Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Avocado and Roasted Carrot Ravioli with Toasted Almonds

I had grabbed a couple avocadoes while I was at the store last weekend hoping to do something wonderful with them some time this week.  They were on sale so I figured it was a good idea, knowing I would need to use them in the next couple days before they got to mushy.  But they got mushy faster than I expected, and I wasn't in a guacamole sort of mood (although I suppose that is why they were on sale due to it being superbowl weekend), so I had to come up with another use.  It wasn't hard to figure something out, I love avocadoes, they are like nature's butter, so silky when they hit the tongue.  So I thought why not use them in a way that would showcase their smoothness.  I was in the mood for ravioli, so I thought why not incorporate them into the filling?  It may sound wierd, but really it is not.  They add the richness that a cheese filling usually would provide.  I paired them with pureed roasted carrots and almonds and garlic in my filling, and it was rich and delicious but heart healthy at the same time!  This may have been the most unusual ravioli I have ever made, but it was amazing!  Not wanting to distract from the delicate flavor of the filling, I decided a red sauce was not an appropriate accompaniment to this pasta.  I instead used a simple combination of olive oil and orange scented with a little basil and garlic.  I added some more roasted carrots, spinach, and shallots for color, as well as some additional toasted almonds for crunch.  It was a colorful, beautiful dish, and a creative use for the avocadoes!  Here is the recipe if you would like to try some!

Avocado and Roasted Carrot Ravioli with Toasted Almonds
Serves 3-4

3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp sea salt
1 egg
1-2 Tbsp water

1 cup roasted carrot puree*
1 medium avocado, pureed
1/2 cup sliced toasted almonds
1 Tbsp orange zest
1 tsp dried basil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 large carrot sliced on the diagonal
olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 shallot, sliced
juice of one small orange
2 cups baby spinach greens
A few fresh basil leaves, chopped
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds
To make pasta, mix together flour and sea salt in a bowl.  Make a well in the center, and crack the egg into it.  Add 1 Tbsp water, and start slowly mixing in flour and incorporating it into the wet ingredients.  Mix until all flour is incorporated and a soft but not sticky smooth dough is formed (if you need to add more water if dough is too dry).  Divide dough into 2 pieces, and flatten each slightly.  Lightly flour each, then send through a pasta maker until the dough is a very long thin sheet.  (alternatively, roll each out until very thin with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface).  Cover with plastic, and set aside. 
To make filling, combine all ingredients in a food processor until smooth.  To fill pasta, lay out one sheet, and drop filling onto sheet with at least a 3/4 inch boarder around the filling.  Cover with the other pasta sheet and press down around each filling mound to seal the filling in.  Cut into squares (in about a 1 inch boarder around each filling mound) using a pizza cutter.  Discard extra scraps (or you can attempt to re-roll them, but it doesn't always work so well).  Set raviolis aside.  Preheat the oven to 475 degrees, line a baking sheet with foil, and spray with non-stick spray.  Toss carrots with just enough oil to coat, and spread out on sheet.  Roast for about 15-20 minutes or until starting to brown at edges. 
Meanwhile, place a large pot of salted water on the stove and bring to a boil (for pasta).  When boiling, add ravioli and cook until it floats to the surface, about 2-3 minutes.  
To finish, heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a large pan, and add shallots.  Saute until softened and caramelized, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic.  Cook for a minute until garlic is fragrant, then add another 2 Tbsp olive oil, ravioli, roasted carrots, orange juice, basil, spinach, sea salt, and freshly per ground pepper to taste and almonds.  Mix well until heated through, then transfer to plates and serve!
*To make roasted carrot puree, cut about 1 1/2 cups carrots into slices, toss them with olive oil, and roast them on a sheet pan for about 15 minutes at 475 degrees until starting to brown at the edges.  Let cool, and puree until smooth. 


Jessica said...

What a great idea to combine avocado and carrot! I love creative raviolis and this sounds simply delicious. Great job!

Kim - Liv Life said...

I would never have put this together (I'm creatively challenged!), but now that I see it, WOW! I love it! Nicely done...

Sandra said...

I love the name of this dish..so inviting! Have some for me?:))
Looks amazing Amy as always!

Terra said...

This sounds, and looks so elegant!!! I agree with you, avocado's are so buttery and delicious:) I will definitely have to try this beautiful recipe!
Take care,

Charlie @ SweetSaltySpicy said...

This sounds so good! I might have to try making homemade ravioli soon. They only have cheese ravioli at the supermarket and I'm getting tired of it ;).

veggietestkitchen said...

wow this sounds so interesting. very interesting combination. is there any reason you chose to puree the avocado and carrots? do you think it would be okay if i didn't puree it? i kind of like to have a bit of bite in my ravs. this sounds so yummy! what an original dish. cheers!

Suchitra Vaidyaram said...

that is one sumptuous looking ravioli-very creative

Happy When Not Hungry said...

These raviolis look amazing! I've never added avocado to past before, so I'm very curious to try this recipe. Thanks for sharing :-)

Anonymous said...

I am so in love with this recipe! I love avocado, like really really love. Carrots are my favorite food and almonds are my favorite nut! The combo here is just sensational, thanks so much for sharing it with us!

thecoffeebreak said...

This recipe sounds and looks beautiful!Yum

Elizabeth said...

This sounds AMAZING!! I can't wait to try it out. My kids love ravioli, but it is usually so fatty that it is just an occasional treat. I would feel good feeding them this much more often.

Jenn´ said...