Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Raviolini de Pescatrice

Last year, I undertook an effort to make ravioli for the first time.  I came across a recipe for Ravolini de Pescatrice (Fish Ravioli) in a magazine and I thought it would be an interesting dish to make.  

This recipe was not your typical ravioli, with meat and cheese ground so finely that you have a hard time telling which is the meat and which is the cheese.  Instead, it involved the stacking of fresh ingredients -- eggplant, cheese, fish, and tomato -- onto freshly made pasta and then covering the pasta with another sheet to make the ravioli.  This is not an easy dish to make.  

While my first attempt was a success, my second attempt failed miserably.  Still, when properly done, it is a very tasty and different dish.

Adapted from a recipe provided by Saveur Magazine
Serves at least 4

Ingredients (for the pasta):
2 eggs
5 cups of all purpose flour
Hand crank pasta maker

Ingredients (for the Raviolini):
1/2 pound of halibut
1 small to medium sized eggplant, sliced thinly
1 small to medium sized tomato, sliced thinly
Mozzarella Cheese
Fresh Basil
1 garlic clove, diced
4 to 6 tablespoons of Olive Oil (at least)
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste

1.  The first task is to make the ingredients for the raviolini.  Heat about 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil in a saute pan at medium heat.  Slice the larger bottom end of eggplant into thin slices, trying to get as many same-size slices as possible. Salt and pepper the slices.  Add garlic and saute for a couple of minutes.  Add the eggplant slices and saute the slices until they become tender, which will take several minutes.  Remove and let cool.  Use a paper towel to remove any excess oil or moisture from the eggplant slices (this is important to minimize the amount of moisture of the contents of the ravioli to preserve the pasta).

2.  Slice the tomato into as many same size slices as possible.  Use a paper towel to remove any excess moisture from the tomato slices.  Also slice the mozzarella into as many same sized slices as possible. 

3.  Slice the halibut into evenly sized pieces.  Salt and pepper the halibut.  Add about 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil to a new pan and heat at medium heat.  Add the halibut and saute until halibut is mostly cooked . Remove and let cool down.  Then use a paper towel to remove any excess moisture. Put all of the raviolini ingredients in the fridge.

4.  It is time to make the pasta.  Take four cups of flour and make a mountain.  Then make a crater in the middle of the mountain with your fingers.  Crack two eggs into the crater.  Using a fork, begin to beat the eggs gently, occasionally mixing in flour from the rim of the "volcano" or its outside edges. Continue to add flour until the pasta starts to come together.  Once you can form it into a ball in your hands, place the pasta on a flat surface that is covered with flour.  Shape the pasta into a rectangle.  Begin to knead the pasta with the palm of your hand, adding flour to wherever it feels sticky.  After about ten minutes of kneading, check the pasta to make sure that there are no sticky spots.  Wrap the pasta in plastic wrap and let sit for about ten minutes.

5.  Set the pasta maker on the widest setting.  Split the pasta in half.  Run the pasta through a couple of times.  Then move the setting to the next setting and run the pasta through.  Move the setting to the next setting and run the pasta through.  Keep moving through the settings but stop before the last one.

6.  Now you should have two sheets of pasta.  And it is now time to start assembling the raviolini.  Place the ingredients in the following order: eggplant, mozzarella, halibut and tomato.   Make sure to leave a lot of space between each stack of ingredients to ensure that you will have enough pasta to complete the raviolini.  Then place the other sheet of pasta over top.  Gently press down around the edges.  Take a knife and make a cut to create individual raviolini.  Take a fork and press down along all of the edges of each raviolini.

7.  Put a pot of water on high heat.  When the water begins to boil, add the raviolini, one at a time.  Let the raviolini cook in the boiling water for about 5 minutes.  Remove the raviolini from the heat.

8.  To serve the raviolini, I would drizzle olive oil over them, and then grind black pepper over the raviolini.  If you have left over halibut, I would saute the halibut, break it up and sprinkle it over the raviolini. You can also add a basil leaf for garnish.


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