Yesterday the sun was shining and the temperature a balmy 15°F (-9°C).
I came in from my walk invigorated, but wanting something that would warm me from the inside out. Luckily, I had some leftover Oxtail Ravioli in Leek-Mushroom Broth, a remarkably delicious dish I’d made with leftover Oxtail Braised in Sherry.
As I’ve mentioned before, using leftovers as an ingredient is one of the easiest ways to create full-flavored food. Instead of eating the same dish twice in a row, try using all the flavors you worked hard to put in the original dish to create something new and exciting.
Although no longer the bargain it used to be, oxtail (actually, beef tail) is ideal for braising in sherry or other wine. The cartilage, marrow, and tendons in the tail dissolve into the braising liquid when oxtails are cooked long and slow. The meat becomes meltingly tender and the sauce rich and unctuous.
On a recent evening, we feasted on Oxtail Braised in Sherry. There were only two pieces of oxtail left over. That night, I lay in bed scheming and planning how best to use the luscious leftovers. I decided to stuff the meat into Oxtail Ravioli and to enrich the already wonderful braising liquid with earthy mushrooms and sweet leeks.
The next day, I hesitated. Making homemade ravioli seemed like too much of a hassle. But I didn’t have any other ideas, so I persevered and discovered, as I do anew each time I make ravioli, they are easy to make and way less trouble than I always anticipate.
The key to making ravioli is having the right equipment. The dough takes 2 minutes to make in a food processor. A pasta machine quickly rolls out perfect sheets of pasta. Because the machine can roll pasta so thinly, the resulting ravioli are light and tender. If you don’t have the equipment to make your own pasta, store-bought wonton or gyoza wrappers make tasty ravioli.
For another take on ravioli making with leftovers, check out Maria’s recipe for Ravioli with Parsley-Pesto.
Bob in a Blanket