Citizens, let’s kick off the “week of World pasta” with perhaps the richest and most decadent Italian pasta recipe I know! 🙂
I first tried this famous San Domenico Uovo Ravioli recipe at the eponymous restaurant San Domenico in NYC, which first popularized it in the United States. It is a recipe from the Northern Italian region of Emilia Romagna, home of Parmesan, mortadella and many other rich and decadent recipes!
Imagine sinking your teeth into a tender “al dente”, handmade ravioli that oozes out a creamy orange yolk when you cut the raviolo in half. Nestled inside this beautiful ravioli frame awaits some ricotta cheese & spinach.
Sprinkled on top are decadent thin slices of white truffle, flakes of parmigiano along with dashes of fresh cracked pepper and kosher salt. In fact this dish was originally crafted for an Italian royal, so the phrase “fit for a king” is absolutely true.
I’ve taken the liberty of giving this recipe the TFD treatment by adding in some grated Molitarno di Tartufo sheep cheese, which has heavenly veins of black truffle paste running throughout the cheese!
These ravioli are quite large – 1 or at most two is sufficient per person, Citizens!
Battle on – The Generalissimo
1 recipe basic pasta dough:
7 very fresh eggs
12 tablespoons butter, melted and kept warm
Approximatrly 4 cups Italian 00 flour
½ teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
For the filling:
½ small white or black truffle, shaved
¼ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated, plus more for garnishing pasta
¼ cup Molitarno di Tartufo sheep cheese, grated, plus more for garnishing pasta (if unavailable, use Parmigiano-Reggiano)
½ cup fresh sheep’s milk ricotta
½ cup spinach, blanched, drained and chopped
Scant pinch nutmeg
Salt and white pepper to taste
chives (and chive flowers) for garnish
BASIC PASTA DOUGH
Mound 3 ½ cups of the flour in the center of a large wooden cutting board. Make a well in the middle of the flour and add the eggs and the olive oil. Using a fork, beat together the eggs and oil and begin to incorporate the flour, starting with the inner rim of the well.
As you expand the well, keep pushing the flour up from the base of the mound to retain the well shape. The dough will come together when half of the flour is incorporated.
Start kneading the dough with both hands, using the palms of your hands. Once you have a cohesive mass, remove the dough from the board and scrape up and discard any leftover bits.
Lightly reflour the board and continue kneading for 6 more minutes. The dough should be elastic and a little sticky. Wrap the dough in plastic and allow to rest for 30 minutes at room temperature. Roll or shape as desired.
For the ravioli:
In a non-reactive bowl, combine ½ the truffle shavings, the Parmigiano, the Molitarno, the ricotta and the spinach, mix well, and season to taste with nutmeg, salt and white pepper. Transfer to a piping bag. Set aside.
Roll out the pasta dough to the thinnest setting on a pasta rolling machine. Set pasta on a sheet tray dusted with flour, cover with plastic wrap and set aside.
In the center of each of the remaining 6 circles, pipe out an equal portion of the ricotta mixture as a coiled hollow cylinder just large enough to hold a single egg yolk. Carefully break the eggs, 1 at a time, into a small bowl, and transfer 1 yolk into the center of each cylinder. It is imperative that the yolk remain unbroken.
Brush the pasta with an egg wash made from a lightly beaten yolk with water, then cover the pasta with the second sheet of pasta, seal gently and cut a circular ravioli out. It should look like a top hat.
Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil and add 2 tablespoons salt. Gently, using a wide spatula, lower each ravioli into the water to cook for exactly 2 minutes.
Remove from the water and place gently into a 12 to 14-inch saute pan with the remaining butter, shave the remaining truffle over, add a generous grating of both Molitarno cheese and Parmigiano-Reggiano and carefully put 1 on each plate. Garnish with minced chives and chive flowers.