r i p e

Smoked Black Cod Ravioli with Baby Leeks and Chive Cream    (printer friendly)
Makes about 60 ravioli.

Smoked Black Cod Ravioli with Baby Leeks and Chive CreamFilling
1 pound fresh, skinless boneless black cod or salmon, cut into pieces and kept very cold
4 ounces skinned, cold-smoked black cod or salmon, cut into pieces and very cold
1 egg white, very cold
3/4 to 1 1/4 cups cream, very cold
coarse salt
freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 1/2 to 2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
3 eggs
2 tablespoons fresh herbs, finely minced (chives, green onion or parsley)

Chive Cream Sauce
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 cups fish fumet or 1 cup bottled clam nectar and 1 cup dry white wine
1 cup cream
1/4 cup finely sliced chives
coarse salt
freshly ground white pepper
fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons chicken stock
1 pound very small leeks, cleaned and trimmed of all but the palest green

1. To make pasta: Mix eggs with the herbs and beat lightly. Put 1 1/2 cups flour and salt into a processor, add the eggs and process for 40-60 seconds, until the dough forms a ball. Stop the machine and test the dough for moisture. Add more flour as needed to make a pliable dough that is neither too moist nor too dry. The dough will break down into small crumbs and will probably not form a ball again in the processor. Test by pinching a bit of the dough together with your fingers; if it adheres to itself and does not feel wet, it is ready. Gather into a ball with your hands, knead for a few seconds, seal in plastic wrap, and let rest for 30 minutes.

2. To make filling: Using a processor with a steel blade, puree the very cold fresh cod and smoked code together until smooth. Add the egg white and process for a few seconds more. With the machine running, pour the cream through the feed tube, using enough to lighten the mousse but still enabling it to hold its shape on a spoon. (The quantity of cream will vary from time to time. If the mousse begins to look curdled, you are adding too much cream.) Season to taste with salt, pepper and lemon juice.

3. To make ravioli: Roll out pasta dough and fill with the filling to form ravioli. Place ravioli in a single layer on a baking sheet covered with plastic wrap and flour. If not cooking right away, freeze ravioli on the baking sheet. When they are cold and no longer sticky, you can transfer them to a plastic freezer bag. Ravioli can be made up to several weeks in advance and frozen--do not defrost to cook.

4. To make sauce: Melt the butter and add the shallots and garlic. Saute for a few minutes to soften. Add the fish fumet and reduce by a little more than half. Add the cream and reduce again to thicken lightly, down to 1 1/4 cups or so. Stir in the chives. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice.

5. To make garnish: Melt the butter in a saute pan. Add the chicken stock and the leeks and braise slowly until the leeks are just tender, about five minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

6. To cook pasta: Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the ravioli; regulate the heat so that a constant low simmer is maintained. Test after about 8 to 10 minutes, the pasta should be tender with just a touch of chewiness. Carefully remove with a slotted spoon and shake to drain slightly.

7. To serve: Cover the bottom of a heated pasta bowl with some sauce, leaving a little to lightly coat the pasta and arrange ravioli on top. Garnish with a few leeks to the side of the ravioli.