Mushroom Ravioli with Pancetta and Red Onion

I created this recipe using pancetta as the main ingredient because I just love it. Pancetta is basically unsmoked Italian bacon, is really savoury and it has a sweet aftertaste. Combining it with mushrooms and onions is just great.
I also managed to add a more delicate flavour by putting some mascarpone cheese in the filling, and by dressing it with sauteed red onion for an extra zing.

Fresh parsley as a garnish make the plate reach perfection!

makes 36 ravioli
(serves about 6)

for the Pasta:

  • 3 extra large eggs
  • 2½ cups AP flour (approximately)

for the Mushroom Filling:

  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup diced red onion
  • 4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems cut off and caps chopped
  • 4 ounces cremini mushrooms, chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • couple of pinches of coarse sea salt
  • a few grindings of freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 ounces Parmigiano cheese
  • ¼ cup mascarpone cheese (Italian cream cheese)

for the sauce:

  • 4 ounces pancetta, diced (Italian unsmoked bacon)
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 3 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup minced red onion
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
  • grated Parmigiano cheese for serving

It can be helpful to have: a pastry bag, a ravioli mold, a fluted pastry wheel, a rolling pin, a spritz bottle of water

To make the pasta:

  • First of all, mound the flour on the counter and form a well in the middle.
  • Break the eggs into this hole and, with a fork
  • slightly beat the eggs.
  • Start incorporating the flour with the fork a little at a time until a dough forms.
  • add more flour if the dough is too sticky (be careful not to add too much!)
  • Work the dough for a couple of minutes and wrap in floured plastic wrap.
  • Let it rest for at least 15 mins.

Make the Filling:

  • Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan
  • add the red onion, mushrooms and seasonings
  • saute over medium low heat until soft, about 15 minutes, stirring every now and then
  • Remove from the heat and let cool for 5 minutes.
  • put the Parmesan cheese into a food processor and pulse until finely ground.
  • Add the the mushroom mixture and pulse.
  • Add the mascarpone cheese and pulse until finely blended.
  • Taste and adjust for salt, adding more if needed.

Assemble the ravioli:

  • Cut the pasta dough into two pieces (wrap the dough you are not using).
  • Flatten your piece of dough and run it through the rollers (use the thickest setting)
  • Flour it, fold it into thirds, and run it through again.
  • Do this three or four times (setting a less thick setting) and run your dough through, and don’t fold the dough this time
  • Keep running it through the rollers until you get to the thinnest settings;
  • Lay  the sheets of pasta on a floured countertop.
  • In case you aren’t fast enough, cover the pasta sheets you did with a towel or plastic wrap, so they don’t dry out.
  • Repeat with remaining dough until you have made all your pasta sheets.
  • Flour your ravioli mold very well.
  • Cut your sheets slightly longer than your ravioli mold.
  • Gently lay one sheet of pasta on the mold, so that the entire mold is covered.
  • using pastry bag, squeeze out a small amount of filling into each well
  • Spray the pasta sheet with a little water or brush a little water in between all the filling.
  • Carefully lay the second sheet on top and firmly run a rolling pin over to seal.
  • Turn the mold over and release the ravioli.
  • Use a cutting wheel to cut apart.
  • You can store the ravioli on baking sheets in the refrigerator until you are ready to use them.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Meanwhile, make the sauce.

Make the Sauce:

  • saute the pancetta In a large frying pan, until it gets crispy.
  • Remove the pancetta and the fat and let drain on paper towels.
  • Do not wipe out the pan.
  • Add the butter, olive oil and red onion and saute slowly until the onion gets soft.
  • Turn off heat.
  • Bring a large pot of water to boil, using a pasta insert if you can.
  • Have a large serving bowl ready.
  • Add half of the fresh ravioli to the boiling water and reduce heat until the ravioli is just simmering
  • Simmer gently for about 2 minutes and remove from the water and let drain, using the pasta insert.
  • Place the ravioli in the serving bowl
  • Cook the other half of the ravioli and place in the serving bowl.
  • Add the sauce and toss gently until well coated.
  • Add a few grindings of fresh black pepper and the chopped parsley and blend.
  • Add the grated cheese and serve.

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