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Asparagus Ravioli in Brown Butter Sauce

By Chef John Ash

For this classic dish, you could also use fresh pasta for this in place of the wontons. It will take a little longer to cook, of course, but will be just as delicious. Serve with a Sonoma-Cutrer Sonoma Coast Chardonnay.

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    Serves 4

    Total Time 45 minutes - 1 hour

    Prep Time 45 minutes

    Difficulty Level Medium


    1/2 lb tender young asparagus, woody ends discarded (tips reserved)

    Sea salt

    1/4 c an 2 tbsp mascarpone cheese

    1/3 c farmer or whole milk ricotta cheese

    1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese

    1 tsp anchovy paste or mashed anchovy fillets

    1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

    1/2 tsp minced garlic

    40 wonton wrappers

    Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

    1/2 c unsalted butter (Brown Butter Sauce)

    1/2 c slivered blanched almonds or pine nuts, chopped (Brown Butter Sauce)

    Freshly ground black pepper (Brown Butter Sauce)

    Freshly grated Parmesan cheese (Brown Butter Sauce)

    Freshly grated lemon zest (Brown Butter Sauce)

    Parsley Sprigs for garnish, preferably fried (Brown Butter Sauce)


    1. For the ravioli: Bring 4 cups salted water to a boil in a saucepan. Add asparagus tips and cook till tender but still bright green, 1 minute. Drain and shock in icewater drain again and set aside. Cut stalks into 1-inch lengths and cook as above. Dry stalks on a paper towels and chop very finely in a food processor or by hand.

    2. For the ravioli: Place in a bowl. Add cheeses and remaining ingredients except wontons and stir together. Taste and adjust seasoning. Place a scant tablespoon of filling on half of the wrappers. Using a pastry brush, paint water around edge of each square. Top each with one of the reserved wrappers and press edges firmly to seal. If you don't cook ravioli right away, cover with a damp cloth.

    3. For the ravioli: Bring salted water to a rolling boil in a large pot. Add ravioli and bring to a boil. As soon as ravioli rise to the top, about 1 minute, remove with a slotted spoon to warmed plates.

    4. For the sauce: While waiting for water to boil, melt butter in a skillet over moderate heat and add almonds, shaking pan. Cook until butter turns a light brown color. Add reserved asparagus tips and drizzle over ravioli. Top with a grinding or two of pepper, some freshly grated Parmesan, and a little lemon zest. Garnish with parsley sprigs.

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