Back when we lived in Los Angeles, I attended a work dinner at an Italian family-style restaurant that would forever change my life and palate. Until that evening, I hadn’t been a fan of raw tomatoes in well, forever. When the caprese salad came around the table I took a slice so that I wouldn’t appear to be a picky little child. I took a tentative bite. And my brain exploded.
The flavor was insane. Fresh tomatoes, burrata mozzarella, and an olive oil that tasted like laser beams and fresh fruit. It made raw tomatoes not only delicious in my life, but something I sought after and craved. It was that year I became a gardener, and grew my own crop of summer happiness.
While the tomatoes may have been the “in your face” stars of the show, the dish that became something I could taste by memory for years, was an unassuming asparagus ravioli. It was freshly made in-house and paired with a delicate creamy sauce that made you close your eyes to try to make the experience last. I have dreamed of those ravioli since 2008. You can imagine my delight when I saw Smith Brothers Farms was carrying asparagus ravioli for four weeks only in April. I threw those green gems in my online cart faster than you can say “you can’t really throw things in a cart when shopping online”.
We made them last week, and while they weren’t the ravioli made fresh when ordering them at that tiny little Italian restaurant in Santa Monica, they were exactly what I hoped they would be. And the sauce I made to go on top? Like liquid springtime. After months of roasted root vegetables, broccoli, and other winter veggies, it was a bowl full of hope for a looming change in seasons.
Asparagus Ravioli With Garlicky White Wine Cream Sauce
A plate full of sunshine awaits you with this dish. Savor the taste of fresh spring vegetables with this delicate pasta.
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp shallot, minced
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1 lemon, zested
- 3/4 cup chicken broth
- 2 tbsp flour
- 1/2 cup milk (whole or cream preferred), warmed
- 2 10 oz packages asparagus ravioli
In a medium to large saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add olive oil, garlic, and shallot. Stirring occasionally, cook down for 15 minutes, until the garlic and shallot are soft.
Sprinkle the flour, 1 tbsp at a time over the garlic butter, whisking quickly to avoid lumps. Cook down for about three minutes, whisking throughout. The mixture will begin to brown and should look like a light caramel.
Add the white wine (whisk), the chicken stock (whisk), and warmed milk (whisk). Add the lemon zest, and whisk to incorporate. Cook down for 10 minutes, whisking often to avoid scorching.
While the sauce is cooking down, make the ravioli according to directions on the package (each brand will vary). Plate the ravioli and drizzle the cream sauce over the top. Sprinkle with pecorino cheese and parsley if desired.
Life, like winter can seem very long while you are in the midst of things. The rain, snow, and gloom can drag on for what feels like an eternity. If there is a dark season you are looking to leave behind, this dish is the bright and delicious light waiting for you at the end of the tunnel.