Sweet corn ravioli

Last summer’s Live Love Local celebration from the Greening of Detroit, held at Detroit’s Eastern Market, was nothing short of a local food and drink tasting extravaganza.  Many of the area’s top chefs and restaurants prepared tasting portions of dishes created out of local food.  Yes, I was in locavore-foodie heaven wandering among the booths, displays and demos.  At the end, I was thrilled to discover the price of admission included a set of recipe cards where these chefs shared their secrets.

Here is one recipe from Andy Hollyday, chef at Detroit’s Michael Symon’s Roast – Sweet Corn Ravioli with Smoked Tomatoes and Prosciutto prepared with homemade duck egg pasta.  Not having several hours on hand, I skipped smoking the tomatoes, and just made the ravioli, and (apologies to the dedicated from-scratch cooks out there) I purchased wonton wrapper pasta sheets.  While this shortcut saved a lot of time, I don’t recommend it.  Authentic fresh pasta sheets would have dramatically improved my version of the dish.  The sweet corn filling, however, is fantastic and simple to make.  Given my experience, I will include the full recipe here, but everyone feel free to adapt it to your time and kitchen preferences.

In late August, this dish can be made from local ingredients fresh off the farms, and in the winter time, you can still enjoy it using frozen sweet corn, frozen whole tomatoes (oven roast them whole) and frozen fresh basil.

For the smoked tomatoes: 3 lbs plum tomatoes, peeled, cored, seeded and halved.  1 teaspoon kosher salt, ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, 10 cloves of garlic, smashed, and 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary.

Prepare grill or smoker; place tomatoes on a wire rack and smoke for 1 hour.  Preheat oven to 250 F.  Combine smoked tomatoes, salt, olive oil, garlic and rosemary on a rimmed baking sheet.  Roast for 1 to 2 hours or until slightly brown around edges.  Remove garlic and rosemary; set tomatoes aside to cool.

For the sweet corn ravioli filling:

2 T olive oil
½ cup of finely minced onion
4 ears sweet corn, kernels remove and cobs scraped *or* 16 oz Locavorious frozen sweet corn fully thawed
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 large egg
2 T chopped basil
½ t kosher salt
¼ t freshly ground black pepper

Heat 2 T oil over medium heat in a medium sauté pan.  Add onions and cook about 5 minutes until soft.  Add corn to onions and cook until almost dry; set aside to cool in a large bowl.  Add ricotta, egg, basil, salt and pepper to corn mixture; stir gently and set aside.

For the pasta from scratch:

1 ½ cups (7 oz) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
½ t kosher salt
9 large duck egg yolks
1 t olive oil
2 T butter

Mound the flour in a large cutting board and sprinkle with ½ t salt.  Form a well in the center of flour and pour in egg yolks and oil.  Draw the flour into the egg with your fingers, continuing to mix flour into yolks until completely incorporated into dense, flaky and crumbly dough.  Shape dough into a rectangle ½ inch thick.  Cover dough with a damp towel; rest for 10 to 30 minutes.  Cut dough into 4 pieces and follow your pasta maker’s instructions.

Lay a pasta sheet on lightly floured work surface and punch out rounds of dough with a 2 ½ inch circle cutter.  Repeat with remaining dough.

Spray dough lightly with water and place a teaspoon of corn filling in the center of each round.  Fold past in half to encase filling and gently press on edges to seal.

Place a large stockpot of water on high and bring to a boil.  Add raviolis; return to a boil and cook 2-3 minutes or until tender but firm.  Remove raviolis with a slotted spoon and reserve pasta water.

Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat and add butter to melt.  Add 1 cup of reserved pasta water and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer 1-2 minutes or until a creamy sauce forms.  Place drained raviolis into sauce and turn off heat.

Garnish: 10 leaves of basil, roughly torn, 16 smoked tomato halves, 8 slices prosciutto, thinly sliced

Place raviolis in individual pasta bowls and top with basil, smoked tomato pieces and prosciutto.

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