It's the Hedgehog Awareness Week 2013 (5.-11. May) so just to spread the word I came up with this idea to make whimsical hedgehog shaped ravioli. Asparagus is ideal on the side as it's now in season and the mushroom filling is in my opinion also very suitable to the hog theme.
All you need is a hedgehog cookie cutter, mine is from Ikea's current range and a pasta machine that makes your life a whole lot easier. You could theoretically cut every hedgehog individually with a knife or pastry cutter but that really is a massive task.
Parsley and lemon butter:
A few leaves of fresh parsley
This is a fresh and quick herb butter to make and goes well with many vegetables. I find it especially tasty with asparagus.
Make this butter first with just a few easy steps. Take soft butter and squeeze the juice of half a lemon to it. Then chop parsley leaves and mix all these ingredients together. Roll to a small rod in cling film and let set in the fridge.
A handful of porcini mushrooms
2 cloves of garlic
1tsp vegetable stock powder
A few leaves of fresh parsley
Vegetarian pasta cheese
Roasted pine nuts
This is a very savoury and strong mushroomy filling, therefore it doesn't need a strong sauce to go with it.
Rehydrate the dried porcini mushrooms in a small amount of water containing a teaspoon of vegetable stock powder. When the mushrooms are soft heat a little oil in a pan and lightly fry the mushrooms there so that they can lose the excess fluid. Add the finely chopped garlic and fry a moment longer.
Grate the cheese, chop the parsley leaves and grind the pine nuts. Add some bread crumbs to remove any excess fluid. Then mix the mushrooms with those ingredients and let the mix set in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
400g grade 00 pasta flour
My pasta dough recipe is for a large dough, which makes about 25 raviolis and they can even be slightly thicker. Please read my more thorough ravioli making tips here. Make only half of the dough if you don't have several hungry eaters.
Knead the ingredients to a firm and even dough and then let it rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes wrapped in cling film. Once the dough has rested long enough start either rolling out sheets of it with a rolling pin, which requires a lot of strength, or work it through a pasta machine to produce thin sheets. I personally don't find super thin pasta so good for ravioli as thicker ones hold better together and are more filling.
When the pasta sheets are rolled out start cutting the hedgehog shapes out, fill them with the mushroom mix, brush the sides with water and press two hog pieces firmly together. Repeat several times and cook the ravioli in boiling salt water for about 10-12 minutes. The ravioli are done when they float on the surface.
Asparagus is finally in season and you should be able to obtain lovely local produce. At the same time as boiling the pasta steam them to keep the flavour strong, glaze with the parsley and lemon butter and serve as a side dish.
Finally make a masterpiece on the plate with hedgehogs snuffling in the undergrowth. Let parsley and lemon butter melt also on the ravioli, add some fresh pea shoots to the presentation and enjoy.
Some just can't get enough of hibernation...
Happy Hedgehog Awareness Week!