Monday, November 28, 2011

Chicken Marsala Ravioli in a Garlic Sage Butter Sauce

I've made a few versions of ravioli and love finding new recipes for the fillings. I've even messed around with the pasta to try and find the best texture for them as the dough is usually doubled up for each one.

This recipe is really easy to throw together and let me experiment with yet another technique for making my ravioli by hand. 

Chicken Marsala Ravioli in a Garlic Sage Butter Sauce
(from Tyler Florence here and here)

300g AP flour
3 eggs
1/4 tsp Kosher salt
(I didn't use ANY oil as I find the body of the pasta to be a little too tough)

If you make a lot of pasta, you may find that this will be too much dough for this recipe. I thought that 200g (+2 eggs) would be too little, so I erred on the side of too much than not enough. You can always use the extra pasta for another small dish or make more filling. 

You can also just use wonton wrappers from the store if you don't want to bother with the pasta.

8 ounces chicken breast, cut in strips
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 shallot, chopped (sub a small onion or half a medium onion)
1 garlic clove, chopped
1/4 cup Marsala wine or chicken broth
2 slices bacon, diced
2 bay leaves
4 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves removed 
3 sprigs of parsley
2 tablespoons bread crumbs
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
Salt and pepper
1 egg
1 tablespoon heavy cream or half & half

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
5 sage leaves, chopped
1/2 cup (or so) of hot pasta water
Salt and pepper, to taste
1-2 tablespoons of heavy cream or half & half (optional)


Begin by making your pasta. 

Get it to the point where it's resting but not rolled out and start the filling.


Get a sauté pan over medium/high heat with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. 

Toss in the chicken and season with salt and pepper. 

Let it cook until the bottom is browned, about 3-5 minutes, and flip.

Cook for only another 1-2 minutes. you don't want to overcook the chicken and it'll only take a little heat to cook them properly.

Remove the chicken from the pan and add the onions and garlic.

Immediately toss in the 1/4 cup of Marsala wine (or chicken broth) to deglaze the pan.

Scrape up the bits when it calms down.

Cook for a minute and add in the herbs and bacon. 

Cook for 2-3 minutes just cooking the bacon through a bit.

Add the 2 tablespoons each of breadcrumbs and cheese.

The mixture will tighten up a lot, but the oil from the bacon will keep everything from clumping too badly. The cheese may stick to the bottom of the pan a little, just keep it moving for about a minute. 

Remove from the heat and put the mixture into the food processor.

Don't forget to remove the bay leaves.

Dice up your chicken.

Add the chicken to the food processor.

Pulse 10 times. 

Scrape down the bowl and add the egg and cream.

Pulse 10 more times and check the consistency. 

I think I went 3-5 more pulses to get it where I wanted it. 

It wasn't a pureé, but it wasn't too rustic either.

Toss it in the fridge while you roll out the pasta dough so it can cool a bit. 


Once your filling is cooled and your dough has been rolled out, portion the filling in tablespoon-sized mounds in intervals on the pasta sheet.

This part is tough if you're doing everything by hand, but do your best and don't worry if there is dough left over - it's all perfectly edible later.

Paint some water, using a small basting brush or something, around each ball of filling. 

Fold over the dough so that each ball of filling is covered.

Mash down between each one with your hands.

Cut each piece out with a pizza cutter. It's really the best tool for this kind of job. 

Take each ravioli and squeeze as much air out as you can. If you don't get it all it's not the end of the world. You may have heard that they explode when you cook them - that's nonsense - they just float.

Just do your best. This is handmade ravioli here.

Crimp the edges with the tines of a fork.

Lay each ravioli out on a floured sheet pan as you make them.

I ended up with 22 and had quite a bit of dough left over.

I'll have to make a post about making a quick meal from these scraps in the future, but basically you just toss the scraps (cut into strips as best you can) into a big sauté pan and cover with a little water. Let it boil and the noodles will cook and create a really starchy liquid. Add some olive oil, garlic salt & pepper and bang! - it's a creamy emulsion with perfectly cooked pasta in 10 minutes. My daughter loves it.

But I digress.


When you're ready to make dinner throw in some of the ravioli ( I did 8 at a time) into a pot of boiling water.

Next, grab your pan and add 2 tablespoons of butter and put it over medium heat.

Toss in the garlic and sage.

Cook the garlic and sage for about a minute. The butter will foam a bit.

Turn the heat up to medium/high and toss in 1/2 cup of the pasta water. 

It'll woosh on you.

Stir to combine. 

It'll start to thicken up a bit as the emulsion begins to form.

Throw in a few ravioli (you could actually do all 8 here, I was just being cautious).

Let them cook for a minute or so and the sauce will thicken a little. You can toss in a tablespoon of cream here to give it more body, but the butter sauce is really good as it is. 

Season with salt and papper and serve.

This meal was really good. The filling was actually pretty complex and the texture was nice. The onions still had a little body and the bits of bacon gave a nice smoky compliment to the sweetness of the Marsala. 

The garlic sage butter sauce was just enough of a "sauce" to tie everything together without being too overpowering to the herbs in the filling.

Overall, this was a great dish. Simple. Un-fussy. Good food. 



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