This vegetarian mushroom ravioli recipe is a firm favourite in The Raymond Blanc Cookery School. I created it when I was working as a guest chef in the cookery school of the beautiful Villa San Michele in Tuscany.
The star ingredient is the magnificent cep mushroom (or cepe in France). It also goes by the name king bolete, penny bun and porcini. It has a distinct aroma like fermented dough. Aside from truffles, a cep is one of the most prized finds for the forager because it is meaty, rich and very versatile.
The pasta can be prepared a day in advance and keep tightly wrapped in cling film in the fridge. The ravioli can be assembled a few hours in advance.
For the pasta
Sheets of pasta 60x10 cm
For the filling
Shallot, medium, finely chopped
Fresh cep mushrooms, trimmed, cleaned with a damp cloth and cut into small dice 3mm
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
For the sauce
Sage leaves, finely chopped
Pine nuts, toasted golden brown in a
Hazelnuts, oven (170°C), 10 mins, lightly crushed
Water or brown chicken stock (see basic recipe)
For the garnish
Ceps, sliced or quartered
Deep fried sage leaves and aged parmesan flakes
In a medium sauté pan over a low heat, soften the shallot in the butter for 2 minutes until translucent, add the diced ceps and cook over a high heat, stirring continuously for 2 minutes. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Remove from the heat, add a dash of lemon juice, and cool down.
Filling the ravioli
Lay one pasta sheet on a clean surface. Lightly place a teaspoon of the filling in mounds at intervals along the centre. You will have 7 mounds per sheet. Ensure that a gap of 4cm is maintained between each mound.
Take a second sheet and drape it loosely over, pressing around the mounds of filling with the back of your thumbs to seal. Ensure there are no air bubbles and that the two layers of pasta are compressed into a thin layer (1mm).
To make the task of cutting out the ravioli easier, cover the pasta with cling film and with an inverted 7cm cutter, press down around the mounds to compress the layers of pasta.
Lift the cling film and, using the sharp side of the cutter, cut out the ravioli.
Reserve them on a cling-filmed tray dusted with semolina to prevent them from sticking.
Repeat for the other two strips of pasta. You will have 2 extra ravioli in reserve.
For the sauce
Cooking the pasta
Heat the butter to the noisette stage and add the chopped sage, toasted pine nuts and hazelnuts, water or brown chicken stock and, last, the lemon juice to create an emulsion.
Reserve and keep warm.
Cook the ravioli in plenty of boiling salted water for 4 minutes.
With a large slotted spoon, lift the ravioli onto a small tray lined with a cloth to drain.
For the garnish
Pan-fry the ceps in the butter for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and a dash of lemon juice.
Place three ravioli on each plate, and spoon the sauce and ceps over them. Arrange two sage leaves on each plate. Grate aged parmesan over the dish.