Please welcome Dara Michalski of Cookin’ Canuck. She’s a lovely mother of 2 boys who cooks up a beautiful storm of home-cooked meals on her blog. Dara is guest posting today and sharing her recipe for a fabulous puffed pastry ravioli with roasted red pepper sauce. We had to make the dish ourselves, recipe testing of course, and the results were just terrific! And we photographed it too. We couldn’t help it.
It is well known amongst my family and friends that I have a thing for salt in any form – soy sauce, briny olives, sea salt on fudge. You name, I’ll eat it. It is darn near a miracle that my blood pressure is within the healthy range. I have already warned my doctor that if he ever considers giving me a “lower your sodium intake” talking-to, we will have words. And they won’t be polite, reserved Canadian words, either.
My fixation on all-things salty led to the creation of this recipe. Crispy pancetta and briny kalamata olives are balanced with the sweetness of caramelized onions and creamy goat cheese to produce a filling for the puff pastry “ravioli”. Okay, so they are not actually ravioli. If you are Italian, please forgive me for blaspheming the true pockets of pasta perfection of your heritage. In this recipe, dollops of the pancetta filling are placed along a puff pastry sheet and then covered with another sheet of puff pastry. A hand-held ravioli cutter (a round cookie cutter will work well, too) is used to form the “ravioli”. They are baked until puffed and golden, encasing the savory mixture inside the flaky layers.
While it is tempting to buy the store-bought roasted red peppers to use in the filling and sauce, I urge you to try roasting your own peppers. In my opinion, the peppers taste much better when roasted at home. Plus, you will save yourself a bundle of cash, particularly if you are prone to chucking slightly wrinkled red bell peppers into the garbage. They are perfect candidates for roasting. If you would like to roast your own peppers, head over to my read my how-to on the matter. Resist the urge to season the red pepper sauce with salt. The sauce has a mellow flavor to complement the salt from the pancetta and olives.
The next time I visit my doctor for a check-up, I am going to bribe him with a plate of these appetizers…if only to ward off his sodium threats for one more year.
– Dara Michalski, Cookin’ Canuck
Panchetta & caramelized onions
roasted red pepper for filling and sauce
kalamata olives & fresh oregano filling
brush edges of puff pastry with egg white
carefully place top layer of puff pastry over mounds of filling
roll and cut!
little puff pastry beauties after the bake
Recipe adapted from Dara Michalski of Cookin' Canuck. Everything is just how she passed on to us, except we used additional puff pastry, giving a larger puff pastry/filling ratio and we had to change the cook time for our elevation at sea level. If you'd like more filling in your ravioli, halve the amount of puff pastry (use just 1 sheet) and double the amount of filling per ravioli.
- 3 Red Bell Peppers , seeded & cut in half (1/2 will be used for ravioli)
- 2 cloves Garlic
- 3 tbsp (45ml) Plain Greek Yogurt
- Pinch Red Chile Flakes (more or less to taste)
- Sea Salt to taste
- 2 sheets (8 oz. ea) purchased Puff Pastry, thawed (or make your own Puff Pastry)
- 2 oz. (60g) Pancetta, chopped
- 2 tsp (10ml) Olive Oil
- 1/2 medium yellow Onion , chopped
- 1 oz. (15g) Kalamata Olives , pitted and finely chopped
- 1/2 roasted Red Pepper , chopped (see instructions below)
- 1 1/2 tsp (8ml) fresh Oregano , finely chopped, plus more for garnish
- 2 tsp (10ml) crumbled Goat Cheese (chevre)
- 1 Egg White
- 2 tsp (10ml) Water
Preheat the broiler, rack approx. 6" from broiler element. line baking sheet with aluminum foil
Core and seed red bell peppers. Lay skin side up on lined baking sheet and gently press down so they lie flat. Broil for about 15 minutes or until skins are almost completely blackened.
Place roasted peppers in a paper bag and let them steam themselves for 10 minutes. Remove from bag and peel off the skin. Finely chop half of one bell pepper for the ravioli filling, and roughly chop the rest for the sauce.
Combine the 2 1/2 roasted bell peppers, garlic, yogurt, and chili flakes in a food processor or blender.
Blend until smooth. Season with sea salt to taste, keeping in mind ravioli filling will be well seasoned by the Kalamata olives and pancetta.
Preheat the oven to 400° F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
Lightly dust a work surface with flour. Roll each puff pastry sheet into a 12" square (will be approx. 1/4" thick). Cut the sheets in half to form two rectangles. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap until ready to use.
Over medium heat cook the pancetta until lightly golden. Drain on paper towels. In the same pan, add olive oil and onions and cook, stirring occasionally until golden. In a bowl, combine pancetta, onions, Kalamata olives, roasted red pepper, and oregano.
Whisk together the egg white and water to create an egg wash.
On the first two puff pastry rectangles, spoon a heaping teaspoon for each ravioli into 8 even mounds per sheet (2 rows of 4 mounds per sheet). Add about 1/4 teaspoon of crumbled goat cheese on top of each mound. Brush in between each mound with the egg wash. Cover with the other puff pastry rectangles and gently press around each mound to seal the two sheets together.
Cut around each "ravioli" with a hand held ravioli cutter, knife, fluted wheel or small cookie cutter. Carefully slide each "ravioli" onto the lined baking sheets, spacing them evenly so the air can circulate well between them. With a small knife, cut two small slits into each ravioli to release steam while cooking. Brush tops of puff pastry with egg wash.
Bake for approx. 20 minutes or until golden, rotating sheet pans halfway through cooking. Place on cooling rack for 5-10 minutes.
optional: Sauce is excellent at room temperature, but if preferred you can warm sauce just before serving.
On each serving plate, spoon a small pool of sauce and top each with two ravioli.
Drizzle a small amount of sauce over top (squeeze bottles work beautifully for this), and garnish with chopped oregano. Serve immediately.