Almost two years ago, my mum came round for dinner and I made a small starter of wild mushroom ravioli served with a little rocket and some crispy slices of black pudding. The combination of black pudding and mushrooms worked well and since then, lots of different ideas have been floating around in my subconscious.
The success of my first pasta attempts emboldened me enough to resurrect this flavour combination and see if I could make it work as a whole dish. Here is my recipe and a few photographs of that successful experiment. Is it something you’d eat?
Mushroom & black pudding ravioli with creamy mediterranean herb sauce
For the pasta-
300g ’00’ flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tsp salt
For the filling-
250g chestnut mushrooms (sliced)
150g Bury black pudding
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tsp salt
For the sauce-
150ml double cream
large nob of butter
small bunch of thyme
small bunch of oregano
salt & pepper
I combined the ingredients for the pasta in a bowl and mix to a soft dough. I then kneaded the dough for ten minutes until it was smooth and silky. Then it was time to chill the dough by wrapping it well in clingfilm and putting it into the fridge for an hour. I fried the mushrooms on a very high heat until they began to brown and set them aside. Then I sliced the black pudding thinly and fried it at an equally high temperature, making sure to break it up and cook it until it was crispy. Once it had cooled, I blitzed it with the mushrooms using a hand blender. A little seasoning finished the filling.
Back to the pasta. I don’t have a pasta machine. I may well invest. Apart from great results and inner satisfaction, rolling your own pasta also provides you with a workout. Slightly out of breath (but no less happy), I made sure that I could see through the pasta before stopping. At this point, I spooned the filling onto the sheet of pasta at regular intervals. I used a pastry brush to wet all around the filling. This would act as glue when the top sheet was laid upon it.
The hardest part was laying the top sheet over the filling and getting rid of all the air in between. This is where the water helped to bind the pasta. Pressing firmly around the filling, I pushed as much of the air out of the sides as possible. This would prevent the trapped air expanding in the pan and bursting the ravioli. Admittedly, as a novice, I hated this part of the process and was extremely relieved when it was accomplished. I hadn’t done a great job of shaping the pasta sheets into regular shapes. This made cutting a little tricky. All went well, though one thing I’ll remember for next time is to leave less pasta between the filling and the edge of the ravioli. Frightened of the ravioli not being secure, I left far too much pasta around the edges.
I started the sauce a few minutes before dropping the ravioli into a pan of boiling water. Loads of butter into a milk pan. Chopped fresh oregano and thyme straight into the foaming butter. Then the double cream with brisk stirring and a little salt and pepper. More butter if necessary and then a gentle simmer.
The ravioli needs three or four minutes of cooking once it has risen to the surface of the water. In terms of taste, the flavours all worked well and the creamy sauce softened what is quite a bold pasta dish. In retrospect, I would serve two or three ravioli with this sauce as a starter. It was way too filling as a main. It’s a really distinctive dish and one that I’m proud of. It’s certainly a great way to enjoy Bury’s best in a unique format.