When I visited molecular gastronomy Chef Digilio’s restaurant, “La Vineria de Gualterio Bolivar” in Buenos Aires, I had the pleasure of working with Digilio in the kitchen improvising a new dish for his new menu based on an idea he had in mind. A large raviolo made with porcini mushroom pasta (jellified porcini mushroom reduction), filled with marinated raw prawns and shallots, and juice of roasted tomatoes, red peppers and green onions as the sauce.
Chef Digilio’s restaurant was included in a list of 20 new restaurants in the world that offer ‘a unique and exciting experience on the planet’ published by the American Food & Wine Magazine in May 2009. To learn more about Chef Digilio and his work read "Chef Digilio Brings El Bulli Style to Buenos Aires".
Keep in mind that this is a concept and not a proven and optimized recipe so I’ll do my best to give you some details but the proportions of each ingredient are not going to be exact and they may require some adjustments.
Ingredients for sauce
- 2 large tomatoes
- 1 red pepper
- 4 green onion stalks
Ingredients for raviolo “pasta”
- 250 g porcini mushrooms
- 1.5% Kappa Carrageenan
Ingredients for raviolo filling
Ingredients for garnish
- Various leaves such as baby arugula, purple basil flower, mountain spinach and mustard.
1- Roast the red pepper and green onions over fire flame and the tomatoes on a sauce pan.
2- Once the vegetables are fully roasted, remove them from the heat and wrap them in plastic film. Set them aside until they cool down.
3- Unwrap the vegetables and peel the red peppers and tomatoes. Remove the red pepper seeds. With the aid of a knife or spoon, scrape the burnt parts of the green onions.
4- Place all the vegetables in a juicer and extract all the juice.
5- Place all the contents in a superbag (or in a napkin) and using both hands extract all the filtered clear liquid.
6- Season with salt and pepper. Reserve the juice until serving time.
1- Cut the porcini mushrooms.
2- Place them in a sauce pan, add water and let it reduce on medium heat for 20 to 30 minutes. Add some water if necessary.
3- Using a fine sieve, extract all the liquid pressing the mushrooms with the back of a spoon or spatula.
4- Add 1.5% of Kappa Carrageenan and bring to boil.
5- While it is hot, pour a thin layer (2 mm) on the bottom of a small bowl plate to create the bottom of the raviolo.
6- Pour the rest on the center of a tray and move it sideways until you create a thin (2 mm) layer. It will set quickly as temperature drops. If it doesn’t set well, you need to increase the concentration of Kappa Carrageenan. Mushrooms are salty and salt acts as an inhibitor for the Kappa to set so a higher concentration will help.
7-With a 3 inch ring, carefully cut a circle for the top of the raviolo.
1- Cut raw prawns in thin slices and marinate them as you wish. (Chef Digilio used octopus that day)
2- Cut shallots in small cubes. (Chef Digilio used onions that day)
3- Create a small pile of raw prawns, add some cut shallots on top and press lightly.
Assemble and Serve
1- Using a spatula, place the pile on top of the raviolo base on the plate.
2- Using a large and wide spatula, grab the mushroom gel circle and very, very carefully place it on top to close the raviolo.
3- Garnish with leaves and flowers.
4- At the table, pour the roasted vegetables juice around the raviolo.