Tag Archives: oyster mushrooms

Pesto Ravioli

Ok, so I cheated on part of this dish.  I used store-bought frozen raviolis.  We have a nice Italian store, and they have lots of varieties of raviolis, tortellinis, etc, and we usually have few stored in our freezer.  However, the thing I do want to highlight here is the pesto.  Our basil did awesome at the beginning of this summer (though it has now turned to total shit after this 100 degree plus heat wave), and I was able to make several batches of pesto.  The good news is, it turned out fabulous and I used it in several things  – sauces, salads, dips.  The bad news is, I did not take a pic of just the pesto – just pics of final dishes.  I think we will all live, though.  Should you find yourself with an abundance of pesto, also remember you can freeze it, whether it be in small plastic containers, flat in freezer bags with all the extra air squeezed out, or individual squares in ice cube trays (just pop them into a plastic bag or container after they are froze.  Take them out as you need.

Portabello Mushroom Raviolis with Pesto, Oyster Mushrooms, and Peas

  • 1 package frozen raviolis of your choice (you don’t have to use mushroom), usually about 12 ounces or so
  • 1/2 pound oyster mushrooms (or some sort of mushroom, use something else is you can’t find oyster), roughly torn up
  • 1/3 cup (ideally) fresh peas, blanched (if using frozen  peas, don’t blanch, just let them thaw out)
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup pesto (recipe below)
  • about 3 tablespoons of shaved Parmesan, to pass when serving

Cook raviolis in boiling water according to package directions (usually a good rule of thumb is once all of the raviolis are floating at the top they are pretty close to being done). Drain and reserve 1/2 cup of cooking water.

In the meantime, heat some olive oil in a pan over medium high heat.  Add mushrooms and season with salt and pepper and let cook for about 3-4 minutes.  Add peas and cook for about one minute.  Turn heat down to medium to medium low and add butter and toss to coat, cooking for another minute.  Taste to see if needs any more salt and pepper.

In a big serving bowl, gently toss the drained raviolis with pesto, and just a dab of the reserved cooking water, maybe a few tablespoons.  Add mushrooms and peas and gently toss until all comes together.  If looks really dry for some reason, add another tablespoon or two of cooking water.  Plate and serve with grated cheese.


  • 2 cups basil leaves, packed
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

In a food processor, process the basil and garlic together.  Add pine nuts and process until everything is kinda smooth.  Scrape down sides of food processor bowl.  Add lid back to processor and slowly add oil.  Once oil is mixed in, add in cheese and process until just  combined.  Add a healthy pinch of salt and pepper and process until just mixed together.  Taste.  Does it seem balanced with salt, oil, and Parmesan?   If it seems it needs a little more of something, add it, but don’t go crazy as you don’t want to overwhelm the delicate flavor of the pesto with just one ingredient.  If you are choosing to freeze your pesto, don’t add the cheese.  Wait until you have pulled it from the freezer and de-frosted it and then add it because cheese does not freeze too well in recipes.


Ricotta Gnudi (Gnocchi’s cousin)

I keep wanting to make gnocchi, but something about it seems very difficult.  Something about the potato and starch and glutens and, I think, also, Tom Colicchio always completely railing anyone on Top Chef anytime they make it that it is “heavy” and “doughy” and “tough” and even “inedible”. As opposed to what they should be – light, fluffy, pillowy.  So, I was reading this month’s Food and Wine and came across a recipe for Gnudi last weekend, and I thought, “Aha! This is it! This is my bridge to gnocchi!”  Gnocchi’s base is normally roasted potatoes that have been put through a ricer, flour, and egg; gnudi’s is ricotta, flour, and egg.  They become dumpling-like, and then you boil them and then toss them in whatever you have created to go with them.  My creation is below.

Ricotta Gnudi with Oyster Mushrooms, Fresh Peas, and Bacon

Adapted from July 2011 Food and Wine, from Nancy Silverton’s cookbook Mozza Cookbook


  • 1 pound whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan, plus more for serving (ideally Parmigiano-Reggiano)
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons butter, melted
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • All purpose flour

Mushrooms and Peas

  • 1 pound oyster mushrooms, roughly torn into large pieces
  • 1 cup fresh peas, blanched (used frozen if you don’t have fresh, but no need to blanch frozen ones)
  • 4 slices bacon, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 4 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
  • 1/2 stick butter, cut into 4 pieces
  • 1/2 cup reserved cooking water from gnudi

In a large bowl, combine the ricotta, 1/4 cup of Parm, the egg, butter, and nutmeg. Sprinkle 1 cup of flour over the ricotta mixture and fold in.  Dust the dough with more flour and shape into a ball.  (If seems really sticky – like too sticky – mix in more flour).  On a floured surface roll the dough out to a rope and cut it into 36-ish pieces. (I split it into 2 balls and made two ropes and then cut it)

My rope of dough cut into pieces

All my little gnudi soldiers, ready to be cooked

In  large pot of boiling salted water, boil the gnudi until tender and cooked through, about 6 minutes.  Drain, reserving a cup of cooking liquid.

In the meantime, make the mushroom-bacon sauce.  Cook the bacon in a skillet over medium until brown and crisped.  Drain and set bacon aside.  In a large skillet, heat some olive oil (about 1/4 cup should do) over medium high heat.  Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and cook until mushrooms are lightly browned, about 5 minutes.  Add the peas and cook about 2 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook about 1 minute.  Add the bacon and about 3/4 cup of the reserved cooking water.  Mix well until water reduces to about 1/4 cup.  Turn heat down to medium, and start adding butter.  Add two chunks butter and stir until melted into sauce.  Add 2 last nubs of butter and mix into sauce.  Taste for any final seasoning.  Add Gnudi and toss to coat, adding just a bit of cooking water if sauce seems too dry.  Serve and pass extra grated Parm alongside.