My husband has developed what can only be described as a sixth sense for mushrooms. Somehow, he knows exactly when and where to look. He said it was time to go hunting. But the weather seemed too warm, and the fog hadn't set in yet. I was certain that the sun was too direct, I was convinced that the ground was too dry. I questioned him. I second-guessed him. I doubted him. Until he led me right to them.
The first chanterelles of the season. This time, I was all too happy to admit he was right.
Despite my husband's keen mushroom hunting intuition, chanterelles are still a rare treat for us. So whenever we find some, we pull out all the stops and make something very special with them. This time it was delicate ravioli.
But before I get to the recipe, here's my interview on the Lonely Gourmet in case you missed it. We chatted about my cookbook and the finer points of searing. So much fun!
Chanterelle Ravioli with Sage Brown Butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
¾ pound chanterelles, torn into bite-size pieces
1 clove garlic, minced
8 ounces ricotta
1 ½ ounces grated Parmegiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving
1 large egg
Generous pinch freshly grated nutmeg
Freshly ground black pepper
1 recipe Fresh Egg Pasta dough, cut into sixths
6 ounces (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, diced
¼ cup fresh sage leaves
Heat a large, heavy sauté pan over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the chanterelles and sauté for 6 to 7 minutes, or until tender. Add the garlic and sauté for another 1 to 2 minutes, or until fragrant. Let cool.
Combine the chanterelles, ricotta, Parmegiano, egg, and nutmeg in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Sheet and form just 1 or 2 pieces of the pasta dough at a time according to the recipe, sheeting it until the second-to-last narrowest setting of the rollers and using 1 teaspoon of filling per ravioli. As you work, arrange the ravioli in a single layer on lightly floured parchment-lined baking trays.
Heat a small, heavy saucepan over medium heat until very hot but not smoking. Add the butter and cook, stirring constantly, for 5 to 6 minutes, or until browned. Add the sage and a generous pinch of pepper and cook, stirring constantly, for about 1 minute, or until the sage is crisp. Remove the pan from the heat and dip the bottom into an ice water bath for a second or two.
Meanwhile, cook the ravioli in 2 or 3 batches in a large pot of boiling, salted water, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 4 minutes, or until they are al dente. When the ravioli are al dente, using a wire skimmer, transfer them from the pot to a large bowl, drizzle with a bit of the brown butter, and gently toss to coat. Arrange on individual plates, drizzle with the remaining brown butter, top with plenty of Parmegiano, and serve immediately.
Makes approximately 7 dozen 1 ½-inch ravioli, serving 6 as a main course. This was the ravioli plaque used. Speed the cooking time by using two large pots of water for boiling the ravioli. Uncooked ravioli may be frozen in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking tray and transferred to a zip-top bag when frozen solid. Ravioli keep for several weeks frozen. Add them to boiling water while still frozen—there's no need to thaw them, just increase their cooking time by a couple of minutes. Keep scraps of dough leftover from cutting ravioli to put in soup.