I mean, it sounds great, right? but then what? What can hold up to all that flavor - hold its own without making the whole too complicated? I decided on roasted red peppers for a little sweetness with a hint of smoke. The red peppers were to be dominant, but I don't have the skill of making things taste perfect with just two or three ingredients. I have to fiddle. So first I put the peppers through the food processor with few spoonsful of chicken stock for a bit of depth and a handful of almonds for a bit of nubbly bite. I cooked a little minced shallot in a bit of olive oil, then added the pepper mixture and cooked it down, spiced with a little sweet paprika, a tiny touch of tomato paste, and of course salt. In another pot I cooked down some nice local heavy cream (a real waste of non-ultrapasteurized cream, cooking it like that, but what can you do) until it was thick and syrupy. Both sauces were poured over the ravioli, like so:
Now, I was pretty damned proud of this dish, because it came out just as I had imagined it. The ravioli stayed front and center, but the sauce didn't get lost, and the two sauces gave each bite a different balance, which kept it interesting. Also, I felt like the almonds made all the difference, adding some necessary texture to what could have been too soft a dish. But J. thought that it wasn't "restaurant-worthy" because he thought people would be put off but what seemed like a disconnect between the extremely refined, smooth ravioli and the slight rough, peasant feel of the pepper sauce. Hmm..... Nope, still not buying it. In my imaginary restaurant, we serve this.