Smoked Eel and Celeriac Ravioli (Ravioli di Anguilla Affumicata e Sedano Rapa)

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Smoked eel and celeriac go very well together, and I’ve already posted about risotto and pasta with this combination. Even more refined are these ravioli stuffed with a creamy filling of celeriac and smoked eel, and served with a creamy pink sauce. These pasta pillows are heavenly and I definitely plan on delighting more of my dinner guests with them. It takes some practice to become proficient in ravioli, but once you’ve got the hang of them, they are not that much work as you only need to serve a small quantity. Even do you’ll probably want more than just a handful of these after you’ve taken the first bite, serving a limited quantity makes them all the more special.

Ingredients

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For about 30 ravioli

200 grams (7 oz) smoked eel fillets

150 grams (.33 lb) celeriac

1 Tbsp minced celery leaves

salt

freshly ground black pepper

pinch of cayenne pepper

120 ml (1/2 cup) heavy cream

80 ml (1/3 cup) tomato puree (passata di pomodoro, sieved tomatoes)

60 ml (1/4 cup) milk

1 Tbsp butter

3 eggs

200 grams (1 1/3 cup) Italian 00 flour

Preparation

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You will not use a whole celeriac, so reserve the remainder for another use. Peel part of the celeriac, and cut into cubes.

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Melt a tablespoon of butter in a saucepan. Once the butter foams…

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…add the cubed celeric and stir to coat with the butter.

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Add 60 ml (1/4 cup) milk…

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…and bring to a simmer. Season with salt.

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Reduce the heat to low and cover.

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Cook over low heat until the celeriac is tender, about half an hour, stirring now and then so it won’t burn.

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When the celeriac is tender, transfer it to the bowl of the food processor and add 150 grams (3/4) of the smoked eel, 1 egg, and season with freshly ground black pepper.

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Process until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and freshly ground black pepper, remembering that ravioli filling should always be slightly over-seasoned. (Since there is raw egg in the filling, you may want to cook a teaspoon of filling quickly in a non-stick pan before tasting it.)

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Transfer the filling to a bowl, cover it with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for an hour to firm up.

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Meanwhile, make pasta dough from the remaining 2 eggs and the flour, allow it to rest for half an hour, roll it out as thinly as possible, and make ravioli according to my instructions.

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Arrange the ravioli in a single layer on a floured surface.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

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While you are waiting for the water to boil, make the sauce. Pour 120 ml (1/2 cup) of heavy cream into a wide shallow pan over low heat, preferably with rounded sides so it will be easier to toss the ravioli in the sauce.

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Add 80 ml (1/3 cup) of tomato puree.

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Stir until homogeneous.

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Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and just a dash of cayenne pepper. It should not become very spicy, just a hint is enough. Keep warm over low heat.

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When the water boils, add salt and the ravioli. Regulate the heat so the water keeps boiling, but not too vigorously as you don’t want the ravioli to break. After a couple of minutes, transfer them to the pink sauce with a slotted spoon. Add most of the minced celery leaves as well.

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Once you’ve transferred all of the ravioli, carefully toss them to cover them with the sauce without breaking them.

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Serve the ravioli at once on preheated plates, garnished with the reserved smoked eel and the remaining minced celery leaves.

Wine pairing

This was amazing with Falesco Ferentano, a slightly oaked full-bodied white from the indigenous grape variety roscetto from the Italian region of Lazio. If you can’t find this wine, a slightly oaked, buttery and fruity chardonnay would also be a great choice.

Flashback

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Ravioli with eggplant and ricotta is a fancy version of the more rustic Sicilian Pasta alla Norma, and perfectly suited for a dinner party. Although the flavors are summery, the ingredients are available year-round so it is ideal to get a bit of summer in your house while it is snowing outside. The flavor of the eggplant is enhanced in a well-known Italian way called “trifolato”: it is sautéed with parsley and garlic. Rather than sautéing the aubergine raw which would make it very oily, I bake the eggplant first so only a minimum amount of oil is needed. The ravioli are served with a tomato sauce and basil, always a great combination with eggplant.

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5 thoughts on “Smoked Eel and Celeriac Ravioli (Ravioli di Anguilla Affumicata e Sedano Rapa)

  1. This looks beautiful. Will try it as soon as I can find smoked eel, not so easy in France.
    Looking at the recipe, I was thinking that a shot of whisky in the sauce might be nice?
    Have a great weekend and thank you for the blog,
    Leif

    Liked by 1 person

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