Yet another dish from our trip to Sardinia. We had brodo di cipolle e ravioli di percorino at S’apposentu, and this is my rendition of it. The dish is very tasty and elegant, yet only uses a few simple ingredients. The sweetness of the onion broth works very well with the hearty cheese.
For 4 servings as a primo piatto
For the onion broth
500 grams (3 1/2 cups) sliced onions
1/2 litre (2 cups) water
50 grams (1/3 cup) chopped carrot
50 grams (1/3 cup) chopped celery
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp butter
4 fresh thyme sprigs
For the ravioli
pasta dough made using 1 egg and about 100 grams (2/3 cup) of flour
100 grams (3.5 oz) freshly grated aged pecorino cheese
Clean and chop the onion, carrot, and celery.
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a frying pan.
When the butter foams, add the sliced onions.
Stir over medium-high heat until the onions start to stick to the pan (about 5 minutes).
Season with salt. This will release some water from the onions, so you can keep stirring over medium-high heat.
Continue to stir until the onions are golden, about 5 minutes more.
Add carrot and celery, and stir for another minute.
Add half a litre of water.
Bring to a boil, stirring with a wooden spatula to include all flavor that has stuck to the pan into the broth.
If you have a pressure cooker, transfer to a pressure cooker and pressure cook for 30 minutes.
Otherwise, cover and allow to simmer for low heat for 1 hour.
The pressure cooker extracts more flavor and browns the onions some more.
Strain the broth into a saucepan, pushing down on the solids to get all the liquid out.
Grate the pecorino. Taste it, and add salt if needed (remembering the ravioli filling should always be on the salty side, because it will end up tasting less salty in the final dish). Shape the cheese into 20 balls of equal size using your hands. If you are very patient, you could also make more and smaller ravioli (28, 32 or 40). Roll out the dough until it is very thin and use my instructions to make ravioli with the cheese as the filling. For presentation it is nice to make round ones (using two cookie cutters; the first larger one to cut the pasta and the second smaller one to trim the edges after filling the ravioli).
The ravioli can be prepared in advance. Store them on a floured surface, and make sure to turn them after half an hour or so, so they can dry on both sides and won’t stick.
To serve the dish, bring a large pot of water to a boil to cook the ravioli.
Add thyme sprigs to the onion broth, and bring it to a boil. Once it boils, lower the heat so it will stay hot but doesn’t boil. Taste and adjust the seasoning of the broth with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
When the water for the ravioli boils, add salt and the ravioli. Cook them for 1 minute only.
Put the onion broth into individual serving bowls while the ravioli are cooking, making sure there is a sprig of thyme in each bowl. Lift the ravioli out of the boiling water with a strainer, and add 5 ravioli to each bowl of onion broth (or more if you made more than 20 ravioli). Serve at once.
This lentil salad with rabbit and corn is an original dish that I created based on what I had in my fridge and pantry. Succulent morsels of rabbit with a crispy crust are served atop a flavorful and healthy lentil and corn salad with tomatoes and red onions. For the crust on the rabbit I used cornmeal to echo the corn in the salad. The rabbit is served hot, the lentil salad at room temperature. It makes for a nice contrast between flavors, temperatures and textures. And it is low in fat and high in protein and fibers. But most importantly, it is delicious.You could substitute the rabbit with chicken, which is easier to obtain and easier to cook. But not as delicious.