Artichoke Ravioli with Tuna Caper Cream sauce
Friday night I got the chance to play executive chef a little bit, and order Mr. X around in the kitchen. Alright, I didn’t really order him around so much as tell him my idea and watch him expertly pull it off. And I mean expertly. This was a tasty dinner. I will do my very best to re-create his methods here, and hopefully, he will correct whatever I get wrong.
We made the artichoke ravioli last weekend. The filling for this was pretty damn simple, and aside from the minor problems I discovered earlier in the week (gummy pasta, not enough filling in each ravioli) they were lovely–light and lemony and almost summery. Which was nice, considering that it was something like 11 degrees here all weekend.
- 1/2 batch of fresh pasta, cut into circles or other ravioli shapes
- 1 14 oz. can of whole artichoke hearts, drained and rinsed
- 3/4 c. grated parmesan
- 1 T. lemon zest and the juice from 1/2 a lemon
- salt and lots of pepper
There is nothing complicated about this, other than putting the artichoke filling into the pasta–just cut up the artichokes very well, and mix everything together. I made this ahead of time and refrigerated it for awhile so it was colder, firmer, and a little easier to work with. It was very lemony, so if you want to taste the artichoke a bit more, perhaps leave out some of the zest. I have a suspicion this filling would also be pretty awesome in pan-fried dumplings, and I thing I’ll have to try it out for a party or something sometime.
Tuna Caper Cream Sauce
Because I didn’t actually make this, I’m not sure that my measurements are right, but I’ll do my best. As with many cooking-type things, though, the measurements aren’t as important as you think–you can probably figure it out quite well on your own.
- 1 tuna fillet, probably about 5 or 6 ounces
- 1-2 T. olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1 T. butter
- 1 medium sized shallot, sliced thinly
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- about 1/4 c. capers
- 1-2 T. flour
- 3/4 to 1 c. milk (we used 2% and ended up adding a bit of extra heavy cream to give it a little more body)
I’m not entirely sure what Mr. X did with the tuna, but it was perfect. I wanted it cooked all the way through, because I wanted to flake it into the sauce, but also because I’m just not a big fan of raw tuna, though I know it’s supposed to be all awesome and stuff. The tuna was seasoned pretty well with salt and pepper, and cooked up in a skillet, with some olive oil. The lid was on the skillet for most of the cooking time, so the tuna was pan seared and also a little bit steamed. It cooked for probably a bit less than 10 minutes.
And it was cooked exactly the way I like it–very tender and moist and flaky and yum. I was surprised that it turned out so well, too, because I bought it frozen, which I know you’re not supposed to do with fish. But whatever–it was good.
Once the tuna is cooked through, remove it from the pan and flake it using two forks. Tuna is much easier to shred than chicken.
In the same skillet, melt a bit of butter, and saute the shallots and garlic for a minute or two. Add the capers, and keep sauteeing until the shallots are a bit transclucent. Add the flour, and whisk it all together, so it gets nice and pasty. Add the shredded tuna back into the skillet, and, a bit at a time, add in the milk and/or cream. Whisk it all around and let it simmer and bubble until it gets very nice and creamy and saucy. Et voila–you have an expertly cooked sauce to put atop some ravioli or other pastas or probably whatever you want.
It worked very well with the lemony artichoke ravioli, and I even had enough left over to put on some penne and bring to work today for lunch. I heart leftovers.
And I heart Mr. X for having the awesome ability to take a half-formed idea I throw at him and cook me up some amazing dinner. He rocks.