour and eggs, wrap it in plastic wrap, and allow it to rest in the refrigerator.
Mince the chile very fine.
Roll out the pasta dough after it has rested for at least half an hour and make ravioli with the stuffing. Roll out the dough as thin as you can get it without tearing. The thinner the dough, the more delicate your ravioli will be. You will probably have some leftover dough that you can eat as maltagliati pasta.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
Richard and Baby Lady also took lots of pictures, and Richard kindly sent me some of theirs to use in this post.
The butter and smoky bacon in the sauce call for an oaky buttery chardonnay. The Puligny-Montrachet that Richard selected was wonderful. If you make this with more ancho chiles, a chardonnay with more punch from a warmer climate such as California would work as well.