Now that you've spent all that time making striped pasta dough, you need something incredible to fill it with! Boring old ricotta just won't do for such fancy ravioli.
So we made a chicken-prosciutto-lemon-shallot filling that was out of this world delicious, and topped it off with a simple garlic cream sauce. And all you cheese lovers? Don't worry. There was tons and tons of cheese in this dish.
For the filling you will need:
- 4 oz cooked skinless, boneless, chicken breast
- 2 oz prosciutto
- 1 shallot
- 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
- pinch of nutmeg
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 lemon
The recipe I adapted was from this cookbook, that I picked up for a few dollars at Michael's. It's got some really good recipes, and I like that it has full page color photos of the food in it.
The first thing to do is cook the chicken. Kevin chopped it up into bite-sized pieces and sauteed them, though in hindsight I would have just poached them and shredded them. Either way, cut or rip it into the smallest pieces you can. Do the same for the shallot and proscuitto. If you have a food processor, by all means, use that and save yourself some time. Kevin and I put handfuls of the shredded chicken into a regular blender with some of the ricotta for moisture and blended it to break it down even more. The trick was not adding too much to gunk up the blades.
Place chopped (or blended, or food processed) chicken, prosciutto, and shallot into a large bowl. Add the ricotta, half of the grated cheese, the nutmeg, and the egg, Mix it up. zest half of the lemon into the bowl, and then squeeze a tablespoon or two of the lemon juice in as well. Now you taste it, and season as needed with salt, pepper, more cheese, and more lemon juice/zest.
Remember, I have a ravioli press that I got online, but you can also fill and seal these babies by hand. They just won't look as uniform. You can also use regular dough of the non-stripey variety to make these, and I happen to have a recipe for that dough from last year.
Once the squares have been cut and sealed, you want to let them rest for at least an hour. Then you bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil, and boil them in batches for 3-5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain in a colander, or on a paper towel.
For the garlic cream sauce, you need:
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 4 cups of heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons butter
- freshly grated Pecorino Romano
- salt and pepper
Saute the garlic in the butter for a few minutes, and before it starts to brown add the cream. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for a few minutes while it thickens, add salt and pepper, and grate a butt-load of cheese into it. Serve it with the ravioli and add some fresh basil.
So here's a fancy cut-away picture of the ravioli filling. It has a super complex flavor that evolves in your mouth as you chew it. But Ignore the sauce in the picture, because I'll be honest with you...I reheated the leftovers from the day before to take the picture because I was too busy on Christmas morning to set up my lights. So yeah, that's microwaved day-old cream sauce in the photo. Tasted fine, but consistency wise? Yuck. Oh well, we can't get the perfect photo of every dish, all the time.
Oh, and happy new year! 🙂