I’m making lunch for a couple good friends. Nothing too spicy for Mary and I know Barbara loves pasta. Sometimes I plan these things when I wake in the middle of the night. (The danger here is it makes me hungry and I have to creep down the stairs for a snack.) Dad gave me a stove top smoker years ago and he loved smoking salmon. I’ve been craving it, and this was the perfect opportunity to pull it out. So the combination came together and I could make it ahead of time. Another prerequisite for entertaining.
In the back of my head I’m planning a cookbook of Dumplings around the World. It’s amazing how many styles of cooking evolved through different cultures, and almost every one included some sort of dumpling…dough stuffed with something else. This would the Italian version with a spring Galena luncheon twist.
Kids love pasta, and the little ravioli pillows are the best…easily picked up with the fingers! A good way to introduce salmon to their repertoire.
Smoked Salmon Ravioli
with Brown Butter Asparagus Sauce
makes about 16
prep time: 1 hour to make the pasta, (which can be made ahead and frozen) 20 minutes to finalize the dish
Lemon Pasta Dough
1 cup all-purpose flour
Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
In a food processor combine the flour, egg, zest, juice, oil, and salt. Process until dough forms. Depending on the flour, you made need to add a bit of water or more flour. Dump onto a floured work surface and knead until smooth, about 3-5 minutes. Wrap in plastic and let rest on the counter for 10-15 minutes.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup diced onion
1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
4 ounces cream cheese
6 ounces ‘hot’ smoked salmon
1/4 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
Heat the oil in a small skillet. Add the onion and bell pepper and sauté until softened. In a medium bowl combine the cream cheese, salmon, Old Bay and onion mixture.
Assembly (I show a ravioli plaque I have. If you don’t, follow the directions below for using a rolling pin and knife…really so much simpler.)
Roll the pasta dough as thin as possible (a pasta machine comes in handy here, but not necessary) Cut the pasta in 3-inch strips. Place 1-tablespoon scoops of salmon filling on top of the pasta, spacing about 1 1/2-inches apart. Lay a second strip of pasta on top and seal around each mound of filling. Cut out each ravioli with a knife or cookie cutter. Pinch the edges to make sure they are sealed. These can be frozen on a cookie sheet until solid and then transferred to a zip bag to cook as desired.
About 20 minutes before serving:
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon salt.
At the same time melt 1/4 cup butter in a large skillet and slice 1 small bunch of asparagus into 1/2-inch pieces on the diagonal. When the butter is melted and starting to brown add the asparagus. Cook for about 2 minutes. Move off the heat.
Drop the ravioli into the rapidly boiling water and cook for about 4 minutes, once they rise to the top. Taste a corner of the dough for doneness.
Lift out of the water with a strainer and place in the butter sauce. Return to the heat and cook about a minute, stirring very gently, until the butter is toasty brown and ravioli is coated. Add a bit of pasta water if it is too dry. Finish with a sprinkle of freshly ground pepper.