We’re Cooking: Truffle Ravioli with Sherry Mushroom Sauce

We did a charity dinner on Saturday that was an auction item at a recent dinner for The Salvation Army…10 new faces in our home for a big 4 course dinner.  Our starter…not technically an amuse as it was more than one bite….was a homemade ravioli stuffed with fresh ricotta and truffle topped with a decadent shitake mushroom, sherry and cream sauce.  We have done something like this before, but the sauce with this version just took it over the edge.  Earthy, sweet and savory and a spot on pairing with our first course wine selection, Evening Land La Source Pinot Noir from  Willamette Valley, OR.


Truffle Ravioli with Sherry Mushroom Sauce
Makes 10 ravioli
20 pre-packaged Wonton wrappers (we usually make our own dough, but we had a SMU game to watch so we cut this corner using wonton wrappers, found in the produce section of most supermarkets….they work like a dream)
5 oz fresh ricotta (we used low-fat, whole milk ricotta would be a bit richer)
3 oz truffle paste (the Truffle Thrills Black Truffle and Mushroom product I have written about before is perfect here)
Olive oil
Parsley for garnish

For the sauce:
5 oz dried shitake mushrooms
3/4 cup sherry – divided by 1/2 cup and 1/4 cup
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup water
8 sprigs fresh thyme
1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1/2 small yellow onion – minced
4 oz mixed mushrooms – chopped (we used baby bellas and white button)
2 cloves garlic – minced
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons pepper
1 – 2 tablespoons truffle paste (we love truffle…use enough to fit your taste)
1 cup fat free half and half or fresh cream

For the sauce:  In a small sauce pan, add the dried shitake mushrooms, thyme, 1/2 cup sherry, water and wine.  Over very low heat, steep for about 30 minutes, rehydrating the mushrooms and reducing the liquid by about 1/3.  Let cool slightly.  (The alcohol will mellow and the broth and mushrooms should take on a sweet, nutty flavor.)  Remove the mushrooms from the broth and slice diagonally into strips.  Set aside.  Using a coffee filter, strain the broth.  Set the broth aside.
Add the olive oil to a medium sauce pan with the mushrooms, onions and garlic and cook over medium heat until softened.  Add the Italian seasoning, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, remaining sherry and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.  Cool slightly then pour into a food processor and pulse until the mixture is chopped through.  Pour back into your sauce pan  over medium heat.  Add the reserved broth and mushrooms to this mixture.  Keep on a simmer until just before you are ready to cook the ravioli.  At that time, add the half and half/cream, stirring constantly to ensure the cream is incorporated, and doesn’t break.  Warm through over medium low heat, constantly stirring.  When the ravioli is ready and plated, ladle the sauce on to each, making sure each portion gets a few mushrooms.

For the ravioli:  Lay 10 wonton wrappers out on your work area.  Spoon about 1/2 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) ricotta on the bottom of each wrapper.  Add about half of that amount of truffle paste on top of the ricotta.  Fill a small bowl with water.  Using a pastry brush or your fingers, dip the brush into the water and run the brush along the outer four edges of the wonton wrapper.  Carefully place the remaining 10 wrappers on top of each ravioli, pressing each together tightly so they will not pop when you add them to the cooking water.  Lay on a baking sheet lined with a damp cloth, and top with an additional damp cloth.  Set aside until ready to cook.  When ready to cook bring 4 quarts of salted water to a boil with about a tablespoon of olive oil, to keep the pasta from sticking together.  Working in batches, carefully lay a few ravioli at a time in the boiling water.  Cook until they float to the top of the water, about 2 minutes.  Remove and place individually on your serving dishes. Top with the sauce and a garnish of fresh chopped parsley.  Serve



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