Oyster ravioli with cream sauce*

Kevin and I don’t celebrate Christmas, but we’ll take any excuse for making a good meal. Kevin made smoked bluefish cakes for an appetizer, and I finally broke out the pasta attachment we’d bought for the Kitchenaid some months back. It was my first attempt at pasta, and I was prepared for disaster, but it come out beautifully.

Oyster Ravioli with Cream Sauce

For the filling

2 strips bacon
1 onion, chopped, divided
1 T. chopped parsley
1 cup ricotta
1 egg
1 t. lemon zest, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
12 oysters, shucked and drained, liquor reserved

In a small skillet over low heat, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove the bacon and drain off most of the fat, leaving just enough to sauté the onion. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft and beginning to brown, about 7-10 minutes. While the onion cooks, chop the cooked bacon finely.

Remove half the sautéed onion from the pan, and save it to make the sauce. Add the chopped bacon and parsley to the pan and cook for another minute or two, and then remove the mixture to a bowl. Return the other half of the onion to the pan, and turn the heat off until you’re ready to start the sauce.

Add all the remaining ingredients except the oysters to the onion and bacon mixture, and stir to combine. Refrigerate it until you’re ready to use it.

For the sauce:

½ onion
2 t. fresh or 1 t. dried sage
½ cup vermouth
oyster liquor
½ cup really good duck stock
½ cup heavy cream

Turn the heat to medium (the pan already has the onion in it), and add the sage. When everything’s hot, add the vermouth and cook until it’s almost completely evaporated. Then add the oyster liquor and stock, and continue cooking until that’s almost completely evaporated. Then lower the heat, add the cream, and cook, stirring regularly, until it has a saucy consistency.

For the pasta:

I’ve made pasta a grand total of once, so I don’t feel qualified to tell you how to do it. Either use a recipe you like, or use wanton wrappers. Plan for each ravioli to be at last 2-3 inches per side, or you won’t have enough room for the filling.

To assemble, put a small spoonful of filling and one raw oyster in each ravioli. Close them up, and boil them until the pasta is completely cooked. (My pasta took 5-6 minutes after the water had returned to a boil.)

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    • To my amazement, it was delicious. Putting a raw oyster in a ravioli actually works, and my first attempt at pasta was toothsome. Chalk one up for the home team!

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