There is a saying amongst foodies and chefs “if it grows together, it goes together”, I’m sure this saying requires little explanation, other than some of the best food combinations come from nature and the natural, seasonal pairings.
It will come as no surprise, I’m sure, that one of the most exciting times for seasonal food and natural pairings is Autumn, the season that brings squashes, mussels, aubergines, fennel, beets, wild mushroom’s, beans and game. I know that due to importing and intensive farming many of these ingredients are available all year round. Personally I think this is a little sad as much of the food we eat these days is no longer seasonal but sometimes its nice to find a naturally inspired pairing like this one . .. . Wild duck and Porcini mushrooms.
1 quantity Pasta Dough
1 beaten egg
For the filling
1 wild (or quality farmed) duck breast
chopped rosemary and flat-leaf parsley
salt and pepper
For Porcini mushroom butter
drizzle of olive oil
flat-leaf parsley leaves
juice 1 lemon
fresh porcini mushrooms sliced thinly or reconstituted dried porcini
For your filling
(1). Trim any fat off your duck breast and season it well. Pre-heat oven to 180C/ Gm 7.
(2). Place a pan over a medium heat, add a little oil and seal off your duck breast
(3). Place duck breast in oven to cook through.
(4). Remove from oven and cool
(5). Place cooled duck breast in a food mixed with the herbs and blend to a course paste. Set to one side.
For your pasta
(1). Roll your pasta dough through a pasta machine on it’s widest setting between 3 – 5 times to prove the dough, then keep running the dough through, reducing the settings each time till you have a soft, smooth silky dough, cut the dough into eight managable lengths about 1o inches long, so its easier to work with.
(2), Lay your sheets of pasta out flat on a board or work top, and place a spoonful of the duck mixture into the centre of each sheet leaving couple of inch gap between each spoon of duck.
(3). Brush around the filling with beaten egg to help seal.
(4). Place another sheet of pasta over the top then seal around the filling removing any trapped air.
(5). Repeat with other sheets of pasta.
(6). Use a ravioli stamp, pastry cutter or knife to cut out each ravioli and pinch carefully around each ravioli to make sure they are sealed then place on a papper towel lined plate and rest in the fridge.
To cook the dish
(1). When your ready to cook your ravioli, bring a large pan of water to a rolling boil. Once boiling add a couple of good pinches of salt and carefully place your ravioli in the water for not much more than 2 or 3 minutes, just cook the pasta and warm through the filling.
(2). While the pasta is cooking make the sauce by melting the butter with a little olive oil in a pan, once the butter is melted add the lemon juice, parsley and porcini mushrooms.
(3). Remove your ravioli with a sloted spoon or scoop and add to the mushroom pan and stir together to coat with the sauce.
(4). Season the pan and add a little lemon juice , which will really bring out the flavour of the porcini, add some freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley.
(5). Serve the ravioli and porcini in bowls and top with sauce and freshly grated Parmesan.