Asparagus season is back, calling for new recipes and a nice Riesling to go with them.
Spring’s around the corner and Germany is getting ready to welcome its most favourite vegetable back on the menu.
It’s not secret, I am one of those crazy Germans that can’t do without a plate of asparagus two or three times a week during asparagus season.
Thankfully, asparagus is one of the most versatile foods and both the white and green stems can be prepared in almost unlimited ways. So each year, I am looking for new ideas and currently one of my favourite asparagus dishes are homemade ravioli stuffed with a smooth asparagus-ricotta filling.
Partly because pasty is always a winner at my house, partly because I am really starting to get a thing at making ravioli from scratch at home. And partly because using green asparagus, this is a perfect match to open a nice bottle of dry German Riesling to go with it.
My pick for this particular recipe: Schloss Lieser Juffer Sonnenuhr Riesling Großes Gewächs from the Mosel.
Are you team asparagus, and spring is not spring until you have enjoyed a plate of delicious asparagus?
Then go ahead and try this recipe.
Making your own ravioli at home is totally fun, and easier as you might think.
About Weingut Schloss Lieser
You will be forgiven if, when approaching, you get distracted by stunning historic Castle Hotel Schloss Lieser. Recently refurbished, the historic building from the early 1880s (turned hotel as recently as 2019) is a sight to behold indeed.
It won’t take long, however, that Weingut Schloss Lieser, located right next door will attract your attention too. Especially when falling into the wine lover category.
Winemaker Thomas Haag purchased the derelict winery – originally built in 1904 – in the 1990s and after years of carefully restoring both the cellar and vineyards, Weingut Schloss Lieser today is one of only few Germany wineries achieving 5-star awards in the renowned Gault Millau.
The winery exclusively produces Riesling, with the Rieslings in the portfolio ranging from Ortswine (the lowest category) to Kabinett, Auslese, Spätlese and edelsüss (sweet) and well as Großes Gewächs (the highest category for dry wines from wineries which are part of the German VDP association).
All Rieslings are fermented spontaneously with their own natural yeasts and given ample time to develop themselves.
Tasting notes: Schloss Lieser Juffer Sonnenuhr Riesling Großes Gewächs 2018
Grapes for this Riesling are harvested at Brauneberger Juffer Sonnenuhr vineyard, a location that is well known since the 19th century. The vineyard is south/southwest facing and offers soils mainly composed of Devonian slate and a high stone content. Brauneberger Juffer Sonnenuhr sits directly at the banks of the Mosel and famously reaches a gradient of up to 80%.
In the glass, an intense golden-yellow.
On the nose, firm and yeasty with aromas of yellow stone fruits, green apples and lemon followed by notes of dried plants and herbs and floral notes, as well as hints of tobacco and mineral and earthy notes.
On the palate, clean and intense with tart juicy fruit and floral notes, powerful acidity, and fine tannins. Persistent, with earthy and salty mineral notes reminiscent of mussel shells, tobacco, and pepper. Good substance and depth.
Schloss Lieser Juffer Sonnenuhr Riesling Großes Gewächs pairs well with shellfish, poultry, pork, cured meat at well as spicy food.
It’s also a great wine to be enjoyed with asparagus.
I have paired it with homemade asparagus ravioli.
Recipe: Homemade Asparagus Ravioli
For the dough
400 g all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
100 ml warm water
For the filling
a bundle of fresh green asparagus
175 ml vegetable broth
80 g ricotta
2 tablespoons olive oil
For the sage butter
20-30 sage leaves
2 tablespoons butter
In a large bowl, mix flour, eggs, salt, and water and knead until obtaining a smooth, elastic dough. Form into a ball, cover with cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Roughly chop the asparagus, leaving the tips whole. Set aside the tips.
In a saucepan, bring salted water to boil, add the asparagus and cook for 15-20 minutes until soft. Add the tips 10 minutes before the end of the cooking time.
Transfer the tips to a plate and set aside.
Puree the remaining asparagus with a handheld blender. Add ricotta and combine until obtaining a smooth paste. Season with salt and pepper.
Divide the pasta dough into 6 batches.
On a lightly floured surface, using a rolling pin, thinly roll out the dough (around 5 mm) to a rectangle.
If you do not have a ravioli maker or ravioli stamp, cut out small cycles using a glass or similar. Put dollops of the filling (about one teaspoon) to one side of the dough. Cover with the other side and using a fork pinch the two sides together.
If you have a ravioli stamp, distribute the dollops along one side of the rectangle, a few cm apart from each other. Then cover with the other side of the rectangle and cut out the ravioli with the stamp.
Continue until you have worked up each batch of the dough.
In a large saucepan, bring abundant water to a simmer, season with salt, then add the ravioli and let simmer for about 5 minutes. They will float to the surface when ready.
Meanwhile, heat butter in a large skillet until lightly browned. Add the sage leaves and asparagus tips and continue to heat for about one minute.
Serve the ravioli topped with sage butter and asparagus tips.