Around this time last year we were putting the finishing touches on the first draft of my upcoming cookbook, A Kitchen in France. One of the last recipes we photographed was the one for pork cheek ravioli with cèpes (porcini mushrooms). By then we had been spoilt by so much success in the field of mushroom foraging that we never made any plans ahead when it came to girolles or cèpes. They were simply there, waiting to be snapped up wherever and whenever one of my recipes required. My kids love making ravioli and since this was on a week-end we decided to shoot this recipe with the mushrooms we already had, and made plans for a big cèpes hunt the following monday. My husband & “official” photographer had very ambitious ideas, he wanted to get at least fifty big ones and then he planned to photograph them in the most beautiful way for the book.
Monday came and off we trotted, armed with our Opinel pocket knifes, some brushes to clean the cèpes, a couple of baskets and two reliable dogs, who though they are useless for finding mushrooms are swell company and fairly obedient. After about two hours we hadn’t found a single cèpe, my hair was starting to get all frizzy and unphotogenic from the rain, spirits were dropping fast. By noon the situation had improved slightly, we had found one “mushy” mushroom and another pretty good one. Not fifty but not exactly zero either. Though we were loath to give up and continued for a while, our total stayed the same, a paltry two.




Some days later, when we were looking at the photos, choosing which ones to send to my editor, we noticed a pretty nice, proud looking cèpe in the middle of the photo (it’s there if you take a close look). We had walked past it many times, we had even photographed it but somehow we missed it. And how could we miss it, so glaringly obvious in that photo, was it even there for real or was this some foul play of the forest, a cèpe that’s invisible to the naked eye but apparent to the lens of the camera?
It has been proven many times over that the things we look for are often right under our noses, that we usually find the things we need when we are not looking for them. We didn’t really need this mushroom story to tell us that. But what this story teaches me is not to take the forest for granted. You can count on the baguette at your local boulangerie, if you plant sage or thyme or tomatoes in your garden they will be there when you need them. The forest, however, gives when it wants to give. So I approach it with humility, I make no assumptions. If I find two cèpes or twenty I’m just happy with what I get.

Maybe there is a story in that.

All dressed up for the big day.

My cookbook is a “her” and not a “the”, let’s be clear about that. She’s very excited about her big day, 28th of October, and she counts the days until all of you can flick through her pages. You’ve seen her outfit, which is a scene from a kitchen. That’s how she will be dressed for her big day. But what most of you may not know is that underneath, if you take off her dress, she’s wearing another nice little number, a few glistening red berry barquettes. I just thought you should know in advance so you wouldn’t think that there were two versions. It’s just one version, with two layers.

Available for presale on

And because I wouldn’t want any of you to miss out, one more reminder for those of you who have or will order my cookbook “A Kitchen in France” that you have a nice print waiting for you and all you have to do is click here and fill in your details.




Pork cheek ravioli with cèpes – a recipe from “A kitchen in France”.

I frequently make pasta at home, especially ravioli, usually with Italian-inspired stuffings and sauces. The filling in this one, though, is all French and I serve it with an equally French creamy wine sauce. It’s a dish I like to make when I have some time, typically on a Saturday, with a bit of music in the background. The kids enjoy helping me roll out and cut the ravioli, then we fill them together and prepare a fine little feast.

Serves 6

For the filling and garnish
¼ cup/ 60 ml extra-virgin olive oil
10 ounces/ 300 g pork cheeks
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 small carrot, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 bouquet garni
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
¾ cup / 180 ml dry red wine
12 ounces/ 340 g fresh cèpes (porcini)
1 shallot, minced
A handful of finely chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons / 30 g unsalted butter
2 tablespoons (or additional) port or red wine
2 tablespoons/ 30 ml heavy cream
A handful of finely chopped fresh parsley
For the pasta dough
4 cups/ 480 g all-purpose flour, sifted, plus more as needed
Pinch of fine sea salt
5 large eggs
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Start the filling. In a medium pot, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat. Brown the pork cheeks on both sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the pot and cook the onion, carrot, and half of the garlic until lightly golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Return the pork cheeks to the pot, add the bouquet garni, and season with salt and pepper. Pour in the red wine and bring to a low simmer. Add water just to cover the meat. Cover with a lid, lower the heat, and simmer until the meat is very tender and falling apart, about 2 hours.
While the pork is cooking, make the pasta dough. Put the flour on a clean work surface and make a well in the center. Add the salt, eggs, and olive oil. Using a fork, mix the egg mixture; then gradually mix in the flour, using your hands when the dough is too stiff to stir. Then knead with the heels of your hands, sprinkling the dough with additional flour if it gets too sticky, until it is soft and elastic, but still lightly sticky, 6 to 8 minutes. Shape into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Continue with the filling. Cut half the mushrooms –the nicest ones-into quarters and reserve for garnish. Thinly slice the remaining mushrooms.
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large sauté pan over high heat. Add the sliced mushrooms and season with salt and pepper, then add the shallot and the remaining garlic and cook until the mushrooms are slightly golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Sprinkle with the parsley and set aside to cool.
Drain the pork cheeks, reserving the broth, and transfer to a plate to cool for 10 minutes.
Transfer the pork cheeks to a food processor, add the cooked mushrooms and 4 to 5 tablespoons of the broth, and process for about 3 seconds to gently mix. Season with salt and pepper.
With a rolling-pin, roll out the dough on a floured surface just until it is thin enough to fit through the rollers of a pasta machine. Using the pasta machine, roll the dough as thin as possible, starting with the widest setting and progressing to the thinnest one possible.
Cut the pasta into 3-inch/8-cm squares. Spoon 1 tablespoon pork cheek filling into the center of half of the squares. Moisten the edges of one square with water, top with another pasta square, and press the edges firmly together to seal, taking care not to include any air. Repeat with the remaining pasta squares. Cover the ravioli with a damp towel so they do not dry out.
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
Meanwhile, cook the mushrooms for the garnish. In a large sauté pan, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter over high heat. Cook the quartered mushrooms until lightly golden, about 30 seconds on each side. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a plate.
Add the remaining 1 tablespoon butter to the pan and melt over medium heat. Add ½ cup/ 120 ml of t he reserved pork broth and the port and simmer until the sauce has reduced and thickened, about 4 minutes. Reduce the heat, add the cream, and return the cèpes to the pan. Stir for 5 seconds to combine, then take off the heat. Keep warm.
Drop the ravioli into the boiling water and stir gently. The ravioli are cooked when they float to the surface, about 1 ½ minutes. Scoop out with a slotted spoon and transfer to warm shallow bowls. Top with the mushrooms and sauce, sprinkle with parsley, and serve immediately.



  1. Mimi, it’s great to hear about the process from forest to table, and from rainy days to book publications! That ravioli looks stunning! Anita

    1. Bonjour Amber – Thanks! I just can’t believe this is all happening, I can still remember the days when I was writing this book in my kitchen… Time flies. I hope you will enjoy the book, it’s made with love! Mimi x

  2. Hi Mimi,
    A beautiful post and photo’s as always, I always look forward to ready you short stories and wonderful recipes. Your blog is the only one I follow and I came to it by accident over a year ago, but I am so glad I did. I wish you much success with your cookbook and I cant wait to get a copy myself.

  3. I plan on dusting off my pasta machine because this recipe has inspired me. I can hardly wait for my cookbook to arrive. We have scoured the woods around our NC mountain property for morels, but so far have had no luck. They are there, but reveal themselves very slyly. Love your brown transfer ware. It won’t be long now until everyone is singing your praises for your beautiful cookbook. My Best, Penny

    1. Oh I hope you will find morel mushrooms soon – it’s so rewarding to go home with a basket filled with small treasures fround in the forest. Enjoy the ravioli recipe – it’s a perfect week-end dish, to be prepared with the family! Mimi x

  4. Congratulations on your cookbook! I know it will be a huge success. I just pre-ordered my copy. I have been anticipating your beautiful book since it was first announced. Enjoy the beauty of autumn and all the very best in the kitchen!

    1. Thank you Brooke – I am so very touched. I think, by the end of this month, I will be crossing my fingers all the time hoping everyone will like my book 🙂 All the best, Mimi x

  5. I’m so excited for “her” to get here because she’s one of my birthday presents! I miss walking through forests in North Carolina in cool weather, ( I live in hot & humid Florida now) so I love reading posts like this and imagining picking cepes with you!

  6. Your story of the mushroom hiding in plain sight reminds me of a man my dad worked with – an avid hunter who one day had no luck with deer, but consoled himself with photos of foliage. When he had the film developed, there was an 8 point buck staring right at his camera.
    Cannot wait for the book!

  7. Dear Mimi,
    Again I congratulate you on your book wishing you great success. My copy’s estimate delivery is on November 19 from Amazon UK. I can’t wait to receive it and hold it in my hand and read it. Wow I am sure your family is so happy and very proud. I hope I will meet you soon With my copy so you can sign it for me, it is a wish of mine.
    Best wishes and much love
    Rowaida xx

  8. How wonderful to see and hear the story behind the scenes in your new book! I can’t wait to see it, it is my very own holiday treat! Congratulation.. this is very exciting.

  9. Mimi, Odder, kiddies and ‘mushroom hunting hounds’, another delightful post. I am about to reneg on my ‘you are absolutely forbidden to buy any more cookbooks’ edict to self. I know I’ll regret not having the hard copy version if I don’t. Only 2 weeks until she makes her grand debut. Can’t wait. Not sure how long delivery to Aus will take, but I expect will be longer than Miss Audrey May’s.

  10. Bonjour Dear Mimi,
    Have just come in from gardening (in the pouring rain) to have lunch and as luck would have it, a scrumptious post from you is there to behold!!!. Just drooling at the thought of those slow cooked cheeks, the ravioli and that sauce (would add the port!!). Whilst busy outside, the dog has eaten the tuna sandwich that I brought in a basket….avec Glad Wrap but reading this is keeping me sustained.
    As you said in your comment last post “could I wait a whole year for the book”, well, no I couldn’t…..ordered.
    Flights booked for the UK and arrive in London on the 29th September. We’ll sort out the Bordeaux leg of the hols when you have your bookings up and running.
    Hope you have a wonderful party planned for the 28th and do wear that dress with your white apron but instead of the bottle of white that’s on the table, pop a magnum of Champagne in it’s place. Bisous xx Anita

    1. Bonjour Anita! So lovely to hear from you – I always enjoy your anecdotes from Oz! Thank you for ordering my book – I hope you will enjoy the recipes – the pork cheeks are delicious, and I use leftover stuffing as a pasta sauce. October 28th is coming soon… drumrolls please! Mimi x
      ps: Hurray your your planned trip!

  11. There has been a conspicuous gap among my cookbooks for some time now. My amused husband asked “Is that where the Manger book goes?” Congratulations!

  12. Bonjour, j’adore votre blog. Existe t il une traduction française qui puisse me faciliter la compréhension des recettes ? Sinon voilà un bon moyen de progresser en anglais.
    Merci et bonne journée !

    1. Bonjour! Hélas non, je l’écris en anglais… peut-être qu’un jour je trouverai le temps de l’écrire en français? Un jour! N’hésitez pas à m’envoyer un petit mail si vous voulez que je traduise une de mes recettes. Mimi x

  13. I see that huge, nice-looking mushroom in the picture!
    It’s already October, I can meet “her” soon. Time goes so slow when you are waiting for someone..

  14. I do quite a bit of baking, but rarely do I cook. However, your blog and gorgeous recipes have really inspired me to take the leap from sweet to savory! I excitedly await your cookbook and new recipe adventures! Much Congratulations ~

    1. What a lovely thing to hear! I do love baking, but savory dishes are so rewarding, especially beautiful slow-cooked dishes. Thank you for ordering my cookbook 🙂 Mimi x

  15. Bonjour vous faîtes une émission en français, vous vivez en France, pourquoi pas une version bilingue de votre blog et le livre également traduit en français ?

  16. Hmmm, these raviolis !!!

    Thanks for the little avant-première.

    I can’t wait to hold your book in my hands, you’re really good at advertising Mimi you know 😉

    It’s always really nice to start the week with a new post of yours. I love Monday breakfasts with Mimi !

    Have a great autumn week 🙂


    1. Oh nooo, I’ve just checked my Amazon account, and my book is expected to be delivered on the 14th of November. One month to go 🙁

      1. Oh I know the feeling when you want something but you still have to wait… feels like forever! Looking forward to seeing you at the ‘So Good’ fête gastronomique in Bordeaux! Mimi x

  17. Dear Mimi, one post every sunday, what a treat!
    In one week we’ll be off to the country and I’ve asked for the best cèpe areas… I hope I’ll find enough to make this dish… I found the cèpe in the middle of the photo:).
    I’ll be in Arcachon the second week of the holidays, hope we could meet then. And hope to find your book in my mailbox as I return… Have a nice day and congratulations. xx Cécile

  18. I’m determined to make ravioli at some point. I tried once but totally messed it up 🙁
    That’s certainly the problem with foraging: as soon as you think you know what to expect, nature switches it all up!

  19. Mi querida Mimi, que bello relato, tu marido capta a traves de sus fotos toda la magia del momento, me transporta a un mundo casi irreal… son maravillosas. Me gustaria saber si la edicion francesa tambien puede pre-ordenarse, y cual sera su titulo en fraces. Estoy impaciente por tener tu libro. ¿ Hay alguna posibilidad de ver sus programas de television a traves de intarnet? Me encantaria poder verlos. Feliz otoño Mimi. Rosa.

  20. I ordered your book some time ago and am so excited that it will be here soon. You must be so excited as well. I don’t know where you get the energy for children, baby, new house, new book etc – superwoman!
    I too use Opinel knives – love them. I got them when I did a course at the Bertinet Cookery School in Bath which was such a wonderful experience. I was lucky enough to be there for 6 days!
    I was looking at your recipe for scones and the oven temperature that you give is 220C. I use a fan oven – so would I use 200C or is that for a fan oven?
    Thank you and good luck for your new book.

  21. Ah Mimi you are so lucky to find cepes!!! Here where I live there’s a big fuss about mushrooms, (Girona area) and how many times together with my husband we went to look for them with no luck at all. As you know the “good places” are well treasured by locals. The ravioli recipe is just perfect, who can ask for anything else. I have a question, your apron. It reminds me of my mum’s one, when I was little I remember her wearing a very similar one. I would lke to be able to recreate that style in my kitchen for my daughter…. I lost my mum and everything is connected with her is so dear to me. Do you know where I can get one?

  22. Dear Mimi, I can’t wait for the cookbook to arrive to my door – just in time for my birthday – preordered it months ago! My mini Mimi project for the winter: cook all the recipes during the next year! So excited about it!!!

  23. Hello Mimi! Congratulations for your cookbook! Your recipes certainly make me miss France, since I’ve moved from Lyon to Munich two weeks ago. I’ll try your recipes in Munich and I’m sure it’ll help me to get over from my occasional homesickness which will arrive here soon 🙂 I’ll make sure your cookbook arrives earlier 🙂

    It just took my attention, the banner on the top of your blog page, it is also on the book, may I ask who is the illustrator? It’s very cute and couldn’t describe better your blog!

    have a lovely week,

  24. this dish is beautiful, Mimi. It is very reminiscent of a beef cheek ravioli my famiglia taught me to make from my region of Italy in Sora, provincia di Frosinone.

    I love the idea of using prom or veal cheek in place of the beef and the seasonal mushrooms are truly a favorite of mine in the fall.

