Cooking pasta is for most people an everyday occurrence and usually entails using a packet of dry pasta and a jar of ready-made sauce. Whatever delicious dish you may be able to whip up with these labour-saving foods, how satisfying would it be though to do it from scratch, starting with the pasta dough. Quite honestly, making your own pasta is an ambitious and time-consuming project. Nevertheless, making fresh pasta with simple but good ingredients can be both an incredibly satisfying experience, albeit frustrating at times.
In this recipe, the pasta dough is not simply rolled out and cut, but filled to make ravioli. This type of pasta leaves creative freedom to an abundance of flavour combinations, both meat based and vegetarian. Here, soft and milky ricotta cheese and nutty Parmigiano Reggiano are paired with fragrant and tasty wild garlic, a popular herb to use in dips, sauces and salads. Available in spring and summer at farmer’s markets or in whole food stores, wild garlic can also be foraged for in woodlands where it grows in abundance during the springtime. However, as it can be very easily mistaken for the poisonous lily of the valley, I would recommend safety first and to opt for purchasing it from an experienced grocer.
Ravioli can be combined with a variety of pasta sauces, whether it be cream or tomato based. The proposed sauce for this pasta dish features Parmigiano Reggiano in combination with cream, white wine, sharp gorgonzola and buttery walnuts. Buon appetito!
For 3-4 portions (approx. 30 pieces à 4.5x5cm)
For the dough:
400g strong white flour
4 additional egg yolks (1 for gluing the dough sheets together)
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
Extra flour for dusting the work surface
For the filling:
50g Parmigiano Reggiano, finely grated
50g pine nuts, lightly roasted
7 large wild garlic leaves (remove the stalks)
½ tsp. lemon peel
Salt, pepper and olive oil to taste
For the sauce:
350ml single cream
150ml white wine
75g Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
50g gorgonzola dolce
60g walnuts, chopped
2 small garlic cloves, finely chopped
Salt, pepper to taste
What you’ll need:
Large rolling pin
Large Kitchen knife
Long ruler (30cm length)
Frying pan or casserole
Flat surface for working the dough or very large, flat chopping board and non-stick baking paper
Clean cotton kitchen towel (for covering the dough)
Small pastry brush
Pastry cutter (optional)
- In a mixing bowl, combine flour, eggs, extra egg yolks (spare one for gluing the dough sheets together later), olive oil, salt and water. Knead the dough well and let it rest for one hour covered with a clean and moistened cotton towel.
- For the filling, first roast the pine nuts in a frying pan until golden brown. Then, finely chop them as well as the wild garlic leaves. In a mixing bowl, combine grated Parmigiano Reggiano, ricotta, wild garlic, pine nuts and lemon peel. Stir well and add salt, pepper and olive oil to taste.
- Roll out the dough on a flat, floured surface. Use a ruler to cut out two rectangles of 30x24cm each to produce 30 top and bottom pieces of 4.5x5cm in size.
- Place half to three quarters of a teaspoonful of filling in the middle of each of 15 small rectangles. Take a small pastry brush, dip it in the egg yolk and brush the edges of the dough sheets with it. Then cover the filling with another dough sheet. Use your fingers to press out the air around the filling. Then take a fork and press the dough sheets together to seal them and create a nice pattern. Alternatively, use a pastry cutter to trim the edges and shape them. Place the prepared ravioli on a floured surface, again cover them with a cotton towel and let them dry slightly.
- Prepare a large pot with water and bring to the boil. Then add about three teaspoons of salt to it. Place several uncooked ravioli on a slotted spoon and gently place in the bubbling water. Repeat the process until all ravioli are in the pot. Let them cook for 8-10 minutes.
- In the meantime, prepare the sauce. In a large frying pan or casserole, combine single cream and white wine and gently heat the mixture. Add grated Parmigiano Reggiano, gorgonzola dolce and chopped garlic. Cook for a few minutes for the sauce to reduce and get thicker. Add salt and pepper to taste. Then stir in the chopped walnuts and turn off the heat.
- Once the ravioli are swimming on the surface, remove them from the pot by using the slotted spoon and then place them in the sauce. Carefully stir until all the pasta is covered in sauce. Serve immediately.
(Credit to: Castelli/Parmigiano for these beautiful recipes)