Friday, February 26, 2010

Soave with Pumpkin Ravioli in Sage Butter Sauce

Pumpkin Ravioli in Sage Butter Sauce

Truly one of the most pleasing dishes you can present at a table. Pumpkin Ravioli in Sage butter speaks to our desire for a cozy, warm feeling on a cold winter night. The spicy pumpkin, with the silky fresh pasta, and the salty bite of Parmigiano-regiano, covered in a sauce that wafts aromas of woodsy sage into the air.

2008 Pieropan Soave Pieropan
As for the wine, I chose Soave Classico. Soave is a blend, primarily garganega and, in this bottles case, a small amount of trebbiano di soave. Ten years ago you would have to work hard to find a good bottle that was anything more than “just another Italian white” but times have changed and many producers are creating soave of outstanding character. One of my favorites is Pieropan. The best part is the price, around $15. Don't be mistaken by the name either, this is a Soave from the classico designation, it doesn't bear the name on it's label because its bottled under screw cap (not "yet" allowed by the rules of the Soave Classico DOC).

My Notes:
A wonderfully fresh and fragrant soave with aromas of pear and peach, lavender and a bit of fresh cut grass coming across on the nose. On the palate it shows finesse and vibrancy, from it’s brisk acidity, and flavors of apple, lemon and minerals. The finish is fresh and cleanses the palate. It paired perfectly with the woodsy sage, spicy pumpkin and rich heft of the butter sauce.

Pumpkin Ravioli in Sage Butter Sauce

To keep this simple, I’m going to make the assumption that you are not making your own pasta and pumpkin filling. That’s not to say that we can’t cover that in a future installment, but for now, let’s talk about the sauce. Once you make sage butter sauce you will realize its many uses. Pumpkin ravioli is the tip of the iceberg. Try it with mushrooms, sauté chicken, poached fish or drizzled over risotto.

Sage Butter Sauce

Note: If you are buying premade pumpkin ravioli, please go for quality. Look for a fresh brand (not frozen). If you have a local gourmet deli with their own house style, than give it a try. However, I’m sure you can find it at Trader Joes or Whole foods in a pinch. Follow the cooking directions, for boiling time, on the package. Plan for four ravioli per guest, more if a main course.

Sage Butter Sauce (Serves 4)
1 stick butter
2 sprigs of fresh sage, minced
¼ grated Parmigiano-regiano
salt & pepper

1 Melt butter in a sauté pan over medium heat and allow it to melt completely. Once the butter has stopped foaming (that’s the water cooking out), add half of the minced sage leaves.
2 Allow this mixture to cook over medium heat for 2 - 3 minutes.
3 Now strain the butter sauce into a bowl. The strainer (use a chinois for best results) should capture most of the cooked sage leaves (The cooked sage leaves can be thrown away).
4 Keep this mixture warm until ready to plate.
5 When plating, season with a salt and pepper, add the ravioli and then spoon the sage butter sauce over the plate. Sprinkle with grated Parmigiano-regiano. Lastly, sprinkle with the remaining fresh, minced sage.

Click here to find the 2008 Pieropan Soave on Wine-Searcher

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