Thursday, May 5, 2011

Ravioli with Asparagus Sauce, Prosciutto, and Sage

[Hey everyone, help me out to answer this curiosity of mine: This post has many times as many hits on my blog as any other single post. Is there a reason for this? Did all of you find this post from one place? Please leave your answer in a comment!]

The original idea for this dish came from a conversation with my dad. He said he had had a fabulous meal at the local pizza/pasta Italian place. I was surprised, because although that restaurant always has good food, what makes it great is the comfort of it and the wine list, rarely the food. But he described this dish of pasta with a pureed asparagus sauce, and I thought that sounded pretty good too. So I got some asparagus and started experimenting. I like to make my own ricotta ravioli, but this recipe is mostly about the sauce, so I'll leave it to you to buy or make your ravioli as you choose. Just don't go for anything too meaty--chicken, seafood, or cheese is the way to go. If want to make it vegetarian, leave out the prosciutto and it will still be delicious.

Ravioli with Asparagus Sauce, Prosciutto, and Sage

4 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
1 pound thin asparagus
3 tablespoons sage, coarsley chopped (divided)
Juice of half a lemon
3 tablespoons cream
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 ounces prosciutto, sliced into 2 inch strips
1 package store bought or 1 batch homemade ravioli

Remove the tough base of the asparagus and discard. This can be best done by breaking the base off as low as it will naturally break.

Cut the flowering ends off the asparagus, and set aside for later.

Begin heating a pot of salted water for the ravioli.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the asparagus stems and 1 tablespoon of sage, and saute until they are fully cooked but not mushy. (If you hold an asparagus up with a fork at one end, the other end should droop some.)

Transfer the asparagus stems from the pan to a food processor. Add the lemon juice and cream. Blend until very smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. You can also add more lemon juice if you like a tarter sauce. Keep the blender cover on to keep the sauce hot while you finish cooking.

Reheat the skillet with the rest of the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the asparagus tops, the sage, and the prosciutto. Saute until the asparagus is cooked how you like it.

Meanwhile, cook the ravioli in the boiling water. Before straining, reserve 1/2 cup of the boiling water. Add as much of this as is needed to the asparagus sauce to thin it to your desired consistency.

Serve the ravioli immediately with a generous amount of sauce and topped with the asparagus and prosciutto mixture.


  1. I never thought of pureeing the asparagus - genius! I have a tortellini recipe which blends chicken broth with a ton of spinach and walnuts for the sauce, it's good! Can't wait to try your recipe:)

  2. Sound like a really good dish. Asparagus and prosciutto is such a great combo. Might be interesting to substitute thyme for the sage.

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