The story of these ravioli is as funny as it’s twisted – nothing more than a sign that things are happening in their own time and at their own pace, precisely when they need to happen. One day, I unexpectedly found porcini mushrooms at the market and I immediately started dreaming of some giant ravioli made with semolina flour – the kind you don’t need to serve more than one piece in one go, filled with wild mushrooms and a surprise egg yolk that will drip in a delicious maddening way when pierced with the fork.
So I took the mushrooms home, as if they were a small but precious treasure, and went to buy semolina. But, like most of the times when I make culinary plans, I couldn’t find any in any of the places I was relying on. I sighed, admitted defeated and used the porcinis that would have spoiled otherwise for crostini.
The very next day after eating the porcinis, I found semolina.
As my culinary fantasy had not vanished, I therefore returned to the original plan. I now had the flour for the pasta, so I went to look for more mushrooms in the same place I had come across them the first time.
You guessed it: I found none.
Instead, I found blue crabs, too beautiful not to take them with me and since I already had the semolina, I turned them into some fagottini stuffed with crab meat. And, as in life, just when the mushrooms had almost turned into a dream and I was preparing to move on, the dream came true and the porcinis were finally mine. Two hours later, the much-wanted raviolis were on my table. Just in time for a special dinner – have I already mentioned this story is about things that happen when they need to?
175g Italian pasta flour + 75g semolina di grano duro + 4 yolks, warm water and a drizzle of olive oil. I formed a dough that I kneaded lightly until it became elastic, then put it in the fridge to cool for half an hour.
Duxelles of mushrooms:
Using a brush, I cleaned the mushrooms of possible soil residues and chopped them as small as possible. I pan-fried them in butter, with an equally finely chopped shallot, 2-3 cloves of crushed garlic, finely chopped parsley, a few fresh thyme leaves, salt and pepper. Just before they finished cooking, I added two tablespoons of 35% fat cream, stirred well and moved the mixture into the food processor, turning everything into a paste. I set it aside to cool, long enough for me to take care of the pasta dough.
I rolled the dough with the help of the pasta machine and cut out a few equally-sized circles. I transferred the mushroom paste in a piping bag and I pipped the paste on the dough circles, placing an egg yolk in the middle.
I covered the mixture with the other parts of the dough, trying to take out as much air as possible without breaking the yolk. I fixed the shape of the ravioli where necessary and, with the help of a fork, I formed a pattern on their edge. I let them dry for a bit, during which time I took some beautiful fresh sage leaves, which I lightly fried in an oil bath for 1-2 minutes, until crispy.
Final preparations and plating
I cooked the ravioli for 2 min in boiling salted water. Meanwhile, I heated a pan and melted a cube of butter until lightly caramelised, turning it into a beurre noisette. When ready, I transferred the ravioli on the serving plates – one per serving – and, using a teaspoon, I poured a little caramelized butter over them. I decorated with a piece of mushroom very lightly browned in the pan – to suggest the filling, the deep-fried sage and microgreens.