Pasta: A Five Part Series. Part 5; Fillings

Hey foodies!

Welcome back! Let’s just get right into it. It’s the final part of our Five-Part Pasta Series and although it was a lot of fun to make and share all of my creations with you, I’m really excited to share some new recipes. Today, we’re gonna talk about what makes pasta REALLY delicious; the fillings and sauces that go in and on top of them.

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Pear + Gruyere Pasta Filling

This pasta filling is perfect for autumn, pears are in season and the fruity, nutty gruyere compliments them perfectly. A little thyme warms the filling up and when you cook the pasta it all melts and comes together in a really yummy way.  I suggest using it in a smaller sized pasta such as agnolotti, tortellini, or small ravioli. It’s delightful and packed with flavor and should be savored in small bites.

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Recipe

1 Recipe basiccolored or printed pasta dough

2 small or 1 medium sweet pear

1 oz Gruyere, diced

1 tsp Balsamic Vinegar

1 tsp E.V.O.O

1 TBSP Fresh Thyme Leaves

1/3C Heavy Cream

1/4C Parmigiano Reggiano

1 Med potato, well mashed or riced

Salt and pepper to taste

In a sauté pan, heat EVOO over medium heat, add thyme leaves and cook until aromatic. Turn heat to low and add heavy cream. Bring to simmer.

In a blender, combine sliced pears, balsamic, gruyere, parm reg, and cream mixture until smooth puree forms.

Using a Kitchen Aid or electric hand mixer, combine the puree with the mashed potato until light and fluffy. Do not overmix or it will become soupy. You just want to whip the filling so it’s light and fluffy.

Transfer to piping bag and use to fill your desired shape

How to make agnolotti

Grilled Sweet Corn Pasta Filling

Sweet corn agnolotti was a dish we did one summer at a restaurant I used to work at and it was absolutely scrumptious. Roasted sweet corn and camembert served in a corn broth. At home, I grill the corn, it adds a little bit of smoke to the dish. I use brie, Pecorino Romano, and Grana Padano and serve with basil butter and cherry tomatoes.

Recipe

1 Recipe basiccolored or printed pasta dough

4-5 ears of fresh corn

1 wedge of brie, diced and rind removed

2 TBSP E.V.O.O

1/4 C Pecorino Romano

1/4 C Grana Padano

Turn your grill to medium heat (about 350 is good). Peel the corn and place it on the grill rotating it every couple minutes so each side is cooked and has a few black spots.

Allow the corn to cool slightly and remove kernels from the cob. You can discard the cob or use it to make corn broth/add it to chicken or vegetable stock.

While the corn is still warm, in a large bowl, combine it with all three kinds of cheese and EVOO.

Transfer to a food processor and pulse until it becomes creamy, but still has some corn texture.

Transfer to piping bag and use to fill your desired shape

Mushroom + Goat Cheese Pasta Filling

I love the mushroom and goat cheese combo in this pasta and in general. I think this works well for people who aren’t usually a fan of goat cheese because the earthy mushroom flavor really cuts through the strong acidity that goat cheese has. This filling is also super versatile. It can be used in small pasta like agnolotti or tortellini, or larger raviolo. I serve this pasta with a creamy lemon sauce.

Recipe

1 Recipe basiccolored or printed pasta dough

2 TBPS E.V.O.O

1 Small leek, chopped and washed

1 Shallot, diced

1 C Crimini mushrooms, stems removed and chopped

1/2 C Portobello mushrooms, stems removed and chopped

1/2 C Shitaake mushrooms, stems removed and chopped

3/4 C Ricotta

1 C Goat Cheese

2 TBSP Rosemary, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

In a saute pan, heat oil over medium heat, add leeks and shallot, cook until tender and aromatic.

Add mushrooms and continue to cook until wilted.

In a bowl combine ricotta, goat cheese, mushroom sauté, and rosemary. Season to taste.

Use to fill your desired shape

 

Classic Ricotta Filling

Simple and versatile, that’s ricotta filling for you. It can be used in stuffed shells, ravioli (big or small), lasagna, etc. I love this recipe in stuffed shells with a little sauteed spinach and a chunky tomato sauce. Top it with bread crumbs and a little parmesan, easy, yummy, thirty-minute dinner.

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Recipe

1 Recipe basiccolored or printed pasta dough

8 Oz Container of Ricotta

1/4 C Parmigiano Regianno

2 TBSP Fresh Basil, chopped

1tsp Dried Oregano

1/2 tsp Lemon Zest

1/4 tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper

1/2 tsp Salt

1 Large Egg

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, season to taste.

Transfer to piping bag and use to fill your desired shape

Runny Egg Yolk Raviolo Filling

The runny yolk trend is something that popped up and really took off within the last two years. All of a sudden #yolkporn took over Instagram. People were putting soft cooked eggs on everything imaginable. By far my favorite #yolkporn is this pasta filling. I tried it for the first time last winter at Nancy Silverton’s Osteria Mozza. Honestly, I had no clue what I ordered. I read ravioli, ricotta, and brown butter and I was all over it. It came out as one HUGE ravioli and I was confused, to say the least. But what a luxurious surprise when I cut into it. Egg yolk poured out all over my plate. The first bite was everything I had hoped for and more. It was rich, cheesy, and buttery. Pure comfort. I dreamt about that meal for weeks afterward. Finally, I decided I would try to recreate the magic. It’s actually pretty simple and is now one of my go-to pasta dishes. For this recipe, I’m giving more detailed instructions because it has to be made in a specific shape, size, and process for it to work.

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Recipe

1 Recipe basiccolored or printed pasta dough

1 Recipe Simple Ricotta Filling

3 TBSP Butter, cut into 6 thin squares, room temp

6 Egg Yolks, plus extra in case some break. Do not crack your egg until it is time to place the yolk

1 Egg White

Sheet your pasta dough to the thinnest setting and cut out 12 equal sized circles or squares. Separate them into two groups of six, top and bottom.

Take all of your top pieces and using a rolling pin, roll them slightly larger than your bottom pieces. They have to be big enough to fit over the filling and the yolk without breaking it.

Using a piping bag, pipe a nest of ricotta for the egg yolk.

Separate the white from the yolk and very gently place the yolk in the nest. If it breaks, scrape it off and start over. It will not cook properly if it’s broken.

Place a pat of butter on top of the yolk. Try to shape the butter to form to the yolk.

Using a pastry brush, brush the reserved egg white around the edges of your bottom pasta sheet so it sticks to the top.

Place the top sheet gently over the filling and press the edges in. Press lightly around the filling to hold everything in place.

Boil for 4-5 minutes only to get the perfect runny yolk. Serve with any browned butter sauce.

 

 

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