What with another cold front on the way this weekend, there is no better time to get stuck into making my mushroom ravioli in bone marrow butter.

It would seem that winter is reluctant to relinquish its icy grasp on the Western Cape this year – since moving to Velddrif we’ve been inundated with multiple storms, spring tides and deluges of rain. Temperatures have been at an all-time low and I’ve found myself pretty much glued to the gas heater. At least we’re ensured a bumper flower season this year – if the sun ever deigns to shine again!

Prepared as part of a recipe series I developed for La Motte, this decadent dish ideal for a cold winter’s evening, tender ravioli is made from scratch and filled with a rich combination of roasted mushroom and ricotta. The ravioli is ideal for pairing with La Motte’s 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon as this famous South African varietal is made for mushroom-based dishes. An unctuous bone marrow butter sauce finishes off the dish. Speaking of that sauce – it consists of three little words that have changed the way I serve pasta. Three little words that guarantee a second helping. Three little words that also guarantee you won’t be fitting into your swimsuit this summer. 

Bone marrow butter. 

Simple cooking at it’s finest, this silky sauce is packed with flavour thanks to the addition of garlic, fresh thyme and unctuous beef bone marrow. Undeniably rich and yet decidedly moreish when paired with mushroom ravioli, this is my kind of winter comfort food – even if I’ll probably never shed the resulting calories. Waistlines aside, the umami hit of handmade mushroom ravioli bathed in this slightly browned butter sauce is what dreams are made of. 

Mushroom Ravioli in Bone Marrow Butter

Prep time: 1 hour /Cook time: 3 mins /Serves: 2-4

You will need:

  • 3 XL organic eggs
  • 300g extra fine “00” flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • Fine semolina
  • 250g ricotta
  • 300g mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • Olive oil
  • Coarse ground sea salt and black pepper

For the sauce:

  • 150g of butter
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, finely sliced
  • 8-10 beef marrow bones
  • 4-5 sprigs of fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • Grated Parmesan, to serve

For the ravioli dough, sift the flour and add a good grind of salt. On a flat surface, turn out the flour and make a well in the centre. Crack in the eggs and, using a fork, work into the flour, eventually making a sticky dough. Dust the work surface with flour and knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and leave to rest for half an hour. 

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Arrange the chopped mushrooms in an ovenproof dish and drizzle over a little olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and roast the mushrooms for 20-25 minutes or until cooked. Allow to cool. To make the filling, combine the ricotta with the cooked mushrooms in a bowl. Season to taste and cover with clingfilm. Refrigerate until needed.

Halve the dough and keep one half wrapped in clingfilm to prevent it from drying out. Using a pasta machine or a rolling pin, roll out half the dough until you have a thin strip about 8cm wide. Spoon the chilled ricotta mixture along the pasta sheet, working in 10ml dollops spaced equidistantly to allow for an edge. Roll out the remaining pasta and gently drape over the ricotta mushroom dollops, cupping your hand around each pocket to press out any air. Seal the edges of the ravioli pockets with a brush of water and if desired, use a ravioli cutter to press out small pockets. Set the cut ravioli on a lined baking sheet sprinkled with semolina until ready to cook.


Preheat the oven to 200°C. Arrange the marrow bones on a lined baking sheet and season with salt and pepper and a few sprigs of rosemary. Roast the bones for 15 minutes and use a fork to extract the marrow. For the sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add in the sliced garlic and fry gently, not letting the garlic brown. Add in the sage leaves and bone marrow and leave the sauce to infuse over very low heat. Season to taste.

Over high heat, set a pot filled with salted water to boil. Once boiling, add a glug of olive oil and cook the ravioli in batches until al dente. Drain the ravioli. Plate the pasta in warmed bowls, spoon over the bone marrow butter and serve with a few glasses of La Motte 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon.


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