You don’t need to use a handful of eggs each time you make pasta. These ravioli with porcini mushroom sauce are phenomenally good, and they have been made without breaking a single egg.
Is a universally acknowledged truth (in Italy at least) that filled pasta should be made with eggs, preferably one egg for 100 g flour. But for all my efforts, I sometimes get the impression that I’m serving boiled pancakes, so I try to go easy on the eggs, and occasionally avoid them all together. After all, pasta without eggs are common in Puglia and Sicily, where no one would dream of mixing eggs into orecchiette, stracinati or cavatelli.
Even as far north as Tuscany and Liguria certain types of pasta such as trofie pici are traditionally made with just flour and water, so the idea of vegan ravioli is not as far fetched as some might think. And I for one think it makes a nice change. Eggless pasta seems lighter and leaves more room to savour the sauce and the filling.
Here the eggless ravioli have been paired with an intense autumnal porcini mushroom sauce. For some reason porcini mushrooms are unobtainable in Copenhagen, and the local variations make a sad substitute. I therefore keep a stock of dried porcini directly imported from Italy to use whenever the craving hits me. And these filled ravioli with porcini mushrooms sauce satisfy the urge perfectly.
Ingredients For the pasta
300 g flour type 00
Pinch of turmeric
150 ml tepid water
100 g ricotta cheese
50 g g grated parmesan
2 tsp red pepper corns
For the sauce
20 g dried porcini mushrooms
1 clove of garlic
100 ml Marsala
200 ml vegetable stock
A knob of butter
50 ml double cream
Squeeze of lemon juice
Make a volcano of flour on a clean table top
Mix the flour with a pinch of turmeric to give the pasta an appetizing golden colour.
Pour half the water into the hole and use a fork to incorporate the flour.
Gradually add more water and knead well with the heel of your hand until you have a shiny elastic dough.
Wrap the pasta in cling film and let it rests in the fridge for 30 minutes or more.
Soak the dried porcini mushrooms in a bowl of water.
Make the filling by mixing ricotta with grated parmesan, chopped parsley and red pepper corns.
Roll the pasta through a pasta machine at least ten times before decreasing the width gradually until you reach the desired thinness.
Cut the pasta in whatever shape you prefer – round, square, rectangular or triangular – and seal it around a teaspoonful of filling.
Leave the pasta to dry while you prepare the sauce.
Save the soaking water for later, but squeeze excess water from the porcini mushrooms
Chop the mushrooms finely.
Melt a knob of butter in a casserole and add the porcini mushrooms when the butter starts to foam.
Add a peeled clove of garlic and fry it with the mushrooms for a couple of minutes.
Pour Marsala into the casserole, turn up the heat and let the alcohol and most of the liquid evaporate.
Pour vegetable stock and soaking water from the porcini mushrooms into the casserole.
Turn down the heat and let the sauce simmer until it had been greatly reduced.
Boil the filled pasta for 3 minutes.
Remove and discard the garlic clove from the sauce.
Adjust the sauce with double cream, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.
Serve the filled pasta with porcini mushroom sauce and a sprinkling of parsley.