Ricotta-Vanilla Ravioli in Orange Beurre Blanc Sauce
We made ravioli from scratch! And we succeeded! When we saw that even some of the Worst Cooks in America could do it, we knew we could. Thus inspired, we spent about three and a half hours making and kneading our pasta dough (according to the directions on the package of Hodgson Mills Pasta Flour), rolling it out using our hand-crank pasta machine, filling and cutting out ravioli, then boiling them and serving them in our delicious sauce. It was time consuming. And, we imagine, easier to do with four hands than with two. But it was a fun weeknight project and the delectible results made it worth every second.
There are plenty of books and websites that can explain how to make and roll out fresh pasta much better than we can, so we'll focus on the filling and sauce. The vanilla sweetened the ravioli in a delicate way and the orange zest in the filling was enhanced by the orange juice and zest in the sauce. The mint in the filling gave it a hint of herbal freshness, while the shallots and wine in the sauce offered nice depth of flavor. We used Simply Recipe's recipe for the sauce (only using 1 1/2 sticks of butter instead of two)and, again, it was an amazing pairing with our ravioli filling. We boastfully pronounced our ravioli "restaurant worthy" and were so proud of ourselves that we brought in samples for friends to taste. All gave two thumbs up.
Note: We used Mineola oranges for the zest and juice.
For the filling:
1/2 cup whole milk ricotta
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, chopped
2 teaspoons orange zest
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped out (as in photo)
Prepare fresh pasta. Mix all of the above ingredients in a medium bowl. Spoon a teaspoon's worth of the ricotta mixture onto one pasta sheet, about two inches apart. Brush the edges of each ravioli square with water, then top with additional pasta sheet, pressing to squeeze out air bubbles. Cut the ravioli squares and set aside to dry on a clean dishcloth. Repeat process with remaining pasta sheets. Cook ravioli in batches of 6-8 in salted boiling water for about 3 minutes, or until pasta is al dente. Top with sauce and enjoy.