You all know I've raved about creamy dark chocolate, sung songs of admiration to gelato and heaped ebullient praise upon the wonder that is a grilled muffin... But, I discovered a shockingly strange yet delicious fall treat when I was out with my brother last week, and seven days later I'm still kind of under its spell.
We were in downtown Chicago, at a place called "The Italian Village"--a spot that has a number of Italian restaurants under one roof. I'm a fan of all things Italian (food, culture, language, sites, people :), so there was little worry that I'd encounter a dish I wouldn't enjoy. However, my brother, being an adventurous sort, ordered something from the menu that included a side of "Chestnut Ravioli," and I'll admit to thinking, "Ugh!"
I couldn't have been more wrong.
He offered me a taste of it and, despite my fear that the filling would resemble the baby-food squash I'd never wanted to feed my son when he was little, the ravioli was amazing. Packed with a full, robust sweetness and infused into this tender pasta pillow, it created a combination of rich, smooth, earthy and spiced delight. I'm not a food critic, so I'm probably not doing the dish justice, but it just tasted like autumn. In a good way. Here's guessing that was the chef's intent.
I've searched to find a recipe similar to the one we tried, but I suspect it isn't on the open market. This one has several of the elements, although its preparation involves deep-frying (unlike ours) and it looks a bit labor intensive for my ability level. But it was fun to read, and maybe someday I'll work up the nerve to dust off my wire whisk and rolling pin and give it a try...
Chestnut Ravioli Recipe
By Peggy Trowbridge Filippone, About.com
Pastry pillows of chestnut puree, chocolate, amaretto, almonds, and candied fruit are deep-fried for an unusual dessert.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Yield: 12 raviolis