Apart from anything sous-vide, homemade ravioli could be considered to be my signature dish. Besides Italian classics I have developed many variations over the years. So many that it is getting hard to come up with something new. White asparagus are in season and I realized I had not posted a recipe for white asparagus ravioli yet. To give these ravioli an interesting texture, I included the asparagus in the filling as brunoise rather than as a puree. To add more flavor, I included a small amount of prosciutto and sautéed the asparagus in butter. The sauce is a simple but delicious mixture of reduced asparagus stock from the peels and butter. To top it all off, literally, the tips of the asparagus are served on top. I am very happy with how these ravioli turned out and I will definitely make them again. Here is what I did…
For about 36 ravioli, 4 to 6 servings
750 grams (1.7 lb) white asparagus
125 grams (1/2 cup) ricotta, preferably homemade
30 grams (1 oz) prosciutto, about 2 thin slices, cut into small strips
30 grams (1 oz) freshly grated parmigiano reggiano + more for garnish
1 Tbsp minced fresh flat leaf parsley
4 Tbsp butter, divided
salt and freshly ground white pepper
fresh pasta dough made from 2 eggs and about 200 grams (1 1/4 cup) Italian 00 flour
Peel the asparagus and trim about 1/2 cm (1/4 inch) from the bottom. Do not peel the tips. Reserve the peels and trimmings to make the sauce.
When the asparagus are peeled, cut off the tips (about a third of the length).
Cut the tips in half lengthwise.
To cook them sous-vide, season them with salt and freshly ground white pepper and vacuum seal.
Cut the asparagus stalks into brunoise by cutting them in quarters lengthwise and then into small pieces.
Heat 2 tablespoons butter in a frying pan and add the asparagus brunoise.
Stir over medium high heat untilt he asparagus are golden, about 3 minutes.
Add 30 grams prosicutto, thinly sliced and cut into strips.
Stir for another minute, then turn off the heat.
Beat an egg in a bowl.
To the bowl add the sautéed asparagus, 30 grams of freshly grated parmigiano reggiano, and 125 grams (1/2 cup) of ricotta.
Mix the mixture with a fork…
…until homogeneous. By using a fork instead of a food processor, the filling have a more interesting texture. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and freshly ground white pepper, remembering the the filling of ravioli should always be slightly over-seasoned. Cover the bowl and refrigerate the filling to allow it to firm up.
Put the asparagus peels and trimmings in a pot and barely cover with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for half an hour.
After simmering, sieve the asparagus stock and use a china cap and a pestle to push as much liquid out of the peels as you can.
Then sieve the stock.
Roll out the dough and make ravioli according to my instructions for making ravioli.
When the ravioli are finished, bring a large pot of water to a boil…
…and cook the asparagus tips, either sous-vide for 15 minutes at 84C/183F, or steam or boil them until they are tender but firm to the bite.
Pour the asparagus stock in a frying pan, bring to a boil, and reduce by about half.
When it has been reduced by half, turn down the heat, add a tablespoon of cold butter cut into pieces, and whisk to incorporate the butter.
When the water boils, add salt and the ravioli.
Cook the ravioli for a couple of minutes, then transfer them to the pan with the asparagus stock and butter sauce using a strainer.
Toss the ravioli in the sauce with a tablespoon of minced parsley.
Serve the ravioli on preheated plates and top with the asparagus tips. Sprinkle with freshly grated parmigiano reggiano.
This is outstanding with an elegant mineraly sauvignon blanc, especially Sancerre or Pouilly-Fumé.
Homemade croissants are even more difficult than homemade puff pastry, but it is worth the effort.