Wanting to make something tasty with your Christmas leftovers? Or do you fancy spending a bit of time making something delicious that you only tend to have in restaurants? This duck and porcini ravioli is it Dear Reader. This ravioli melts in the mouth-and yes it's a pushy recipe for pasta makers out there!
I realise that not everyone had duck for Christmas as we did but this filling can be made with any sort of leftover cooked (or indeed raw) meat-chicken, turkey, beef or lamb. I have to admit that by day 3 I have leftover fatigue and the last thing I wanted to have was more duck unless it was in an entirely different form altogether.
And then I remembered a friend of mine telling me about a duck ravioli that she had recently. She loved it but for $25 she got about 6 pillows of ravioli. I know duck is seen as a more premium product but I thought that was ridiculous so I wondered how hard it would be to make some duck ravioli.
It isn't too hard at all, even with making the pasta from scratch. I learned how easy pasta is at a cooking class in Bologna where they simply mixed eggs and flour together with a little water. That was pasta dough in its beautiful simplicity. And provided you rest the dough, you can roll it out using a rolling pin and you don't need a pasta maker.
You end up with a lot of ravioli with leftovers but it freezes really well and trust me, in a few months when Christmas is a very distant memory and you're feeling peckish and want something comforting then this will do perfectly. You know me, always looking out for your stomach haha ;)
I tried this two ways: first with a Chinese egg wrapper dough and this wasn't as much a success as I emptied them all into a colander where they stuck together. Even worse, this trial run was meant for Nina and Garth (actually Garth as Nina is a vegetarian). You see they had looked after Mochi overnight and she had a little accident on their carpet. I was mortified and Nina wouldn't take any money so I got her where her weakness was, with her hatred of cooking and offered to make her and Garth a dinner to takeaway one night.
And sadly they were stuck together. "Arrgh can you apologise for the stuck together ravioli?" I said to Nina. Later that night she messaged me that he hadn't actually noticed so she didn't mention it to him! But I promise that we've got a work around for that so if you Dear Reader wanted to use premade dumpling skins, it still works (and so well we served it for Christmas dinner)! Otherwise the beautiful fresh pasta dough below is perfect!
So tell me Dear Reader, are you having leftover fatigue? And do you usually end up with lots of leftovers? How long do you eat them for?
And here's a little video showing how to make tortellini (similar to ravioli) that I shot at the Bologna Cooking School.
Duck & Porcini Ravioli
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Preparation time: 60 minutes plus resting time if making pasta from scratch
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4 people
200g/7.06ozs. bread flour
2 large eggs
4 cups duck meat (or any leftover meat from Christmas)
1 cup finely grated parmesan cheese (plus extra to sprinkle)
50g/1.7ozs. crumbled blue cheese (optional)
20g/0.7ozs. dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in hot water for 15 minutes
5 sticks of green spring onion
Salt and pepper
150g/5ozs. butter OR duck broth*
Every time I buy or make a cooked duck I keep the carcass and cook the broken down carcass it in the pressure cooker for 30 minutes with 3 cups of water to make a broth. There's still plenty of meat on the duck too that slips off easily after pressure cooking.
Step 1 - Make the ravioli dough first (you can also buy Chinese won ton squares or rounds and use those if you don't want to make the pasta from scratch). To make the ravioli or pasta dough, with a fork mix the flour and eggs in a bowl and then knead for 10 minutes until elastic and smooth textured (or 5 or so minutes in a mixer with a dough hook) adding a little water if needed (I used about 2-3 tablespoons). Cover with cling film and rest for 1-2 hours or overnight in the fridge.
Step 2 - Make the filling by placing the duck meat, parmesan, drained porcinis and spring onion in a food processor and process until smooth (it doesn't have to be super smooth, more all chopped up and mixed). Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Step 3 - Roll out the pasta using a rolling pin on a well floured surface. You want to roll it out as thinly as possible without breaking it and ideally roll it into a rectangular-ish shape. Cut it into long strips, around 9cm/3.6inches in height.
Step 4 - Roll little balls out of the filling and place in a row with about an inch between the balls. Brush some water on the top and between the balls and fold over the pasta and press down between the balls.
Step 5 - Use a ravioli cutter to create the fluted edges. Then press out any excess air and seal the unfluted end. Make sure that the edges are sealed well (I go over them just before I pop them in the pot to cook).
Step 6 - If you are making a browned butter sauce, make the sauce first. All you have to do is heat up the butter in a frypan on medium high heat and cook it until it smells nutty and brown. Keep that ready to place the cooked ravioli in. It isn't so much of a big deal if you are using home made pasta but if you are using the Chinese wrappers they will stick together if you drain them in a colander (I learned this the hard way). Place a pot of water onto boil and cook the ravioli for 2-3 minutes and they float to the top. Remove with a slotted spoon and pan fry gently in the browned butter. Serve with grated parmigiano reggiano and freshly ground black pepper. Tip: if you are using the Chinese wrappers, pan fry them on a medium high heat in the butter and you'll get a nice crispiness to the pastry.
Step 7 - If you are making the ravioli with a broth, heat up the broth in a pot and season to taste. Cook the ravioli in the broth and then serve it with a ladleful of the broth. Serve with grated parmigiano reggiano and freshly ground black pepper.