Friday, October 2, 2015

Mushroom Ravioli with "Vodka" Sauce

Ravioli is so much work, but that very fact makes it a very satisfying endeavor. Think about it: how many food cultures have some sort of dumpling, or dough-around-filling type parcel, despite the fact that there are almost always easier delivery mechanisms for the same nutritional components (for example, sauteed slop on top of wheat berries)? No, there is something particularly attractive about a parcel of food--even the abominable Gushers fruit snacks enjoy some of this allure.

Adge had mentioned she really liked vodka sauce, which I'm not sure I'd ever had. I did some reading on why on earth you would ever put large amounts of vodka into a food (which sounds horrendous, even if most of it cooks off). But in addition to some pseudo science about flavor molecules that are only soluble in alcohol, the big thing is that there's cream in this tomato-based sauce (and maybe the alcohol helps stabilize the cream vis a vis the tomato?). So here's a tomato sauce with white wine and cashew cream. Other than that, it's pretty much the standard marinara-ish sauce I always make.

The method for the ravioli pasta, and the timing for filling, sauce, and pasta, are over here.

Mushroom Ravioli with "Vodka" Sauce
(filling was same as this one, except I used mushrooms for "something meaty")

For the sauce:

1 TB olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 chilies, minced (remove some or all seeds)
1 large fresh tomato, diced
1 large can diced tomatoes
1/2 c white wine
1/3 c cashew cream (just blend raw cashews and water)
fresh basil
salt and pepper

In a medium-to-large saucepan, heat olive oil. Saute onion until soft, then add garlic and chilies with a pinch of salt and cook a few minutes.
Add tomatoes and wine, then turn down heat to simmer. Add oregano and marjoram (or the herbs of your choosing), and cook on low until tomatoes are soft.
When sauce is close to done, add sugar, cashew cream, basil, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for a bit longer.