Friday, February 03, 2006

open chicken marsala ravioli

Here's on of those contemporary cuisine ideas that figures out how to do something more easily and then promote it as fancy. An open ravioli means you don't seal up the sides. You simply stack things up: a pasta sheet, the filling, another pasta sheet, and the sauce or garnish.

I found a good and easy pasta dough recipe here. You could also use egg roll wrappers if you don't want to make the pasta. Fill a roasting pan with about 2-3 inches of salted water (I use chicken broth for a little more flavor) and bring to a boil. Right before you are ready to serve the meal, drop the pasta into the water and let it cook for a couple of minutes. Go straight from there to the plate.

For the filling:

2 chicken breasts, diced
1 small onion, diced (you could use a couple of shallots instead)
3 T pine nuts
1/4 c dried cranberries
1/4 c golden raisins
1/2 c pitted kalamata olives, roughly chopped
1 10 oz. package fresh spinach, stems removed
2 c Marsala wine
1/2 c heavy cream

In a large skillet, heat olive oil and saute chicken until done. If you want the chicken to be a little brown and crisp, toss it in corn starch before you put it in the oil. Set aside. Saute onion and pine nuts until onion becomes translucent and pine nuts begin to brown; add cranberries, raisins and olives and cook until heated through. Add chicken back to skillet and then transfer mixture to a bowl and keep warm.

Deglaze the pan with the Marsala wine and bring to a boil. After it reduces by about half, whisk in the cream and let it reduce again.

Heat another skillet and add 2 T olive oil; add spinach and heat just long enough to wilt.

Put one square of pasta on the plate, then a layer of spinach, the chicken mixture, another pasta sheet, and top with Marsala cream sauce.

Yes, it's a little bit of work, but it's worth it. Also, I'm sure you've figured out you could use any kind of filling or sauce. I served this dish at a church dinner (read about it here) and served thirty people for about $90.