Ravioli with Crispy Bacon Cream Sauce & Parmesean

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Today I am cooking the Spinach and Cheese Ravioli that I bought from Raffeto’s, a mom and pop pasta grocery specializing in pasta.  This recipe will work with all cheese and vegetable recipes.  Basically, anything you think will taste well with bacon and cream will work.  In other words, practically everything will work because very few things don’t taste well with bacon and cream.

 As a chef, I suppose I should feel a certain way about admitting to purchasing my ravioli but in my defense, I have a six month old baby to take care of and I have to do most of my cooking with her in a k’tan carrier.  She is a very diligent sous chef and hates it when I do anything without her!

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However, if you do want to make your own there are two main methods. You can make the ravioli dough yourself and use ravioli mold like this one.  For this method I highly recommend using a Kitchen-Aid mixer with a pasta dough attachment. 6138403307_3469da2c0c

There is also a ravioli maker attachment for the Kitchen-Aid but i have never tried it.  Pretty sweet, eh?  I should start dropping hints to my wife for my next birthday.

Ravioli maker

The other method for making your own ravioli is to use wonton wrappers (see above) and a little egg wash. You can find these in speciality Asian markets.

For this recipe, gather together:

  • Ravioli (either store bought or your home made)
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 6 strips of Bacon
  • 1/4 cup of Grated Parmesean
  • Salt and Pepper

First thing you want to do is preheat your oven to 375 degrees and get a large pot of salted boiling water going.

I use the restaurant trick of cooking the bacon in the oven. This allows the bacon to cook evenly. It also doesnt smoke as it would if you were frying it in a pan. Since my little girl was born I’ve been trying to avoid cooking anything on the stove top that produces a lot of smoke. I live in a New York City apartment and because of when the builiding was constructed our kitchen wasn’t required to have a kitchen vent. So I have to create what the French call a ‘courant d’air’ to by opening my window and my front door.  Each time, I pray I don’t set off the building’s hallway  – which has happened.

Lay your strips of bacon on your sheet tray. I prefer a metal sheet tray with a metal rack but you can use just a sheet tray with parchment paper. If you dont have either just lay them out on your tray. I like using the rack because the bacon grease drips down while cooking so it’s a little healthier.

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Cook your bacon for  20-30 minutes until it is nice and crispy. Once cooked remove them from the tray using a spatula before they cool completely. If you dont they may stick to the pan and become difficult to remove.

FYI: if you are ever in a restaurant and you order extra crispy bacon they are going to throw it in the deep fryer. Restaurants cook their bacon ahead of time and just reheat it to order.

Here I made the sauce in the Pyrex dish that I would later serve the ravioli in. Just make sure your dish is oven safe.

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Heat the cream on low heat and and 1 strip of bacon crumbled reserving the rest for later. You want to infuse the cream sauce with bacon flavor here.  The remaining bacon will be added later and will be nice and crispy.

Remember when cooking with cream, do not to bring it to a rolling boil because the fat solids in the cream will begin to separate.

While you have the sauce going, drop your ravioli into your boiling salted water. Keep it uncoverd and as soon as the raviolis all float to the top, cut the heat and cover the pot with a lid. Let it stand for 5 minutes and then drain gently.

Helpful hint:  You dont want to cook your ravioli in a rolling boil because the raviloi will break apart and the filling will get everywhere. It’s messy, and a waste of your yummy ravioli. You also want to drain your ravioli gently for the same reason. If you dump it all out in your colander in one full swoop you are like to damage them in the process.

As soon as you’ve drained your ravioli go back to your cream sauce that should be simmering ever so slightly on low heat. Mix in two table spoons of your grated parmasean and gently add the ravioli. Mixing in the parmasean will thicken your sauce and, of course, add flavor. Mix everything together with salt and pepper to taste. Finish off your dish with the rest of the crumbled bacon and your parmasean.

Maintenant manger!

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