Sunday, March 9, 2008

Morel and Sage Ravioli

Last week I posted about the benefits of having friends who like to forage. This week I offer a corollary: friends who like to cook your foraged foods for you.

Jani and Kathy handed the arrivees whiskey sours before handing out the tasks. I was to weigh three ounces of my dried morels with a postal scale; others picked sage in the backyard and chopped tomatoes. More whiskey sours, more tasks. (There are ways to put your guests to work...)

When the whiskey was done we sat down to a delicious meal of Morel and Sage Ravioli, Caesar's Salad, and Gamache red. Hearty thanks to the Thomases. They can cook our morels any time!

From The New Basics Cookbook:

1/4 cup Cognac
1/4 cup chicken stock
1 ounce dried morels
1 cup fresh sage leaves
8 tbsp (1 stick) butter
3 fresh plum tomatoes, diced
cooking oil
1 pound cheese-filled ravioli
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted

1. Bring morels and stock to boil, stir in morels, cover, and put aside for 30 minutes.
2. Set aside 12 good sage leaves and coarsely chop remaining sage.
3. Drain morels using sieve, reserving liquid; squeeze morels to remove excess liquid and halve.
4. Saute morels and chopped sage in butter for 5 minutes. Add morel stock and tomatoes. Simmer until tender (about 5 minutes); cover and put aside.
5. Heat cooking oil in small saucepan, then fry reserved 12 sage leaves in two or three batches and remove to paper towels. Cook until crispy but still green (about 10 seconds in hot oil).
6. Cook ravioli. Drain and toss with sauce and toasted pine nuts. Top with crispy fried sage leaves. Serves 4 smallish portions.

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