Morel Mushroom Ravioli

Inspired by a multitude of different sources
Makes 2 dozen raviolis

Note: If you can't find fresh morels, you can use
reconstituted dried morels, or any variety of fresh mushrooms.  Morels are very gritty & can contain anything from dirt to pine needles in them.  So, I recommend breaking the rule that some chefs have, to never wash mushrooms in water.  I also recommend slicing them in half before washing, to get any dirt lodged in the centers out.
I used fresh homemade ricotta cheese, which is much drier in texture than store bought.  If you decide to make your own, you can skip the draining part of the recipe.


9 ounces fresh morel mushrooms
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup minced shallots
salt & freshly ground pepper
1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 egg
1 1/2 ricotta cheese
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
a pinch of nutmeg
salt & freshly ground pepper
1 recipe Fresh Egg Pasta {rolled through a pasta machine, into long, wide strips & covered with a towel, to prevent drying}
cornmeal, for dusting

Cut the morels in half & swish them around in a bath of cold water to release any grit.  When they are thoroughly clean, remove them from the water & drain.
Heat the butter in a skillet, over medium heat & add the shallots.  Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until they are softened & translucent.  Add the mushrooms, a sprinkle of salt & freshly ground pepper.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms have sweat out all of their liquid {about 10-12 minutes}.  Add the wine & let it simmer, for a couple minutes, or until it is absorbed.  Add the tarragon, cook for one more minute.  Remove from the heat & let cool to room temperature.
While the mushrooms are cooling, place the ricotta cheese in a fine mesh strainer & let it drain,
to remove excess moisture, for about 15 minutes.
To make the ravioli filling, finely chop the mushroom mixture.  Add it to a mixing bowl, along with the ricotta, egg,
Parmigiano-Reggiano & nutmeg.  Season with salt & pepper & stir to combine.
Dust a work surface with cornmeal & have a small bowl of water nearby.  Lay out 2 sheets of your prepared pasta dough.  They should be roughly the same size, but they don't need to be perfect. 
On one of the sheets, mound small scoops of the filling into the center of the sheet, spacing them an inch, or so, from the end & apart from each other.  How many raviolis you get out of each sheet depends on how large it is.  Dip your finger in the water & moisten the edges of the dough, around each mound of filling.  Take the second sheet of dough & lay it on top.  Press gently around each mound of filling to seal the edges.  Using a pizza wheel, or a sharp knife, cut each ravioli into a square...or, use a ravioli, or biscuit cutter, to make circles.
Lay the finished ravioli onto a cornmeal dusted sheet pan & cover with a kitchen towel, or plastic wrap.  Continue the process, keeping them well dusted with cornmeal, to keep them from sticking to each other, or the pan.
At this point, you can refrigerate, or freeze them, if desired.  When ready to cook them, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Gently drop in the ravioli, one at a time & simmer gently for 2-3 minutes, or until they float to the top.
Using a spider strainer, remove them from the pot & transfer to a serving plate.  These ravioli have huge flavor & need nothing more than a light drizzle of melted butter, some fresh pepper & a sprinkle of Parmesan.

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