Saturday, October 28, 2017

Ricotta/Mascarpone Pillows with Roasted Mushroom Sauce #Merlotme

I served up this meal on a Meatless Monday.  Frank isn't crazy about Meatless Mondays.  He never complains and he always eats whatever I put on the table but he is definitely a carnivore and misses meat when it is not included in a meal.

We sat down, said grace, toasted with a bottle of Januik Merlot that I had received for the #MerlotMe event, and dug in.  After the first bite, Frank commented that the wine paired well with the dish.  A couple more bites and Frank said that this recipe was a keeper.

#MerlotMe takes place each October when American Wineries get together and showcase this often misunderstood and unloved varietal that is so lush, rich and delicious.  Many of the wineries send samples to bloggers as part of this movement.  I love getting free samples and I am happy to participate in food and wine pairings.  When sharing these pairings with my readers I am always sure to give my own honest opinion.  You can learn more about the #MerlotMe movement in this post or by typing #MerlotMe into any social media platform.

Frank poured us each another glass of wine and then went back for seconds on the pasta finishing it off. Then he said words that made my heart melt...."This is better than any pasta dish I have ever had at any restaurant".  It is praise such as this that we food bloggers strive for each and every time we cook.

Januik vineyards are located in Columbia Valley, Washington.  It shares a tasting room with another winery, Novelty Hill.  Both wineries are under the direction of Mike Januik.  Their website doesn't have much to say but rather invites you to try their wines and see what you think.  I think the wine was smooth and fruity.  I thought it paired very well with the earthiness of the mushrooms in this dish.  I think it would pair just as well with pasta in red sauce, pizza, steak or burgers.  I find this is true of most Merlot.  It is a very food friendly varietal.

The recipe for the pasta was inspired by one found in Cuisine at Home, however it is changed so drastically that the only resemblance to the original is the use of mascarpone in the filling and the roasting of the mushrooms before creating the sauce.

This made a wonderful Meatless Monday meal.  It would be equally as lovely if served as a pasta course or first course at a dinner party.  It is casual enough that it would be a welcome addition to a potluck buffet or to be whipped up and served up to friends on a busy weeknight get together.

The recipe I am sharing made 2 dinner portion servings.  Feel free to double or triple the recipe as needed.

Ricotta/Mascarpone Pillows with Roasted Mushroom Sauce

1 pkg. wonton wrappers
1/4 c. whole ricotta cheese
2 T. mascarpone cheese
1 T. shredded parmesan cheese
1/2 t. dried thyme, divided
salt and pepper to taste
8 oz. sliced baby bella mushrooms
1 T. Olive oil (I used garlic infused)
2 scallions, white and light green parts
1/4 c. white wine
1/4 c butter
1/2 c. chicken broth

Combine the ricotta, mascarpone, parmesan, 1/4 t. thyme, salt and pepper in a small bowl.  

Toss the mushrooms with olive oil, salt, pepper and remaining 1/4 t. thyme.  Place in an oven safe skillet and roast in a preheated 450* oven for about 10-15 minutes, until browned.

While the mushrooms are roasting, place about a 1/2 teaspoon of the cheese filling onto the center of  wonton wrappers. Using a pastry brush, dipped in water, wet the edges of the wonton wrappers and fold into triangles, pressing the sides to seal.  Bring each long corner of the triangles together and then bring up the remaining edge to meet, as if folding a diaper.  

Place a large pot of salted water on to boil.  While waiting for the water, remove the mushrooms from the oven and place on the stovetop over med high heat.  Add the wine and cook, stirring up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan until the wine is nearly evaporated.  Reduce heat to medium and add the butter and chicken broth.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid  is slightly thickened.  

Drop the pillows into the boiling water and cook just until the rise to the top. This should only take a few minutes. As they rise, transfer them with a slotted spoon to the skillet with the mushrooms.  Toss, gently to coat.  Print Page

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