edamame ravioli

from buddakan, ganked by nori (dough from gourmet)

  • 1/2 lb. edamame (japanese soybeans; can be gotten frozen)
  • 15 oz. (1 tub) ricotta
  • less parmesan -- enough to flavor, but not overpower
  • 2 or 3 shallots
  • a little olive oil
  • splash of sherry, or sauterne if you really want
  • a little tarragon

I have aspirations to try and make Edamame Ravioli, like the barnies and I had at Buddakan in Philadelphia. It is priced at $10.00, and is described in the menu as "Truffle scented, Japanese vegetarian ravioli with a sauterne shallot broth" ... can't be too hard, right? ;-) [NOTE: post-attempt, let it be known that the filling ain't bad, but the actual dealing-with-pasta-dough part is hard as rocks.]

I'm not sure exactly what was in it, but I certainly remember ricotta, and also some (though less) parmesan. If you remember, write me.

The way I made it the other night was pretty much this: boil the edamame as per directions on package (in salt water, for about 5 minutes, or until softish and edible, but not squishy).

Sauté the chopped-up shallots (which you really should use -- they're stronger than onions, and less so than garlic, and really give the filling its flavor) in a little olive oil until transluscent, and then dump in a generous splash of sherry (or sauterne), turn up the heat, and let it boil off (not burning the shallots while you're at it).

Dump the edamame and sautéed shallots in a food processor, and blend. When significantly chopped up, add in ricotta, and blend more. Add parmesan to taste -- a few tablespoons of grated ought to do it, maybe a little more, but not a ton. A scant tablespoonish of tarragon, some salt, and some pepper balance this out.

This, essentially, is the filling. And it's damn good, the subtly-savory edamame taste offset by the unusually flavorful shallots, and complemented nicely by the cheeses (especially the ricotta). The hard part is now stuffing them. If you're a purist, you can make your own pasta dough, and roll it out as below. It's a bitch. Maybe next time I'll go with the pre-made wonton wrappers.

pasta sheet on work surface with long side facing you and put packed teaspoon of filling 2 inches apart lengthwise along half of the pasta sheet (you should have 10 to 12 mounds). Around each mound of filling brush dough very lightly with water. Fold dough lengthwise in half over mounds of filling, gently pressing around mounds to force out any air, and seal edges well. With a fluted pastry wheel trim edges and cut between mounds of filling to separate ravioli.

Line a large tray with a dry kitchen towel and arrange ravioli in one layer. Make more ravioli with remaining 3 pieces of dough and remaining filling in same manner, transferring to kitchen-towel-lined tray and arranging in one layer. Ravioli may be made 8 hours ahead and chilled on towel-lined tray, covered loosely with plastic wrap.

In an 8-quart kettle bring 7 quarts of salted water to a boil. Cook ravioli until tender, 3 to 4 minutes, and drain in a colander. In a heated large bowl immediately toss ravioli with sauce -- now, precisely which sauce, is the question. Mom used a bechamel with added parmesan when we tried this, but I think that overpowered it. Next time I might stick to butter-and-parmesan drizzled over it, but I can't remember how Buddakan did it.

Serve with sweet white wine? ("`Sauterne' without the ending "s" usually refers to an inexpensive semisweet California wine," says epicurious, and the ravioli had no broth that I remember, so why not stick the shallots in the filling and drink the wine straight? More fun that way anyhow.)

Makes 45 ravioli; Serves 4 generously as a main course. [NOTE: this is a BIG FAT LIE. It makes about 30, if you don't fuck up any, and does not serve anyone generously. But it is yummy, if you can get it right, and thin enough.]

Gourmet, February 1997, with Nori, 2002