Homemade Mushroom Ravioli in a Butter-Smoked Paprika-Harissa Sauce

22 Apr

Have you ever heard the saying “bodies in motion want to stay in motion”? I believe the first time I heard that statement was at a corporate wellness talk (people in the restaurant industry aren’t the healthiest bunch, who knew?) which I wanted to nod my head and look around the room with serious eyes saying “it’s true, you guys” because I enjoy working out and running, and until you do your active thing of the day, you have this nagging feeling that can only be quenched with some good old fashioned sweat. Well I have been all sorts of lazy as of late. I was sick twice in the span of 10 days, and I have the immune system of a fly (they have bad immune systems, right?) so it took me an additional week to get over, and then it hasn’t stopped raining or snowing for the past 2 weeks. So I’d say the month of April has been a waste physically for me. I don’t even have that nagging feeling anymore. I am embodying the age old “bodies on the couch want to watch the rest of this season” [tv joke]. Needless to say, I was ready to get my ass in gear this weekend, because not only has my lazy/lethargic presence kept me from running, but it’s kept me from being productive, and most importantly, doin’ my thang in the kitchen.

I woke up on Sunday and made a little stack of cookbooks, and began to make my grocery list. I came across this and knew what the culmination of my “productive” Sunday would be: { Anatolian Mushroom Ravioli tossed in a smoked paprika lemon butter sauce with mint yogurt sauce and fried chickpeasSusan Feniger’s Street Food } What a mouthful (and mouthful it was) 

I finally made my way to a grocery store I’ve heard a lot about, but have never made the pilgrimage to: Arbor Farms Market. I think of it as a mix of Whole Foods and the Food Co-Op, with a splash of Trader Joe’s. And there was coffee at the front just begging to be sampled. What a delight. The only downfall was while checking my grocery list in the parking lot I dropped my (i)phone, and  I’m one of those idiots that doesn’t use a case so I now have a distinctive spiderweb of broken glass on the bottom right corner. However, we can’t blame Arbor Farms for my butterfingers.

So the main event in this dish is obviously the mushroom ravioli, and making the filling couldn’t have been easier (or healthier..ish). Sauté 1 finely chopped onion in a few Tbs of olive oil, and add 1 lb of finely chopped mushrooms and a tsp of smoked paprika. Now set aside to cool. That’s it! And you wouldn’t believe how much flavor came from this combo.

Mushroomss

 

Now we ravioli. It’s a little cheat-y because the dough is just prepared wonton wrappers, but I’ve never made homemade pasta dough and I’m not going to start during a lazy time in my life. Also I’ve never made ravioli at home, so even though it’s prepared dough it’s still new territory for me.

Making the raviolis wasn’t hard, just TIME CONSUMING. Take a sheet of dough, brush with a beaten egg, place filling in the middle, and pinch the sides into an X.

Ravioli

 

Easy right? It was one of those things like painting a room or stripping wallpaper that seems so fun and cool, and it is for the first couple of minutes, then it just turns into “keep your head down, power through” as you wipe sweat from your brow with the back of your forearm in a “hrumph”. I even solicited help from John and Max, who had the same “awesome, I want to try” attitude, and then had the luxury of walking away after a few pinches (in their defense Max was making a Pizza, and John was making Black Bread for the evening’s Game of Thrones viewing…we’re just a regular old culinary compound).

Ravioli

I like how the really crappy one is right in the front of the picture. Since the filling is cooked and the dough is so thin, you just need to pop these in salted boiling water for about 3 minutes (they’ll even rise to the top to tell you “I’m done”). Take it from me: don’t just pile all the cooked ravioli’s on top of each other in a colander because guess what? They all stick together and the wrapper gets ripped when you try to separate them and then certain people (me) get upset because it’s not perfect and maybe I’m just still upset that I spider-webbed my phone this morning, okay?

Now on to the sauce. Melt about a stick of butter (I always use less when I can) with 2 tsp of smoked paprika, some salt, and 2 heaping Tbs of Harissa. I could not find Harissa, so I picked up a garlic chili paste from the international aisle, and I’m sure it worked just fine because wowza was it good.

Sidenote: Over the past few months I have been making dishes that call for Harissa or Sambal, which are both a type of chili paste with an Asian or Mediterranean influence. Almost none of the dishes seem to fit that specific flavor profile (see Thanksgiving’s Green Bean Salad or “Greek” Salad) but the addition of this spicy/flavorful condiment really makes the dish. I feel like I am now the owner of this amazing culinary knowledge to create wonderful and complex palates–similar to when I had the realization that the addition of honey or sugar to *gasp* savory items deepens the flavor. Sweet, Salty, Bitter, Spicy, the more you can combine the more depth you’ll experience (have you ever had a salted caramel anything? yeah, that’s what I’m talking about)

Once you have your butter amazingness, throw in a rinsed can of chickpeas and allow then to get some color and crispness.

Chickpeas

Now GENTLY toss in your ravioli (even if they’re ripped) and stir to coat. Meanwhile enlist a friend (fiancé, roommate, whatever) to stir together some greek yogurt, mint, and salt.

Place the chickpea/ravioli mixture on a plate, and top with a dollop of yogurt sauce. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the top (if you have it that is, apparently I overlooked it during my grocery outting).

Pasta

I came across a blog that features the actual Mushroom Ravioli from Susan Feniger’s brick and mortar, Street. The picture isn’t terribly different form my plate, huzzah! Now, who wants to plan a trip to Los Angeles with me..?…

While I love everything about this dish, if I was in a pinch I wouldn’t mind making the filling and adding it to the butter sauce, and tossing everything with a non-ravioli pasta. However, it feels pretty damn cool to say I made homemade ravioli.

And to answer your question, I did get a 5.5 mile run in, so things may just start to take a turn for the more productive my friends…

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One Response to “Homemade Mushroom Ravioli in a Butter-Smoked Paprika-Harissa Sauce”

  1. the winegetter April 23, 2013 at 12:37 am #

    So, first of all, sorry about your phone. That sucks. Next: What is smoked paprika? I am not sure I ever heard of that before. I was really impressed that you would make your own ravioli dough…and then relieved that you used wontons. Cause that makes it much more likely I will actually try that out.

    Man, this post made me crave real food…

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