Sunday, November 26, 2006

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

Preparation Filling:

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.

Preparation Ravioli:

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.

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Blogger Lana said...


4:36 PM

Blogger Travel Italy said...

Lana They are really good, delicate, balanced, just really good.

Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

5:56 AM

Blogger GGBerry said...

Nice blog, Love it!

8:23 AM

Blogger Tracie P. said...

that sounds delicious, i love home-made stuffed pasta. about a month ago (when it was cold!) gennaro and i went to il focolare (one of my favorite restaurants in ischia, they're slow food member too). i had tortelli stuffed with potato and covered with a sausage and leek sauce. it was heaven and comfort on a plate, it reminded me of a flavor from my childhood. ah!

i'll have to try this one sounds like raffaela keeps your stomach ver happy!

9:24 AM

Blogger Travel Italy said...

GGBerry Thanks. I think your blog is pretty cool also. The photos are incredible.

10:20 AM

Blogger Travel Italy said...

Tracie b. Yes, I eat very well! My belt complains about it continously.

10:21 AM

Blogger Alfonso Cevola said...

enough of all this fancy-schmancy stuff.. we need a recipe for turkey-'sghetti

12:01 PM

Blogger Travel Italy said...

IWG Be nice. It's Christmas time! People will spend a little more time in the kitchen to make some of these antique recipes. So full of flavor and balance.

I loved the Dining and Dreaming article.

12:14 PM

Blogger Alfonso Cevola said...

I was really being fanciful. I love the old recipes....but we probably could use a Turkey Scarpariello one too, for all the leftover turkey? Or is this a recipe we have to get from that little ol' shoemaker back in old Napoli?

1:25 PM

Blogger Travel Italy said...

IWG You have me on that one. I have never had a Turkey Scarpariello!

I think we need to request the assistance of Tracie b. and her hubby!

Come to think of it I am not readily aware of a recipe using Turkey however I would use it substitute the chicken in Tortellini

1:50 PM

Blogger Unknown said...

how that looks yummy! I think my biggest problem is that I forget what meals I liked so much in Switz or just don't seem to make them here.

2:21 PM

Blogger Travel Italy said...

Expat You are snowed in there. I loved the photos! This could be a great time to try one of these out.

2:31 PM


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