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Smoked Salmon Ravioli

Smoked Salmon Ravioli

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Serves 4.
By Dennis W. Viau; an original recipe.

Smoked salmon has such a delicious flavor, it belongs in an exotic dish. These homemade ravioli are one perfect way to serve smoked salmon. The sauce, a classic béchamel, is delicate enough to pair well with the salmon without overpowering it with bold flavors. I wouldn’t, for example, serve these ravioli with a marinara sauce.

For this recipe I used a large ravioli form, 5 inches (127mm) wide and 12½ inches (318mm) long. It makes very large ravioli.

My ravioli form

Ingredients:

For the Pasta Dough:
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk (reserve the white for an egg wash)
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
½ cup (85g) pasta flour (durum wheat semolina)
½ cup (71g) all-purpose flour
(or 1 cup (5 oz./142g) all-purpose flour if pasta flour is unavailable)
Additional flour, as needed, to stiffen the dough enough for kneading
For the Ravioli Filling:
¼ cup (60ml) heavy cream
Pinch white pepper
Pinch fresh grated nutmeg
Pinch ground oregano
6 ounces (170g) smoked salmon, well chopped
2 large eggs
Pinch salt
2 ounce (57g) Gruyère cheese, shredded
For the Béchamel/Balsamella Sauce:
5 tablespoons (1½ oz./43g) all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons (1½ oz./43g) butter, preferably clarified
2 cups (475ml) milk or half and half
Pinch freshly ground nutmeg
Pinch white pepper
Salt to taste

Directions:

Combine the eggs, yolk, salt, oil, and about ½ cup of each flour in a bowl. Note: if your eggs are smaller than the large eggs here in the USA you will need less flour. It is better to start with less flour and add more as needed. Combine the ingredients, adding enough additional flour to make a dough. Knead the dough until smooth, wrap in plastic, and set aside 2 to 3 hours. You can make the dough a day in advance and store it in the refrigerator overnight.

Combine all the filling ingredients and mix well. Cover and set aside until needed.

Roll the pasta dough with a pasta machine to make thin sheets about 5½ inches (140mm) wide. On my Atlas machine I roll the dough to the #5 setting on the wheel. The dough should be wide enough to cover a 5-inch (127mm) wide ravioli form. Cut pieces approximately 13 inches (330mm) long. (The dough formula above should make enough dough for 4 of these pieces). Drape a length of dough over the frame. Use the dimpled tray, if provided, to push depressions into the dough. Fill the depressions with the ravioli filling.

Combine the reserved egg white with about a teaspoon of water, blending well, to make an egg wash. Using a pastry brush, coat one surface of a length of pasta dough with egg wash. Invert the sheet and place it on top of the ravioli form, enclosing the filling. Press down well all around the edges of each ravioli square, sealing the two dough layers together. Some forms have ridges that will cut the ravioli into separate pieces if pressed well with a rolling pin. I prefer to invert the ravioli form, transferring the entire sheet of ravioli to the counter, and then cut them apart using a fluted cutter.

Heat water to boiling.

While the water is heating, start the béchamel sauce by combining the flour and butter in a saucepan. Heat to melt the butter, reduce the heat to medium low, and cook the flour about one minute. Add the nutmeg and pepper along with the milk. Combine well. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to low. The sauce should thicken quickly. If it does not thicken, cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until it reaches the desired consistency. Taste and adjust for salt.

Boil the ravioli 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to plates (4 to 5 large ravioli will make a serving). Reheat the béchamel sauce as needed and drape the ravioli with sauce. Grated Parmesan or Romano cheese can be added for garnish, if desired. Serve immediately.