A Renaissance

About 6 months ago I gave up gourmet cooking at home. It wasn't because I wanted to. I was defeated by my tiny apartment kitchen and taking on the project of our house that consumed so much time. Well, Gourmet-me is back and I couldn't be happier.

I present whole wheat butter nut squash ravioli with beef demi glace, walnut pesto, gorgonzola and brussel sprout leaves. This would be a menu item at my non existent northern Italian Trattoria.

Surprisingly, it would fall under the "semi homemade" guise. The ravioli were courtesy of Severino Pasta of NJ (the best fresh pasta company in the Northeast, even beating out the Brooklyn institutions of pasta I was raised on) and demi glace from Williams Sonoma. I made the walnut pesto - toasted walnuts chopped the food processor with loads of parmiggiano reggiano, olive oil and black pepper. I've also used this pesto on steamed broccoli. I blanched the brussel spout leaves in the pasta water, they added great texture and a fresh flavor to the whole dish.

Notice the ravioli weren't tossed with the demi glace. It would look terrible and demi is strong, so I spooned it over once the ravioli were in the bowl. Same with walnut pesto. Given the hearty flavors of the dish I poured a 2004 Louis M. Martini Cabernet from the Sonoma Valley. This is my favorite wine served at Ruth's Chris and I finally added it to my home wine rotation. Terrific together.

Another note about Severino Pasta. A few years ago I made my favorite birthday dinner ever using their butternut squash tortelloni. I made a sauce this time of Italian Panna (very heavy cream) Gorgonzola melted into the cream, and balsamic vinegar drizzled over at the last moment. I wonder about the owner, if you make wonderful pasta all day long, can you stand to eat it for dinner?

I look forward to getting back in the swing of sharing my degustations with you!

No comments: