Shiitake Mushroom Chicken Ravioli

Makes about 2 dozen ravioli

This dish goes together quickly and is one of chef Gerry Garvin's favorites. The slight bite of shallot and garlic added to the filling mixture provides a nice surprise. Adapted from a recipe used in his restaurant.

For the ravioli:

1 cup cooked chicken breast, finely diced

3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 cup (4 to 6) shittake mushrooms, stemmed

2 tablespoons goat cheese, plus more for garnish (optional)

1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic

1 tablespoon finely chopped shallots

Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 package won ton wrappers, kept covered with damp paper towels

1/2 to 1 cup cornstarch, for dusting the work surface

Egg wash, made from 1 egg and

1/4 cup heavy cream, combined

For the sauce:

4 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic

1 tablespoon finely chopped shallots

11/2 cups Roma tomatoes, diced

2 whole plum tomatoes (canned)

1 basil leaf, plus more for garnish (optional)

1/2 cup white wine

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for garnish (optional)

1 teaspoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

2 to 3 teaspoons unsalted butter

For the ravioli: Place the diced chicken in a medium bowl and set aside.

In a small skillet over medium heat, heat 2 teaspoons of the oil. Add the mushrooms and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer them to a cutting board to cool, then finely chop and combine with diced chicken. Add the goat cheese, the remaining teaspoon of oil, the garlic, shallots and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well and set aside.

Place a few won tons at a time on a sheet of waxed paper or surface lightly dusted with the cornstarch. Using a pastry brush, coat one side of the won tons with the prepared egg wash. Spoon 1/2 tablespoon of the chicken-mushroom mixture onto the center of each won ton. Fold a corner of each won ton onto the opposite corner, forming a triangle, and press the sides to seal. Gently turn over each ravioli so the other side is lightly dusted with cornstarch. Repeat the process until all the filling is used.

Meanwhile, in a large pot with a pasta strainer inside, bring water to a boil over medium-high heat and add a pinch of salt and a drop of olive oil. Gently place a few won tons at a time into the water and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until they are translucent and begin to float. Lift out the pasta strainer (or use a slotted spoon) and transfer the ravioli to a large platter. Set aside.

For the sauce: In a medium pan over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic and shallots, stirring to combine for about 1 minute, then remove the pan from heat briefly to add the diced tomatoes, and return the pan to the heat.

Crush the whole plum tomatoes and add to the pan, stirring to combine. Add the basil, white wine, salt, pepper and parsley, stirring to combine. Cook for about 2 minutes.

To assemble the dish, transfer the ravioli to the pan with the sauce. Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of the butter and stir to combine around the edges of the pan. When the butter is combined, transfer the ravioli and place on individual plates. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon of butter, if desired, to sauce; stir to combine, then spoon over the ravioli. Garnish with 1/2 teaspoon goat cheese, basil and a sprinkling of pepper, if desired. Serve immediately.

Per serving (based on 6 ravioli per serving, with sauce): 337 calories, 14 g protein, 30 g carbohydrates, 17 g fat, 76 mg cholesterol, 5 g saturated fat, 757 mg sodium, 2 g dietary fiber

Recipe tested by Yuki Noguchi and Bonnie S. Benwick; e-mail questions to food@washpost.com

Stuffed Pork Chops With Spinach and Ricotta Cheese and Braised Fennel Sauce

4 servings

This dish is one of Gerry Garvin's most talked-about creations. It's as easy to make as it is delicious. Other cuts of pork chops, such as rib, can be substituted as long as they are at least 1-inch thick. The spinach filling is so good you might want to make it sometime as a side dish.

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 cup and 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons chopped garlic, plus a couple of slivers

2 teaspoons chopped shallot, plus a couple of slivers

1 pound fresh spinach (about 10 cups loosely packed), washed and stemmed

13/4 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste

1/4 cup ricotta cheese (may use part-skim)

6 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

4 bone-in pork loin chops (each 11/2 inches thick)

2 medium fennel bulbs, stalks trimmed; fronds may be used for garnish

Parsley, chopped

1/2 cup low-sodium beef broth

2 stems rosemary, for garnish

2 sprigs thyme, for garnish

In a medium saute pan over medium-high heat, combine the butter and 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the slivers of garlic and shallot and cook, stirring, until soft, about 1 minute. Add the spinach and cook, stirring, until it has wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Add 1/4 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper, or to taste. Transfer the spinach mixture to a medium bowl.

When the mixture has cooled, chop it finely. Return it to the bowl and add 11/2 teaspoons of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, the remaining 2 teaspoons each of chopped garlic and shallots, the ricotta cheese and the Parmesan cheese and mix well to combine. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Sprinkle the pork chops generously with salt and pepper to taste on both sides, rubbing the seasonings into the meat.

In a saute pan or medium skillet over high heat, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the pork chops and sear until browned on both sides, about 3 minutes total. The pork will not be fully cooked. Transfer the pork chops to a work surface.

When the pork chops are cool enough to handle, slice each one horizontally, stopping at the bone. Lift one flap on each piece of meat and stuff a quarter of the spinach mixture into the meat. Close and fasten together with toothpicks. Spread 2 tablespoons of oil on a rimmed baking sheet. Transfer the stuffed pork chops to the baking sheet and roast for 25 to 30 minutes or until the juices run clear when a probe is inserted. An instant-read meat thermometer, if using, should read 160 degrees.

While the pork chops are roasting, prepare the fennel sauce. Slice the fennel bulb very thinly. In a medium saute pan over medium-high heat, add the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil and swirl to coat. Add the sliced fennel, a pinch of parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring, until the fennel is cooked but still crispy, about 2 to 3 minutes.

When the pork chops are done, transfer them onto individual plates and remove the toothpicks. Using a slotted spoon, place some of the sauteed fennel onto each pork chop. Add the beef broth to the remaining fennel and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and spoon pan sauce over the pork chops. Garnish with fennel fronds or fresh rosemary and thyme. Serve immediately.

Per serving: 530 calories, 25 g protein, 11 g carbohydrates, 44 g fat, 80 mg cholesterol, 12 g saturated fat, 824 mg sodium, 11 g dietary fiber

Recipe tested by John Allen; e-mail questions to food@washpost.com