My wife bought me a pasta machine for Christmas. Now, I am a pasta machine. I’ve made fresh pasta 4 times in 5 days. At this rate, by next Christmas I’ll have forearms like Popeye.
So far, my forays have taken two paths: linguine and what sauces to make with it (I think I mentioned my failed attempt at a truffled clam sauce in my post about slow-scrambled eggs), and ravioli.
Although my linguine has mostly been quite good (I whipped up a nice pasta primavera for new years), in all modesty my ravioli has been the Best. Thing. Ever. “Why?” you ask. Because I stuff it with braised lamb shank.
A couple of observations about ravioli before I go on. First, don’t get one of those damn trays with the little holes that use a rolling pin to cut your ravioli. Second, on a related note, the hand stamps work great. Third, you should time your pasta to be rolled out at the same time you finish your ravioli filling.
All that being said, here’s how to knock your socks off for dinner (I’m not kidding). To quote my wife, “I thought only truffles and [something else] could make me feel this way.”
Ravioli Stuffed with Braised Lamb Shank
What You Need
1 lamb shank
1-2 tsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic
Juice of 1/2 small lemon
1 cup chianti
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 1/2 cup water
1/4 white onion , diced
1 carrot (diced)
1 stalk celery (diced)
5-6 crimini mushrooms (thinly-sliced)
1 tsp salt
1/4-1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 cup parsley (chopped)
What To Do With It
In a medium-sized, high-sided sautee pan, sear the veal shank in olive oil over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes per side.
Add all the other ingredients save about 1 tbsp parsley and simmer (covered) for 2 hours on low to medium-low heat.
About 30 minutes before your veal is done, start making your pasta. Roll out two sheets approximately 18 inches long and place on a pastry cloth. Using your ravioli stamp, lightly mark where you would cut your pasta on the bottom sheet of dough.
Strip the meat off the bone and place it and the rest of the veggies in a food processor and mince it up. Taste and salt as necessary.
Using your stamped pasta as a guide, form little “wheels” of minced lamb about the size of a half dollar and 1/2 inch thick and place on your template. Lay the other sheet of pasta on top and, starting in the center and working toward the outside, begin cutting your ravioli.
By the way, you should have some water on to boil at this point, and it should be about ready.
Let your ravioli sit 10 minutes or so (place them on the pastry cloth so they don’t stick to your work surface), and put them in the boiling water for about 3- 3 1/2 minutes.
Plate, spoon out our sauce and prepare to be thoroughly impressed with your own bad self.
We served this with a Del Dotto Sangiovese.