Some time ago, I had dinner with a great man. You could perhaps call it a date. Anyway: I liked him, and I think he liked me, and even my blog, quite a bit. That is to say: until the very moment he learned two things about me* (*note: it's not like i hid them from him or anyone... it's just that... yeah, well, maybe somethings are not meant to be transparent about me, and that's okay, isn't it?). The first thing was: I truly love vegs (okay, I think he could live with that). The second thing being: I don't eat much meat at all. The conversation went something along this:
Me: "Well, I love vegs! I go crazy for vegs!"
Him: "Yes, I've seen that on your blog... You are a true vegs lover." (not very enthusiastic)
Me: "Hmm, I am..." (dreamy)
Him: "What else do you like?"
Me: "What do you mean?"
Him: "Well, like... I don't know... Ham! Or... Bacon!"
Me: "Uh no, no... I don't eat much meat, actually... And no pork, at all, really."
Him: "....WHAAT?! You are... A VEGETARIAN?!"
Me: "No, I'm not, actually. Just a vegs-lover who doesn't like meat too much."
Him: "So, a vegetarian. Basically." (even less enthusiastic)
Me: "Hmm. Sort of. I'd say I'm an almost-vegetarian."
Him: "Oh holy crap... You can never meet my (Spanish) family!"
Me: "Yeah... I know. Uhm... Sorry?" (blushing heavily at this point)
So you see: he never really got over the fact that I am an almost-vegetairan - although he tried hard to pretend he didn't care (well okay, not so hard, anyway...). I think it's hilarious how boys are always so shocked to find out that you're an (almost-)vegetarian.
Here's a dish though that would probably still be okay-ish, despite it's obvious meatless-ness. What do you think, would your hubbies or boyfriends (or dates, even) like it?
TRUFFLED RAVIOLI WITH BEURRE NOISETTE
- 1 package fresh pasta dough, rolled out
- 250 g ricotta, drained
- 20 g minced black truffles, jarred
- 50 g grated parmesan cheese
- 2 thyme sprigs, leaves picked
- 2 oregano sprigs, leaves picked & minced
- 1 egg
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- egg-wash (1 egg white with 1/4 cup water)
- salt, black pepper, musk
- 50g organic butter
- 20g dried porcini, chopped
- handful sage leaves, cut in thin slices
- freshly grated musk
- salt, black pepper
- oregano sprig for decorating
- truffle oil
- If you want to make your own pasta dough (like I did), use 5 eggs and 500 g flour and combine, very slowly and steadily, by continually stirring with a fork. A store-bought dough is pretty perfect, too, though. Roll it out on a little flour. Prepare strips of twice 3 cms width. Cut with a ravioli roller.
- For the filling, combine the ricotta, truffles, parmesan, herbs, garlic and egg in a bowl. Stir with a fork until homogeneous. Season with salt, pepper and some musk.
- Place 1 teaspoon of the truffle-ricotta-mixture on the upper side of the dough stripe. Continue along the line, leaving out two finger widths between each new drop of filling. Now brush each corner of every raviolo field with egg wash.
- Fold the dough over from the middle, on top of the filling. Press together top and bottom of the dough, creating separate fields. Make sure to press out all the excess air, as it will cause your ravioli to break during cooking. Cut along the borders of the ravioli with the ravioli roller. Continue until dough and / or filling are used up.
- Dust with flour and put aside. Note: you can also freeze the ravioli with parchment paper in between layers of ravioli. Just throw them, still frozen, in the boiling water when needed (this will add a minute of cooking time).
- Heat a large pot of salted water. When simmering (not cooking) add the ravioli to the water and let heat through until they appear on the surface of the water (after about 2-3 minutes). Don't overcook, i.e. don't let the water boil too much.
- In the meantime, melt the butter in a small saucepan, on low heat. Add the minced dried porcini, sage, musk, a little salt and pepper. The secret to beurre noisette: the butter needs to develop the nutty taste and brown color, that can only be achieve with patience, low heat and a bit of time (it will take around 10 to 15 minutes, at least).
- Drain, arrange on a plate, drizzle with truffle oil, pour the beurre noisette over the ravioli and arrange a sprig of oregano on top. Serve with a little extra grated parmesan cheese, if you like.