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Birthday feast: Soft-Egg Raviolo with Shiitakes and Asparagus

Soft-Egg Raviolo

Every year for my birthday, Vance cooks me the most extravagant, delicious, gorgeous meal of the year, from the beautiful Paley's Place Cookbook. Candlelit dinner The dish is labor-intensive and completely out of season, so he ends up needing to make a few modifications to it to get the food on the plate.

Shiitakes stand in bravely for morels, and occasionally chickens are more fruitful than ducks in providing the eggs for the decadent pasta dough. Someday we'll make this in season; in fact as soon as we spot fresh morels at the market we'll probably push unsuspecting patrons out of the way in order to fill our basket with them and make that happen.

Meanwhile, back in cold, rainy January… Now that I've finally procured a digital SLR camera, I was able to document the long process (hopefully) with a quality befitting of such a meal. If you plan on reproducing this at home, leave yourself plenty of time and be sure you have all of the necessary tools in place (a pasta roller is essential, unless you can roll pasta with a wooden rolling pin like an Italian grandmother).

Soft-Egg Raviolo, Shiitakes, and Asparagus

While this recipe is strongly influenced by the one appearing in Paley's Place, you're getting the Jamie-and-Vance version. For the original, pick up the book. It's a revelation. Serves 3-6, depending on how hungry you are. After making this dish, YOU WILL BE VERY HUNGRY.

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading/dusting
  • 5 large chicken egg yolks
  • 2 tbsp Extra-virgin Olive Oil
  • 6-7 tbsp white wine
  • Kosher Salt
  • 6 ½ ounces fresh goat cheese
  • ¼ cup good-quality ricotta cheese
  • ½ cup good-quality grated parmesan cheese
  • 10 sprigs of thyme, de-stemmed and finely chopped
  • 10 chives, finely chopped
  • 6 tbsp Persillade
  • All-purpose Flour, for dusting
  • 7 large eggs
  • ¼ lb. fresh shiitake mushrooms
  • 4 cups cold water
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 12 spears asparagus, woody ends snapped off, cut into 2-3 inch pieces
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar, for drizzling
  • 1 bunch Italian parsley, leaves only (not the curly kind!)
  • 3 large cloves of garlic

Persillade Preparation

Persillade Finely chop the parsely on one side of a cutting board; finely chop the garlic on the other. Mix them together and continue to chop and chop, until they are well incorporated. Transfer to a small container and cover tightly until ready to use. (This recipe will make more than you need — find more ways to use it throughout the week!)

Pasta Preparation

Pasta Dough These directions assume you have a stand mixer (if not, grab a copy of Paley's Place to learn how to make the pasta by hand). Sift flour and a pinch of salt together; add it with the 5 egg yolks and 2 tbsp olive oil to the bowl of your stand mixer and fit it with the paddle attachment. Mix on the lowest (stir) speed until the mixture resembles a coarse meal, about 2

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