This Valentine’s Day create an elegant dinner at home: No reservations required.
Spinach and Mushroom Ravioli
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons for boiling water
6 ounces button mushrooms, sliced
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
¼ cup mascarpone
1/3 cup grated Parmesan, plus extra for garnishing
6 egg roll wrappers (6 1/2 by 6 1/2-inch squares)
2 large eggs, beaten with 1 teaspoon water
½ cup mushroom (cremini, shiitake, button), finely chopped
2 cups tomato sauce, recipe follows
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a large sauté pan heat ¼ cup of the olive oil. When almost smoking, add the mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Cook until all the liquid has evaporated from the mushrooms, about 6 minutes. Add spinach and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and place mixture into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until you get a coarse texture. Place in bowl and stir in mascarpone and Parmesan cheese. Check for seasoning and set aside.
Line up 3 wrappers on a cutting board. Brush with the egg and water mixture. Using a tablespoon, arrange 4 dollops of the filling on each wrapper – 2 on the first row and 2 on the second – 1-inch apart. Place another wrapper directly on top, pressing around the filling and sealing the edges. Using a fluted ravioli cutter, cut out squares of ravioli. Each filled wrapper will yield 4 raviolis, giving you a total of 12 ravioli. Place ravioli onto a floured baking sheet and keep covered with a linen towel.
In a large pot, bring to a boil 4 quarts of salted and oiled water. Carefully add small batches of ravioli, about 3 to 4 at a time. This will prevent them from crowding in the pot and sticking together. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Using a spider strainer, carefully remove the ravioli and place on the plate. Tent with foil to keep warm and continue cooking remaining ravioli.
In a sauté pan, heat remaining ¼ cup olive oil. When almost smoking, add chopped mushrooms and sauté until soft and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 8 minutes. Carefully pour in tomato sauce and simmer for 5 minutes.
Divide ravioli between 2 serving plates. Top with mushroom tomato sauce and sprinkle with Parmesan.
Simple Tomato Sauce:
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 (32-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
2 dried bay leaves
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, optional
In a large casserole pot, heat oil over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until soft and translucent, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add celery and carrots and season with salt and pepper. Sauté until all the vegetables are soft, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add tomatoes and bay leaves and simmer uncovered on low heat for 1 hour or until thick. Remove bay leaves and check for seasoning. If sauce still tastes acidic, add unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon at a time to round out the flavors.
Add ½ the tomato sauce into the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth. Continue with remaining tomato sauce.
If not using all the sauce, allow it to cool completely and pour 1 to 2 cup portions into freezer plastic bags. This will freeze up to 6 months.
Makes 6 cups