We've kind of overloaded on meat over the last couple of weeks so I was looking for something that didn't leave it out entirely but made a vegetable the star. Last night's creation met the mark and satisfied the resident carnivore. After all, I had to show some kindness toward him since I still can't stop laughing about the events of the other night. It's remembering his cute little very surprised and sleepy admission - "I fell out of bed" that cracks me up every time.
Last night's pasta dish married the flavors of pancetta, garlic, mushrooms and sherry with a little cream, grated asiago cheese and some fresh ravioli courtesy of Trader Joe's and really satisfied all the senses. It would have been fabulous with a nice glass of wine, maybe a pinot gris to cut the richness of the dish but unfortunately we're on the wagon at the moment. I mean obviously we're not giving up food, so we had to resist the calories somewhere.
Accompanied by a luscious pear and gorgonzola salad with the rest of the shallot vinaigrette leftover from Christmas, dinner was ready in a flash. By the way, feel free to substitute Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano for the Asiago but I happen to love the stuff. The flavor is much like the others but it's easier on the budget.
Also if you're short on time and tempted to substitute one of those jarred alfredo sauce concoctions, please don't do it. Alfredo sauce is about as easy to make as applying a little heat to cream in a pan, and there's none of those ugly sounding "unpronounceable" chemicals in it either. Just sayin'.
Ravioli with Mushroom Sherry Alfredo Sauce an original from JBug’s Kitchen Antics
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 ounces pancetta diced
1/2 large sweet onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup medium dry sherry
1 cup heavy cream
2 ounces grated Asia go or parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Grated fresh nutmeg if desired
1 – 12 ounce package fresh ravioli cooked per package directions
Heat a large sauté pan over medium low heat. Add olive oil and when hot, add pancetta. Cook until pancetta has released some of its fat and pieces are brown and starting to crisp. Remove from pan and set aside, leaving accumulated fat. Add onion and cook until onion softens, stirring constantly. Add garlic and salt and pepper to taste. Sauté for a minute until garlic starts to release its aroma, then add mushrooms. Cook until mushrooms soften and begin to brown. Stir in dry sherry and cook until sherry has completely reduced. Add cream and return the browned pancetta to the pan. Bring to a high simmer and cook until cream is reduced slightly and sauce thickens. Add parmesan cheese, parsley and cooked ravioli. Heat ravioli briefly so it absorbs some of the sauce. Serve garnished with additional chopped parsley, a dusting of nutmeg and more grated cheese.