Monday, July 11, 2011

A Dish in Search of A Recipe

Have you ever had a dish--a seemingly simple dish--that hangs around in that part of your brain reserved for "delicious"?  A dish that you promise yourself you'll try to recreate in your own kitchen?  A dish that you will WOW your family and friends with?

Let me tell you about our dining experience at Catogna in San Francisco's historic Jackson Square.  Speaking of "square", we were not that night.  We were hip!  We were right on (um, do people still say "right on"?) with the in-crowd.  I was even a little sorry that our table was ready and we weren't invited to wait at the bar.  I wanted to watch the wood-burning oven in operation.

Catogna's Chef Michael Tusk had just been honored with the James Beard Foundation's Best Chef - Pacific award for 2011 and we came away feeling it was more than well deserved.

Catogna is rustically chic.  I found it to be as I imagine an Italian loft--more likely in Rome than Tuscany.  The noise level was high.  Everyone was having a good time.  So were we!  Our dining partners were familiar with the wait staff and a number of them dropped by our table to say hello and make recommendations.

Now for the one dish (among many that were absolutely wonderful) that is stuck in my mind.  One that I need help with a recipe.  Have any of you ever made...

....ravioli wrapped around a perfectly poached egg nestled in fresh ricotta and sitting in a pool of browned butter?

The pasta was tender and light.  The farm-fresh organic egg was poached to perfection.  The butter sauce was lightly browned when spooned onto the warmed plate.  

I noticed the lady sitting to my left eyeing my dish.  She finally leaned over and said that she and her husband had been to the restaurant a few days before and had the egg ravioli.  They couldn't get it out of their mind (yes, I can relate) and came back to have it again before it was gone from the menu.  

Any suggestions as to how I can accomplish this simple dish?  I eagerly await your input.