Sunday, May 30, 2010

Mushroom & Cheese-filled Pesto Ravioli with Garlic Herb Bread at Chateau Papillon

Travel so often inspires me to cook, and the recent visit to Italy had yet to see expression in my cuisine due to a busy schedule--until this evening, that is, with a homemade meal of pasta and bread.  Today's cuisine de Chateau Papillon: Homemade pesto ravioli filled with mushrooms & cheese, with garlic-herb bread and, appropriately, Chateau Le Paws wine.

I started with a basic semolina pasta dough, made with eggs, bread flour, semolina, oil, and water, flavored with a bit of the last batch of last year's homemade pesto (which froze very well--now it's time to plant more basil in the Aerogarden!).  The dough had sat in the fridge for a couple of days, after providing some linguine the other night.  Lacking a pasta press, I rolled it out into thin sheets and gummed the edges with an egg wash--but I'm getting ahead of myself.  For the filling, I sautéed some finely-minced onions and mushrooms (or funghi, as the Italians would say) and then used the residual heat to melt in a blend of bufala Mozzarella and soft goat cheese, along with a tablespoon or two more of the homemade pesto.  This mixture went into the ravioli dough and then a pot of boiling water.  I served it with extra virgin olive oil, grated Parmesan, and some fresh basil out of the garden--the simple sauce let the flavors stand on their own.

The bread came from one of my most-used cookbooks, Bo Friberg's The Professional Pastry Chef, and thus required as all professional baking recipes do measurement of ingredients by weight.  30 grams of finely-minced garlic (about 5-6 cloves), several tablespoons of dried basil and oregano, egg, flour, a lot of salt... and several hours of rising.  Beth thought I bought the bread--apparently I don't bake fresh bread often enough!--and when I explained that no, I had in fact baked the three loaves of bread, she wondered how I'd gotten the "professional" slits on the tops of the loaves (just a sharp knife before the second rising).

Chateau Le Paws was the wine for the evening, one of our favorites and though not Italian (it's from California, if I recall correctly), it's very good and works with just about anything.

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