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Ravioli with Apple-Pomegranate Lamb Ragu

March 11, 2009


Tonight’s dinner was a happy accident, an unexpectedly delightful mashup of flavors. 

I’ve been dreaming of last weekend’s cinnamon-apple ravioli and lamb ragu at Convivium Osteria, a little portal to Portugal in Park Slope. The place just oozes rustic charm – rough hewn tables, cozy candles, copper pots on the walls – and the food is every bite as good as it sounds.

On my walk home, I ducked in my local butcher, and took the fresh ravioli — heart shaped no less! — as a sign that I was meant to recreate my dream dish. Except, after I’d done all my shopping and actually consulted the Convivum menu, I realized my fantasy ravioli were actually stuffed with apples, and topped with… duck.

Time for plan B. I was still all about the apples, so I decided to fry up my lamb with minced apples and make a sweet apple reduction for the plate. Instead of Convivium’s cinnamon, I added a touch of pomegranate syrup, and handfuls of rosemary, oregano and thyme from my window garden.

I’m no pro at reductions — I ended up with apple-pomegranate syrup in a half-dozen places as I attempted a restaurant-style swirl of sauce. But I perservered with the plating, and ended up with a surprisingly sexy dinner, which I’ll be submitting to Pasta Presto Nights over at What’s Cooking.

Ravioli with Apple-Pomegranate Lamb Ragu
1 package fresh cheese ravioli
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 lb. ground lamb
1 red apple, finely chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
2 large shallots, minced
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup unsweetened apple juice
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

Apple-Pomegranate Reduction
2 cups unsweetened apple juice
5 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon pomegranate syrup
1 tablespoon aged balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon butter
6 fresh thyme sprigs plus 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary

Combine apple juice and sugar in small saucepan. Bring to boil over medium–high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add pomegranate syrup and thyme sprigs. Reduce heat to medium–low and reduce until reduction coats the back of a spoon, about 15 minutes. Discard thyme sprigs.

Remove skillet from heat; stir in vinegar, butter, oregano, rosemary, and thyme. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Keep warm until serving.

Boil water for ravioli. Heat oil over medium-high and cook shallots for 1 minute. Add apples, stir for 2 more minutes. Add herbs and lamb, and cook until lamb is browned. Add apple juice, reduce heat to low and cover. Cook until apples are soft, about 5 minutes. Add butter and a teaspoon of the apple-pomegranate reduction, and season with salt and pepper. Keep warm until serving.

Cook and drain ravioli. Drizzle reduction on the plate, and lay ravioli in a circle. Pile a generous spoonful of the ragu in the center. Sprinkle with chopped herbs and top with a sprig of thyme.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. Susan permalink
    March 11, 2009 2:11 pm

    Sounds wonderful! And gorgeous. Shravan’s comments?

  2. Susan permalink
    March 11, 2009 2:13 pm

    Any possibility of a blog about the food from Shravan’s African trip?

  3. Liz permalink
    March 11, 2009 2:14 pm

    No comments yet. I’m sure he’ll tell me I need more light – he’s just itching for me to play with my new Valentine’s Day flash. I haven’t set it up yet, so this is just shot with some $10 swivel lamps from Ikea.

    And no, not a chance. He spent yesterday photographing riots in Nairobi over police killings of NGO workers, not food. But he is going to be doing some work photographing some restaurants there, so I’ll snag those photos as they happen.

  4. March 12, 2009 4:04 am

    Love the raviolis! What a sexy meal.

  5. March 13, 2009 10:48 am

    What a glorious dish! Stunning photo and what a great second choice.

    Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights. Love the new blog too.

  6. March 13, 2009 12:14 pm

    This looks wonderful! I just discovered your blog and I love it!

  7. March 13, 2009 1:47 pm

    OH WOW! That is one gorgeous dish. Thanks for sharing with PPN:)

  8. March 13, 2009 8:55 pm

    They are the prettiest ravioli I’ve ever seen. Almost too pretty to eat.

  9. March 14, 2009 10:25 pm

    Looks gorgeous!! Love the flavours and colours!

  10. March 19, 2009 8:46 pm

    Those are certainly very special ravioli’s. Very well done on the plating too!

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