Ravioli Asparagus and Chicken
In many regions of Italy, Christmas traditions include fresh pasta ravioli, tortellini, cappellini, and other nuggets of delicate flavors. While family and friends are together fresh pasta just seems natural. The flavors are delicate, fresh pasta dishes are designed to entice the appetite, get it going, without saturating the stomach or taste buds. This particular recipe is from La Spezia, in the eastern region of Liguria, close to Tuscany and Emilia Romagna.
This is not difficult but it is not a simple throw things together recipe. The result is worth the extra effort particularly for a party or holiday occasion. It is important to use the best ingredients available because it is a delicate recipe. I suggest that you purchase free range chicken if possible. This would also be a great time to break out a Pigato Bianco. Pour a glass, just for you, before beginning preparation.
For the Chicken
½ lbs. Chicken legs or breast (boneless and skinless)
1 stalk Celery
1 Carrot (cleaned)
1 small Onion (peeled)
1 quart cold water
Preparation of Chicken:
Place the celery, carrot, onion and chicken into a medium pan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Once the pot boils, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 40 minutes. Remove the meat. Strain the remaining broth and set aside. The Broth will be used for the vellutata.
Ingredients for the filling:
½ lbs boiled Asparagus
¼ lbs boiled Chicken passed through a grinder or finely minced
3 oz. (90 g) Chicken Vellutata
1 Egg and 1 Yolk
1 clove Garlic
3 stems of Italian Parsley (with the leaves attached)
6 leaves fresh Basil minced
1 ½ tbsp (20 g) unsalted Butter
1 ½ tbsp (20 g) Olive Oil
1 ½ tbsp (20 g) grated Parmesan Cheese
Salt, Pepper to taste
Ingredients for the Ravioli and Sauce:
11 oz. (300 g) fresh Pasta in sheets
5 oz. (100 g) Tomato sauce
½ stick butter
5 tbsp (50 g) Parmesan cheese
Salt as needed
Mince the tips and soft parts of the Asparagus. Mix together with the minced or ground Chicken. In a skillet place the 20 g of Oil, 20 g of Butter, Garlic, Parsley, and minced Basil. Cook over medium heat until the Garlic softens and begins to color. Add the Chicken, Asparagus, and salt and pepper. Cook for another 5 minutes, stirring often.
Remove from heat. Eliminate the Garlic and Parsley. Taste for salt and pepper, adjust as necessary. Move the meat filling into a large bowl. Add the Egg, Yolk, the 20 g of Parmesan cheese and the Chicken Vellutata to the meat mixture and work together with your hands.
The pasta should be relatively thin. I use a 5 setting on the pasta roller. Cut the pasta into 1 ½ inch squares. Place a teaspoon of filling in the center of the square. Place another square on top and press from the edge of the filling outward to the edge of the square. This will remove any air. Do not press or spread the filling. If the two sheets of pasta do not seal, brush the edge of the bottom square with water before sealing.
To cook the Ravioli, bring abundant salted water to a boil. Place the Ravioli in the rapidly boiling water and cook for about 5 minutes.
Do not cook the Ravioli until the sauce is ready.
Preparation of the Sauce:
In a medium sauce pan, heat ½ the remaining butter (25 g) and the tomato sauce. Cook for 1 minute just bringing the butter and tomato together.
Bringing it all together:
Place equal amounts of sauce in the bottom of four pasta dishes.
Cook the Pasta for 5 minutes. Strain the Ravioli. Place two tablespoons of the Ravioli water into a skillet over medium heat. Add the remaining 25 g of butter. Add the strained Ravioli and the 5 tbsp (50 g) of Parmesan cheese. Stir together quickly. This will all take about 2 minutes.
Place equal amounts of Ravioli into the pasta dishes on top of the previously prepared sauce. Serve immediately.
Gourmet Foods Ravioli Chicken Asparagus Liguria Holiday Traditions Italian Holidays Italian Recipes Food and Wine Travel Italy