Homemade Pheasant and Cheese Ravioli with Tomato Basil Cream Sauce

I am going to be the first to tell you that you can substitute chicken for pheasant with this dish.  You can also use chucker, and or quail.  The tomato basil sauce comes from a little Italian joint in South Shore Lake Tahoe called Scusa’s.  Stephanie and I found this little place and fell in love with it.  The old chef had this tomato basil cream sauce that would knock your socks off, he was very kind to us and slipped me the recipe.  Several years later, I went back and he had retired.  They also relocated to a larger restaurant which changed the entire mafia, dark lit, ambiance it once had.  I recently came across this recipe in one of my many books of notes, and recipes I keep.  I fired up the grill and made some fresh ravioli’s and this sauce.

Ravioli Filling:

  • 4 Pheasant breast, cut into 1/2″ strips (two chicken breast because they are larger if you are substituting).
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese graded
  • 3 garlic cloves chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of bread crumbs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1.5 teaspoon of parsley chopped
  • 1/4 cup of Ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup of mozzarella
  • salt and pepper to taste

Add butter and olive oil to the pan on medium high heat and add the breast into the pan.  Cook for 4-5 minutes then add garlic.  Toss and turn until the chicken is cooked brown and remove along with garlic and set aside on a plate.  In a food processor, add the meat and all the ingredients listed above into the food processor and pulse until smooth. Place in the fridge and begin working on the pasta.

Fresh Pasta Sheets:

  • 6 egg yolks (farm raised eggs are the best)
  • 1/2 cup of whole milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of white vinegar
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour, plus a cup on stand bye for adding if you need or dusting your work table while folding.

In a blender, blend all ingredients, except the flour.  Do this in a food processor for 12 seconds pulsing until combined.

Farm eggs are the best for fresh pasta.

Pour this mixture into a mixer with a dough hook attachment and add flour 1/2 cup at a time.  Mix for 5-8 minutes, and scrape the dough down off the sides of the bowl every so often.  you want the dough to be pretty tight and not all that sticky.  Add a little flour if it is sticky and wet.  Tightly wrap the dough and let it rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to an hour.  Lightly dust your working table and roll the dough out to the width that will fit whatever width of pasta maker you are using.  I am using my grandmothers old Kitchenaid with a pasta maker attachment that works very nicely.

Rolling the pasta thru Old Faithful.

I run my first thru the roller, then do it again, cut my sheet in half, then adjust the roller to a thinner adjustment fro #4 to #3, and roll it again.  Fold the pasta with your other hand as it comes out of the pasta roller.  Set aside.

I use a ravioli press, if you have one, make sure you dust the heck out of it with flour so you can get them out of the mold.  Lay down your pasta sheet on top of the ravioli press and fill with the filling.

Press down on the mold to allow for the fililng.
Press down on the mold to allow for the filling.

Add the pheasant cheese mixture with a tablespoon.

Ready for the second sheet.
Ready for the second sheet.

Now if you do not have a ravioli mold, and have a pasta cutter.  You can do it the old fashion way and lay down a sheet, use flour on the cutting board, put a spoonful of filling and lay down your sheet and manually press with the cutter.

Old school way
Old school way.

I did two different fillings and I manually cut the second style just so I could keep track of the different pasta’s I made.

These were stuffed with a smoked lamb, garlic, onion, mixture for a different sauce.
These were stuffed with a smoked lamb, garlic, onion, mixture for a different sauce.

Tomato Basil Cream Sauce

  • 1 QT heavy cream
  • 6 egg yolks (nothing is better than farm raised eggs)
  • 2 cups of parmesan cheese graded
  • 1/2 cup of marinara sauce
  • 1 teasp. of dry basil
  • 1/4 cup of fresh chopped basil
  • white pepper and salt to taste.  Taste the sauce, it may need more salt than you think.

I use a olive oil pesto for garnish.

Add all the above ingredients to the food processor and process until nice and smooth.

Pulse until smooth
Pulse until smooth.

Then add the sauce into a nice pot and bring temperature to a boil, stirring so it does not burn at the bottom.  Turn down heat to low, keep stirring occasionally and allow sauce to reduce by a third.  This process takes about 25 minutes.

Once the sauce has a creamy texture, remove from heat.
Once the sauce has a creamy texture, remove from heat.

Get a boiling pot of water ready for your pasta, add tablespoon of salt and some dashes of olive oil.  Cook for 4-5 minutes drain and serve.  Pour a little bit of the sauce over the pasta, dash a little of the pesto to garnish and serve.

DSC_1887I like to serve family style as well, here is a little shot of that action.

Family Italian style.  Forgetaboutit!
Family Italian style. Forgetaboutit!

One Comment on “Homemade Pheasant and Cheese Ravioli with Tomato Basil Cream Sauce

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