All you need are 5 ingredients and 30 minutes to make this incredibly tasty ravioli meal. It's an easy weeknight dinner disguised as an elegant pasta dish!
Last fall, when A and I learned that one of our favorite Pittsburgh restaurants would be closing, we were devastated! We immediately raced to e2 for one last meal before they shut their doors. We ordered two appetizers, two entrees, and dessert because we wanted to savor all of the deliciousness before it was too late. I, of course, ordered my favorite dish on their menu: ricotta ravioli with brown butter, toasted hazelnuts, sambuca soaked currants, and sage.
e2's menu had exactly the kind of food I like. It was comfort food, but with an elegant twist. For instance, the ravioli dish that I love so much takes a classic pasta dish and elevates it with inventive pairings (I'm looking at you, sumbuca soaked currants).
It's been months now since e2 closed, and I was craving some really good pasta, so I decided to recreate the dish at home. I did make two modifications to the ingredients on their menu. First, for simplicity's sake, I used 4-cheese ravioli from a local Italian market instead of homemade ricotta ravioli. And second, I did not soak the currants in sumbuca (because I hate the taste of licorice and wasn't about to buy a bottle of licorice flavored booze only to use a tiny bit for the soaking and have a ton leftover).
The resulting meal was delicious - just as delicious as I'd remembered it to be - and surprisingly simple. It's the perfect dish for a tasty weeknight dinner or a New Year's Eve dinner party with friends!
[recipe title="Cheesy Ravioli with Brown Butter, Toasted Hazlenuts, Currants & Crispy Sage" servings="2"]
1/3 cup hazelnuts
2 1/2 T butter
8 oz. mini cheese ravioli (I recommend a multi-cheese blend)
handful of fresh sage leaves
2 T currants
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread hazelnuts on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 10 minutes.
While hazelnuts are toasting, brown the butter. Place 2 T butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Butter will melt and a foam will begin to form. Swirl the pan occasionally to help the butter cook evenly. As the butter cooks, it's color will change from light yellow to golden to toasty brown and particles will appear in the bottom of the pan. When the butter reaches a toasty brown color, remove the pan from the heat. Pour the browned butter into a heat-proof bowl and set aside.
Remove the hazelnuts from the oven and pour them onto a clean, dry dish towel. Wrap the hazelnuts in the towel, allowing them to steam for one minute.
While the hazelnuts are steaming, place a pot of water on the stove to boil.
Rub the hazelnuts in the towel to remove the loose skins. Throw away the removed skins and roughly chop the hazelnuts. Set aside.
Once the water is boiling, add the ravioli to the pot and cook according to package directions.
While the ravioli is boiling, melt the remaining 1/2 T butter in a large frying pan. Add the sage to the frying pan and cook until slightly browned and crispy, about 4-5 minutes. Remove pan from heat.
When the ravioli is finished cooking, drain the water from the pot. Add the cooked ravioli to the pan with the sage and place over low heat. Pour the browned butter over the ravioli and stir to coat the ravioli. Add the hazelnuts and currants and stir to coat.
Divide ravioli onto two plates and serve.