Cauliflower Ravioli

With my wedding to Nicole this fall, we have opportunities to create new rituals. For example, our jewelry activities take us to her cousin’s jewelry store quite often and afterwards we stop at a nearby restaurant called “The Cookery” to celebrate. We love it there.
At our last visit I had an appetizer that blew my mind: cauliflower ravioli. Why did it blow my mind? Because there is no good reason I would order a dish with no meat, I just felt like being different one day. Cauliflower, and no animal product? No way, not me.

Anyway, I tried to duplicate these babies at home, and was pretty damn successful. The only thing that needs a little work is the sauce. I used a brown butter sauce, but that seemed too buttery and rich. Maybe I didn’t brown it enough, or maybe I am looking for a different flavor profile. I welcome any advice on what sauce would accompany this…

“The Cookery” puts a few toasted breadcrumbs on top. This would have been a nice addition if I happened to have some lying around.

The measurements for the filling you should take with a grain of kosher salt, I kind of wing it a bit and hoped to capture the spirit in the written recipe. Basically I put in a few shakes here and there of nutmeg, cinnamon and cayenne until it tastes right. Don’t worry, you can do it too!

June 5 Update:

Nicole and I stopped back at “The Cookery” to compare the cauliflower ravioli. Their sauce was definitely better; the brown butter sauce had some lemon (and those toasted breadcrumbs), which may be just what I was missing — acid.
The good news is that in a completely non-biased taste test (me and Nicole) my filling kicked ass!


Ingredients

Makes about 2 dozen ravioli, with some filling to spare.

Fresh pasta dough:

  • 6 oz All Purpose or “OO” flour
  • 2 oz Semolina flour
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 whole eggs
  • White pepper to taste
  • A smidge of water if needed


Cauliflower filling:

  • Head of cauliflower
  • Onion, sliced thin
  • 2 tbl. pancetta
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg (4 or 5 shakes)
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon(2 or 3 shakes)
  • Shake of cayenne
  • Slice of bread (if needed)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Sauce:

  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • A sprig or two of thyme

Directions

Cauliflower filling:

  • Steam the cauliflower until really soft.
  • Saute the pancetta, add the onions and carmelize over medium heat.
  • In a food processor, blend cauliflower, onions, pancetta and spices until smooth.
  • If the mixture seems too thin, add a slice of bread or two to thicken.

Pasta:

  • In a bowl beat eggs and yolks
  • Put flour, semolina, and white pepper into mixer with dough hook.
  • Mix well, on low and gradually add eggs until incorporated.
  • It should be a little dry and crumbly, but if too dry add a little water.
  • Remove and knead dough until it becomes elastic.
  • Wrap dough with plastic and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
  • After resting, put the dough through a pasta roller a few times reducing the thickness each time. I use setting #5 on my Kitchen Aid roller for the final thickness.
  • Use your favorite ravioli makin’ method. I use a form or freehand, depending on my mood. I made both.

Sauce:

  • In a hot pan, melt butter
  • Keep heating until it starts to darken a little. Be careful, my first batch should have been called black butter sauce. Yuck.
  • Add some thyme leaves and remove from heat immediately.
  • Drizzle onto ravioli, spinkling some extra thyme on top.

You may notice that I added pancetta to follow the rule: “Pig makes everything better.”