    I will be trying your recipe soon and I will let you know how my famiglia likes this delicious option 🙂

    Ciao per adesso,


  25. Inspiring as always! I love picking mushrooms too, but unfortunately this year here in Norh of Italy we haven’t much. But it’s a yaer of truffles! Yay! Congrats with your beautiful book!

  26. It really was a large mushroom to be missed. But it’s just how you say: sometimes we are soooo busy looking for things that we hardly notice that they’re right under our noses. Oh well, at least you can go looking for mushrooms, here it’s a bit more tricky 🙂

  27. Hi Mimi, what a great use for pigs’ cheeks, sounds delicious.
    Would love to pre-order your book, but it doesn’t seem to be available on Amazon UK. Do you know if that’s likely to change, please?
    Good luck with sales, anyway!

  28. Cette recette ça donne vraiment envie ! Vivement la version française ! “Elle” doit être aussi belle avec une robe française 😉

  29. Dear Mimi, Your post is so beautiful. What a magical day – walking through the forest collecting mushrooms.

    This dish sounds absolutely delicious. I hope to try it very soon for the family. I cannot wait to get your cookbook. xo

  30. Unphotogenic? You?? C’est impossible!

    Now, what can I tell the family, so they don’t know that the porcinis are mushrooms…?

  31. Love your stories and those mushroom raviolis look delicious! I too can hardly wait for your cookbook. My husband loves when I try one of your recipes!

  32. Bonjour Mimi! I cannot wait to make this recipe… I absolutely love mushrooms! I love the story behind the images and cannot wait to hold your beautiful book in my hands! xo, dana

  33. Mimi,
    Just look at what you have done. I’m so proud and happy for you. I can’t wait to buy your cookbook.Be present in this moment and enjoy.

  34. Hello Mimi, I just came back from a glorious weekend in the country with no internet, (evidence on my blog) and found a new post from you! How lovely! And we had the most glorious cool weather, and I found lots of wild mushrooms. I love this time of year. Ravioli with wild mushrooms is a definite must on the menu for me. Big hugs and I was thinking I must fill out that special photo offer for the pre order. I’ve just had a small, but scary cancer discovered, so here we go with radiation therapy…etc…so not sure I have the energy for that, but am really looking forward to your lovely book arriving. 😀

  35. Bonjour Mimi,
    Encore une superbe recette….Je viens de commander votre livre et j’ai hâte de le recevoir ! J’habite en Espagne et retourne en France de temps en temps. Quand vous ouvrirez votre restaurant, je crois qu’une halte s’impose…Merci pour tant de beauté..

  36. Love your petites stories, recipes and the beautiful pictures! Hopefully one day I can make my way to the Bordeaux region to learn how to cook from you. Until then I’m satisfied with your inspiring cookbook. I ordered mine just the other day at (which is a dutch “Amazon”). Maybe you can add this one to the list of presale points?

  37. Gorgeous photos, as always–I am dying to make those ravioli and especially that wine sauce–it looks like a perfect complement to delicate homemade pasta.

    Congratulations on the book! I cannot wait to check it out.

  38. Can’t wait for the book! She looks very chic, and the ravioli recipe is mouthwatering. That mushroom in the photo is hilarious, you must have kicked yourselves! I’m the world’s most useless forager, so I probably wouldn’t have spotted it either, lol!

  39. Looking forward to October 28th…She will be so welcome here in my Vancouver kitchen! Congratulations Mimi, Cassandre x

  40. Very nice photos when you are picking mushrooms in the woods. They remind me of my childhood when we would pick mushrooms in the hills near home. Nothing tasted as nice.

  41. Hi Mimi, I just wanted to let you know that your site is my perfect form of escapism. You make me want to leave my city-life and take up residence in the country…these look absolutely delicious and I think it may be the motivation I need to unwrap the pasta-maker that’s been sitting in my pantry for far far too long. All the way from Auckland, New Zealand.

