Monday, July 25, 2011

Nettle & Garlic Ravioli with Rosemary Browned Butter

A number of people have expressed curiosity about how we plan to use our nettle garlic paste this winter.  Now, it wouldn't be so fun if we spoiled ALL the surprises, but I can definitely tell you that we'll be making this ravioli again.

My memories of homemade pasta go way back to my childhood.  I remember watching my mother and grandmother making egg noodles -- kneading the tender dough, rolling it thinly, and then slicing each piece of pasta by hand.  My mother would often hang the pasta on the backs of cleaned kitchen chairs until it dried slightly, and then she'd use them in soups or served alongside comfort food favorites like homemade Swedish meatballs or ragout.

I didn't try making my own pasta until about 5-6 years ago when we got a KitchenAid pasta roller attachment for Christmas.  But, once I made my first batch, I knew I was hooked.  These days I find myself wondering why I don't do it more often.  Sure, it takes a bit of time.  But, it's totally worth it.  For that reason, I often make a double or triple batch of pasta dough at one time.  Balls of dough can be wrapped in plastic wrap, placed in a freezer bag, and kept in the freezer for up to 6 months.  Just thaw overnight in the fridge and let the dough come to room temperature before using.
 We adapted our recipe for nettle ravioli from a recipe posted by Langdon Cook over at Fat of The Land.  And it's absolutely lovely -- from its use of Marcella Hazen's deliciously tender pasta dough to the flavorful creamy, green and earthy filling.  And don't even get me started on the rosemary browned butter.  *Swoon*

Although ravioli (and other filled pastas) take a bit longer to make than other things, they're perfect company fare, and (even better) they freeze very well. So, you can make up a big batch when you have the time and enjoy them later. Just place the uncooked ravioli onto a large floured baking pan and pop it into the freezer until the ravioli are frozen (1-2 hours).  Then empty the ravioli into serving-sized freezer bags.  Frozen ravioli take a bit longer to cook than fresh, but they  make a perfect weeknight meal for when you don't really feel like cooking.

I really love the flavor in this dish when nettles are used; but you don't need to avoid making it if you don't have any of the delicious weeds on hand.  Simply substitute spinach for the nettles, and add a bit of garlic to the filling.

Nettle & Garlic Ravioli with Rosemary Browned Butter

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5 comments:

  1. Sold! I'm attempting this recipe this week - it sounds amazing!

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  2. I've always wondered if you could freeze the finished raviolis then boil from frozen...have you ever tried it? I think you should use brown butter rosemary in everything you make this summer: brilliant!

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  3. Rebecca - Yes, we've frozen ravioli before and boiled them from frozen. I find you have to take a bit of care to make sure they're cooked, but it seems to work just fine!

    (as for the browned butter with rosemary... it is showing up everywhere, isn't it?)

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  4. Oh man does that look like heaven!

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  5. That is absolutely brilliant. We have so many nettles growing on our farm. To date, I've done nothing with them, but in the spring, I make pesto with garlic mustard, so I absolutely love your pesto kick too.

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