|Panda and Mango's Southern Ravioli.|
One fennel bulb, chopped
Half a large yellow onion, chopped
4-5 big cloves of garlic
1 bunch of collard greens, leaves washed and drained well (discard stalks or freeze for making stock!).
Smoked ham hocks (3) or smoked pork neck bones (4-6, since these can be cut smaller).
10 black peppercorns
10 white peppercorns
Cinnamon stick (about 1 inch in length)
Half tablespoon of butter
2 pints of chicken stock (we usually make ours and freeze it)
Freshly ground pepper
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon of sugar (or honey)
Sweat the fennel and onions in cooking oil on medium heat until translucent and slightly browned. Add the garlic, peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon stick, some freshly ground pepper and a tiny pinch of salt. Fry for a couple more minutes. I add the butter at this point too. Throw in the smoked ham hocks or pork neck bones (adds so much flavor!) and stir around with the onions, garlic etc for 5 minutes or so. Then add the chicken stock and washed collard greens. Add the sugar, some freshly ground pepper, and a little salt to taste. Use a pair of tongs to mix the collards greens with the broth, it will start to wilt fairly quickly from the heat. Cook covered on low heat for 2-3 hours, occasionally gently mixing the greens. It should look like this after it's done;
I removed the hocks (save these), strained the collard greens (the broth was also saved to make a sauce for the ravioli) and pulsed them in a food processor to make it a little smoother, but not a complete paste because it should still have some texture. I added about 2 and a half tablespoons of ricotta to the pulsed greens and mixed well with a spoon. This will be the ravioli filling.
|Stewed collards, drained and pulsed.|
|With ricotta. Doesn't it look just like spinach and ricotta?|
|Place pasta sheet over mold (note that the mold will either need to be floured or lightly sprayed with oil to prevent sticking). Add filling (1 heaped tsp) in pockets. Brush all the edges with water to help the next pasta layer stick.|
|Layer a sheet of pasta over the filling. Use a rolling pin to firmly but gently press the two sheets together. Use gentle pressure to press out any air, and then roll again to press pasta against the mold's sharp etched design.|
|Gently flip the mold over, and separate the ravioli from each other.|
|Fall-of-the-bone shortribs by Panda. We served this with crusty bread.|
|Red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting.|
Mango: Can you taste this broth and tell me if it needs anything?
Panda: *expletive* That is good.
Panda: An Indian making Southern collards. That's not right. You shouldn't be able to do that.