  42. Hah! I was just looking at pork cheek the other day! Wondering what in the world I could make with it… this is so so beautiful, cozy, and inspiring. 😀 What a yummy recipe, and you seriously have a knack for knowing what pairs up well together.

  43. Good morning and good life Mimi I’ll buy your book in Italy, Siena, and I send you a very special, italian, kiss!!!

  44. Beautiful photos and inspiring recipe. Any suggestions for an alternative to pork cheek? We cannot even find bacon here, so pork cheek may be aiming too high. Always envious of those who go mushroom hunting – I’m always a bit too scared I’ll pick something poisonous!

  45. Mimi, I’ve been quietly following your beautiful blog for the last couple of years. As a blogger and writer myself, thank you for taking such time on each post, and giving us a taste of the beauty that exists in your part of the world. (I don’t even like cooking–my husband is the chef here at home–but your writing and the photos are just enchanting…)

    Our family is so excited because we are coming to France this Christmas! My parents own an old house in the Basque country and we will be holing up there for a couple of weeks to celebrate the season together. I have a question. We are traveling a few days before Christmas from Normandy south, and are looking for a special place to break for a long lovely (and late) lunch somewhere north of Bordeaux. Maybe somewhere near Saintes? Or perhaps in Cognac? Do you have any suggestions that we might not find in a typical guidebook?

    All the best to you and yours

  46. Me and my family always spend our summer holidays going for porcini and finferli. We are very trained at it so we end up everyday with more than a kg for everyone of us. Some of them are cooked immediately but the others are dried out, frozen, preserved in oil or sometimes sliced breaded and frozen like this. In all this I have learn one thing: if forest doesn’t want you to find something you’ll never find it! I could have a lot of anecdotes to tell you about that but I don’t want to bore you! I’ve never tried this version of ravioli (or tortelli, how we call them here in Italy) but I will soon! 😉

  47. Head cepes at grill.
    “Teste di porcino ripiene con foglie castagno e patate”.di Pier Luigi Caffese-Cibo degli DEI-BEST food in paradise.
    Basis.Huile,Feulle de marron,patatoes cut,head cepes and you prepare genoise ripieno with dried cepes,maggiorana,fromage,little bread with milk,eggs.huile,salt.
    The italian name is Browh cepes at four or grill
    No beer,but wine red wine pedmont dolcetto or genoise cilegiolo as little cerry wine.Important is parfum and flavours.

  48. Félicitations Mimi pour votre livre! Dejà commandé… :))) Et un big up pour les fox-terriers. J’adore ces chiens, j’en ai un à tête noire. Nous sommes inséparables! :))))

  49. Just received my copy of your cookbook – where to start?? Lovely photos, beautiful words and delicious recipes…I just can’t decide which one to make first. I have enjoyed sifting through the book over and over again. Congratulations!!

  50. All these posts and not one about the recipe! I just tackled it last night and thought it was perfect. Here in NYC I had to substitute fresh ceps for dried porcini but it was wonderful. Merci Mimi!

  51. I love your blog. I’m very interested in comfort food. My grandmother lived on farms in Kansas virtually all of her 102 years. Her recipes are simple, but they tug at my heart. I made your grandmother’s pensive recipe tonight and I love it. My grandmother’s chili con carne is famous. It only has eight ingredients. Beef, onion, Gebhardts chili powder, garlic, cumin, oregano, tomato paste, ( okay, nine ) and beef stock. Use the steps ( saute, deglaze, add the base liquid, reduce and finish). Make frijoles de olla separately (hamhocks and beans ) use pinto beans, or red kidney beans. Scoop a ladle of drained beans onto a plate, ladle chili over the top of them and garnish with rinsed white onion, cilantro, and sliced radishes. Pickled jalapeno slices, or Pico de gallo salsa could be served on the side. Chilis weditos are what you would find in Mexican neighborhoods. They are small blistering hot yellow pickled chilis that every restaurant in the southwest U.S. has at the table (even McDonald’s ).

Leave a Reply