Now that the molé is prepared, we can start on the filling for our raviolis. Chicken Molé is classic. Making the molé (ahead of time for the chocolate dinner) took most of the day, and I was so ready to be done cooking! It seemed silly that after spending so much time in the kitchen, we would still need to make dinner. Luckily, the molé made far more than I was going to need for Au Chocolate. So, I poured some of the sauce back into the pot, added some chicken thighs, and simmered until cooked through. Garnished it with a little lime, sesame seeds, and fresh cilantro. It was fantastic.
For the dinner, I wanted to encapsulate that taste combo inside of a chocolate pasta shell. And for the most part, it worked!
For the filling:
2 T Olive Oil
1 Small-Medium Onion, Minced
2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
1/2 Pound of Ground Chicken
1 Cup Molé
Zest of 1 Lime, Chopped
2 T Cilantro, Chopped
Salt and Pepper
Heat a large saute pan over medium-low, then add the olive oil. When the oil is hot add the onion and garlic and cook until soft, stirring frequently to keep from burning.
Turn heat up to medium and add the chicken. Season with a little salt and pepper. Stir, breaking up the ground meat chunks as needed. Remember we’re going to be making raviolis.
When most of the pink has browned out of the chicken, about 5 minutes, stir in the molé. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce heat to a maintain a slow simmer. Now stir in the lime zest.
Let the sauce reduce until most of the liquid has cooked out, about 20-30 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the cilantro. Allow the filling to cool before filling the pasta.
For the Pasta:
1/2 Cup All Purpose Flour
3 T Cacao Powder, Unsweetened
1 Extra Large Egg
1 T Water
Combine the flour and the cacao powder until well mixed. Mound with the flour on your work surface. Make a crater in the center of the mound and crack in your egg.
With a fork, whisk the yolk into the whites, then slowly start working in the flour, scraping from the inner sides of the crater. When the egg and flour starts to firm up and form a loose dough, you’re going to have to get your hands dirty. Push the outer ring of flour onto the egg mixture and scoop up the dough into a ball.
Knead the dough, incorporating more flour if needed. Once the dough takes on a bit of shine and is no longer sticking to your fingers, you can proceed to the rolling stage.
I used a pasta machine. About halfway through the rolling, I cut the sheet of pasta in half. I covered one half with plastic wrap and continued to roll out the other. I brought it to the next to last thinness setting and then did the same thing with the other sheet. The goal is to have two equal sized sheets of pasta. If you do not have a machine, you can definitely do this with a rolling pin. Bring it to about 1/8 inch thickness.
Lay one sheet flat (keeping the other under plastic wrap) and with the water in a little bowl, lightly mark some squares with a pastry brush. In the center of those squares, place about a tablespoon or so of the filling. Next, lightly go over the edges of square with the pastry brush and water.
Lay the second sheet of pasta over the filling. Gently press down around the filling. Try to minimize air pockets while also not tearing the pasta. If you do tear the pasta, no worries, just make a little pasta patch with some of the scrap dough, pinch it flat between your fingers and glue it over the tear with a little water. Cut the raviolis into squares and lightly, but firmly mark the edges with a fork. Trim up any rough edges.
Delicately, toss the raviolis with a little flour to keep them from sticking. For this tasting menu I made large single raviolis; one for each plate. I ended up with 6 or 7 total.
Putting it all together…
Bring a large pot of salted water to a full boil over high heat. In a small pot heat about 3 cups of the molé over medium-low.
When the water is boiling, gently add the raviolis, depending on the size of your pot you may not be able to cook them all at once. Cook for about 3-4 minutes or until the pasta is tender. I like to make a couple of tester strips of pasta and cook them with the raviolis, so I can pull them out to taste their progress. During the cooking process the raviolis will likely float. If they do, flip them over halfway through so they can cook evenly.
When the pasta pockets are ready, ladle about a half cup of the molé onto the center of a plate. With a slotted spoon or skimmer, scoop up a ravioli and let it drain briefly. Place the ravioli on top of the molé, garnish with sesame seeds, lime wedge and cilantro.
As previously mentioned, this final photo was a bit after the fact. When it was served the ravioli was totally not curling up at the corners and the sesame seed garnish is strangely absent here, but it still looks pretty good, I think.
I served this with a South Side Cocktail. Stay tuned.