Homemade Four-Cheese Ravioli Hearts with Porcini Mushroom Sauce

I was pretty content eating dried pasta for the first 30 years of my life. It’s cheap and easy, what’s not to like? But last year we started making this fettuccine alfredo, and since the recipe specifically noted that fresh pasta would yield better results, I began buying it from the refrigerator section at my grocery store. The first time we tried it I remember thinking there was no going back. Fresh pasta is a million times better than dried, there really is no basis for comparison!

Homemade Four-Cheese Ravioli Hearts with Porcini Mushroom Sauce

I knew eventually I wanted to start making the fresh pasta rather than buy it, but it took me a while to build up the courage to try it. And then once I did, I felt kind of silly for having put it off so long. What seemed so daunting at first was actually really simple and not nearly as time consuming as I had anticipated! I “borrowed” one of the simple countertop rollers from my mom (ummm, more than a year ago, I’m not sure she’s expecting to see it again at this point :) ) and have grown to love it, but I’ve been told you can also roll the pasta with just a rolling pin and some elbow grease. If you’ve never made homemade pasta, I found this tutorial from Annie really helpful when I was starting out. It’s still the recipe I use most often when I make fresh pasta.

Homemade Four-Cheese Ravioli Hearts with Porcini Mushroom Sauce

Homemade Four-Cheese Ravioli Hearts with Porcini Mushroom Sauce

Last month when I was trolling Pinterest for Valentine’s Day ideas, I came upon this heart-shaped ravioli and fell in love. We’re staying home and cooking dinner for Valentine’s Day, and I thought they would be perfect. I actually made them a few weeks ago and popped them in the freezer so all I have to do tomorrow is boil some water and throw them in. Easy peasy! This was my first time making ravioli and it wasn’t any more difficult than fettuccine, though the assembly did take some time. I might enlist a helper next time to move things along more quickly :)

Homemade Four-Cheese Ravioli Hearts with Porcini Mushroom Sauce

I snuck a few of the ravioli out early so I could share them with you before Valentine’s Day. Even though I was only making them for myself, I took the time to whip up a quick porcini mushroom sauce. Shane doesn’t like mushrooms so it was definitely a special treat and I enjoyed every last bit of it! The ravioli were fantastic too, though with four different types of cheese stuffed inside of them, I didn’t expect anything less. I haven’t decided what I’m going to serve with the ravioli tomorrow, but I know at least one portion of our special meal is going to be absolutely delicious!

Homemade Four-Cheese Ravioli Hearts with Porcini Mushroom Sauce
ravioli adapted from Annie’s Eats, sauce adapted from Bon Appetit, January 2000 (via Epicurious)

Ravioli
1 lb fresh homemade pasta
1/2 cup part-skim ricotta
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup shredded asiago
1/2 cup shredded parmesan
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. dried parsley
1/4 tsp. salt
pinch ground black pepper

Sauce
1 1/2 oz dried porcini mushrooms
1 cup hot water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large shallot, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup dry Marsala
1/2 cup dry vermouth
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
chopped fresh parsley, to garnish

To make the ravioli: Roll the pasta into sheets – they should be thin enough that you can see the outline of your fingers through the sheet. Cover the dough with a damp towel. Stir all four cheeses, the garlic, and the herbs and seasonings together in a medium bowl. Working with one sheet of pasta at a time (and keeping the others covered so they don’t dry out), use a heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut hearts from the dough. Use a heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut out pasta shapes. Place about 2 teaspoons of filling in the center of half of the hearts. Brush the outer edge of the heart with water (it’s easiest to use your finger to do this), then top with a second heart. Press around the filling to remove air, then press the sides together to seal the ravioli. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet dusted with flour. Repeat with the remaining hearts, then repeat the process with the other sheets of dough.

{Note: at this point you can freeze the ravioli if you don’t want to cook them immediately. I set mine on a rimmed baking sheet I’d dusted with flour and let them dry at room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour, then transferred the baking sheet to the freezer, and once the ravioli were frozen moved them to a resealable plastic bag.}

To make the sauce: Place the mushrooms in a small bowl. Pour the water over them and then cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let stand for 30 minutes, or until the mushrooms have softened.

Meanwhile, fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil so you’re ready to cook the ravioli when the sauce is done.

Remove the mushrooms, squeezing excess liquid back into the bowl. Set the mushrooms aside and save the liquid.

Set a large skillet over medium heat and add the oil. Heat until shimmering, then add the shallot. Cook, stirring frequently, until the shallots have softened and are starting to brown around the edges. Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute, just until fragrant. Stir in the Marsala and the vermouth. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add the the chicken broth, mushrooms, and the reserved mushroom liquid (if there’s any dirt or sediment at the bottom of the bowl but sure not to add it). Return the sauce to a simmer and cook until reduced to about 2 cups. Meanwhile, use a small rubber spatula to stir the butter and flour together in a small bowl. Once the sauce has reduced, add the butter butter, whisking to incorporate. Continue simmering until the sauce has thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low so it stays warm while you cook the ravioli.

Salt the boiling water then add the ravioli. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until al dente. Use a spider strainer to transfer the ravioli to the skillet with the sauce. Toss to coat. Garnish individual servings with parsley before serving.