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08 March 2009

Roasted Red Onion and Garlic Ravioli with Cream and Thyme Sauce

I was extremely happy with how this dish turned out. It is very rich, so you do not need much per person.

Don't be scared by the amount of garlic - when garlic is roasted it becomes very sweet and loses a lot of its pungency. It is absolutely delicious.

You may have some of the ravioli filling left over once the ravioli is filled. I cooked a little extra just in case, and also to give to Otis if he was hungry.

Making fresh pasta is a bit of a process. If you do not enjoy cooking, you may want to buy gow gee wrappers and use those instead. But of course, the results will not be the same. If you can persevere, the dish is that much better with fresh egg pasta.

Heat will ruin fresh pasta, so if it is humid while you are making it, try and cook in a cool place. It is sometimes easier to divide the pasta into portions and work with only smaller amounts at a time. Also, it dries out easily, so store it under a damp, clean tea towel or in the fridge if necessary.

The ravioli can be made in advance. I probably wouldn't make it any more than 1 day in advance, unless I was going to store it in the freezer.

The pine nuts can be toasted the day before. If you wanted to, you could make the cream sauce earlier in the day, but I would not keep it for too long.


3 eggs

1 3/4 cups plain flour ('00' strong flour is best - this is now available from the supermarket)

4 red onions cut in half (skin on)

2 heads garlic with the top cut off

3 sprigs thyme

1 teaspoon red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons fresh breadcrumbs
2 sprigs thyme (extra)

2 teaspoons dried thyme

Salt and pepper to taste

400 ml thickened cream

3 sprigs thyme (extra)

100g butter

1 cup grated parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon pine nuts


Place the flour and eggs in a food processor and process until a dough forms. (If you do not have a food processor, place the flour on a clean work surface, make a well in the centre and add the egg. Whisk the egg with a fork, slowly incorporating the flour until a dough forms).

If your dough is too wet, add a little extra flour.

Knead the dough well on a lightly floured surface until it is smooth and elastic. Cover with a damp tea towel and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Once rested, either use a rolling pin to roll into thin strips about 1mm in thickness and a few inches wide. If you have a pasta machine, pass through the machine at each setting until it is about 1mm in thickness. I personally like my ravioli to be as thin as possible.

I like to cut my pasta into squares (or sometimes they are rectangles due to the way the pasta has been rolled out) about 8-10 cms square. You then place a few teapoons of the ravioli on each square, brush with a little water and seal, making sure that all the air is pushed out. But be gentle! They break easily. Dust the pasta with flour while you are waiting to fill it, and also once you are done. Once filled, I store the pasta on a tray lined with baking paper. I dust both sides of the ravioli with flour and store in the fridge.

Now for the filling. Drizzle the garlic heads and red onion halves with oil. Wrap the garlic in foil. Toss the onion with the thyme. Place the garlic, onion (cut side down) and thyme on a baking paper lined tray and roast for 30-40 minutes until soft. Allow to cool.

The soft garlic will then pop easily out of its skin. Therefore remove each clove of garlic. Remove the onion flesh from its skin and blend, mash or process in a food processor both the onion and garlic. Add the vinegar, fresh thyme and dried thyme and mix. You'll need to taste the mixture and add salt and pepper as you like. Fill the ravioli.

Just before serving, cook the ravioli in boiling salted water. They only take a few minutes and will rise to the surface once cooked.

While the water is boiling toast the pine nuts in a dry pan until lightly browned. Also while the water is boiling, heat the cream, butter and thyme in a saucepan until simmering and the butter has melted. Add salt and pepper to taste as well as a handful of parmesan cheese. Keep warm.

Divide the ravioli among four serving bowls. Top with cream sauce and a few pine nuts. Sprinkle with remaining parmesan.

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