Store-bought stuffed pasta just does not taste anything like silken-textured homemade pasta with a freshly prepared savoury filling. This mushroom ravioli in herb jus is not a convenience meal'making pasta does take time'but it is well worth it!
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the shallots and cook for a few seconds, then add the garlic and the mushrooms. Cook over high heat, stirring, to brown the mushrooms, then reduce the heat and cook for 10 minutes or until the mixture has reduced in volume.
Pour in the brandy and cook, stirring, until it has evaporated. Remove from the heat and add pepper.
Stir in the porcini mushrooms, breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, eggs, parsley and marjoram. The ingredients should form a moist paste. Place in the refrigerator while you make the pasta.
To make the pasta, sift the flour onto a work surface, make a well in the centre and add the eggs and oil.
Using your hands, gradually mix the flour into the eggs and oil, until the mixture begins to form a firm dough. If necessary, add a few drops of water.
Knead the dough for 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. The dough should still be firm. Add a little extra flour if the dough becomes too sticky. Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and set aside to rest for 30 minutes.
Cut the pasta dough into quarters and roll out each separately. If using a pasta machine to roll the dough, use the second-thinnest setting. Otherwise, roll it out by hand on an unfloured surface. Cut each rolled-out quarter into 2 strips, each about 10 x 50 cm.
Lay a pasta strip on the work surface. Dot the filling on the dough in small mounds (about 1 teaspoon each), about 5 cm apart. Ensure that there is enough room between the mounds of filling for the covering of dough to stick to the base.
Brush the dough around each mound with a little water. Top with a second strip of pasta and press it down firmly around the filling to seal. Cut between the mounds of filling with a fluted pastry wheel or sharp knife.
Carefully pull the mushroom ravioli apart and toss with the flour. Place in a single layer on a plate in the fridge. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.
To make the herb jus, combine the stock, wine and garlic in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook over high heat for 5–10 minutes or until the liquid is well flavoured. Add the thyme and zucchinis, and continue cooking over medium-high heat for 5–10 minutes or until the zucchinis are quite tender but not mushy, and the liquid has intensified in flavour and evaporated slightly.
Meanwhile, cook the mushroom ravioli in boiling water for 4–5 minutes or until they rise to the surface. Add the snow or sugar snap peas for the final 30–60 seconds of cooking. Drain well.
Serve the mushroom ravioli and snow peas in shallow soup bowls with the zucchinis and herb jus ladled over. Sprinkle thyme over the top and drizzle with the 1 tablespoon olive oil, if using. Serve immediately.
Store-bought wonton wrappers can be used instead of homemade pasta dough to make ravioli. Alternatively, you can buy fresh lasagna and roll it out slightly thinner, if necessary, then use it to make the ravioli.
28 g protein
25 g total fat
6 g saturated fat
224 mg cholesterol
70 g total carbohydrate
6 g sugars
8 g fibre
603 mg sodium
*Mushrooms are low in fat and calories, and they also provide useful amounts of copper as well as some of the B vitamins.