Preparing fresh pasta dough tends to intimidate home cooks, when in fact it is very easy and requires few ingredients. Ravioli al uovo, in its basic form, is a single egg yolk encased by two layers of tender pasta. Adding guanciale-laced ricotta to the filling and nutty brown butter sauce adds rich flavor without overshadowing the fresh egg yolks.
Once you've assembled your ravioli discs, bring a large pot of salted water over high heat to a boil. Gently add ravioli to boiling water and cook for about 3 minutes, then drain ravioli into a colander. To serve, divide ravioli between 8 plates. Drizzle brown butter sauce over ravioli and serve with a sprinkling of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
Egg Yolk Ravioli
Serves | 8 |
- 3½ cups all-purpose flour
- 4 eggs
- 2 Tbsp water
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ¼ pound guanciale, minced
- 1 pound whole milk ricotta
- ½ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano
- ½ cup Pecorino Romano
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 8 eggs, yolks separated
- 1 Tbsp water
- 1 egg
| Preparation – Pasta Dough | Mound flour on a clean countertop. Make a well in the center of flour and add eggs, water, oil and salt. Using a fork, beat eggs together and then begin to incorporate flour slowly, starting with the inner wall of the well. As you expand the well, push flour up to retain the well shape. When half of flour is incorporated, dough will begin to come together. Knead dough until it becomes one cohesive ball. Scrape and remove any dried bits of dough and lightly re-flour surface. Knead again for 10 more minutes, dusting with more flour as needed until dough becomes elastic and barely sticky. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes at room temperature.
Remove pasta from plastic and cut in half. Cover half of dough with plastic wrap and set aside. Roll out remaining dough using a pasta rolling machine, starting with the largest setting. Pass through each setting, from thickest to thinnest, twice until you reach approximately 1/16-inch thickness. Brush pasta lightly with flour between rolls. When you have a long, thin strip of dough, cut in half crosswise, place 2 pieces on a lightly floured tray and cover with plastic wrap while you repeat the process with reserved dough.
| Preparation – Filling | In a small skillet over medium-low heat, cook guanciale until slightly crisped. Remove using a slotted spoon and place in a medium bowl. Add cheeses, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix to combine and transfer to a piping bag cut with a 1–inch opening.
Separate yolks from whites and place each yolk in a ramekin. Set aside.
| Preparation – Egg Wash | In a small bowl, whisk water and egg together. Set aside.
| Assembly | Cut pasta sheets into 16 4-inch discs. Lay out 8 discs on a lightly floured surface and pipe small mounds of filling into the center of discs. Gently pat mounds and create a subtle dip in fillings for egg yolks. Place one egg yolk on top of filling on each disc, taking care not to break yolk. Lightly brush exposed pasta with egg wash. Cover filled discs with reserved 8 discs and gently push out any air before sealing edges. Press tines of a fork along edges of discs to seal.
Simple Substitutions. Homemade pasta doesn’t require expensive machinery. A stand mixer with attachments or a simple hand-crank pasta roller are just as good. If you don’t have a pasta roller a good rolling pin, even a wine bottle will work – you’ll just need a little extra elbow grease.
Pork Shop. The cured jowl or cheek meat of a pig, guanciale can be found at specialty markets, local salumeria Salume Beddu or at Schnucks stores. Although guanciale has a unique and exceptionally delicious, savory flavor, pancetta or bacon are fine substitutes.
Speedy Sauce. This dish pairs well with brown butter sauce, which is easy and quick to prepare at home. Melt eight pats of unsalted butter in a skillet over medium-low heat. Slightly turn up heat and, stirring often, let milk solids brown. The butter will look like sand on the bottom of the pan. When solids are golden brown, remove the pan from heat.
Farm Fresh. Since egg yolk is the focus of the ravioli, the highest quality and freshest product is ideal. The fewer miles it travels, the more likely it is to be fresh and the better it will taste.
Join FEAST and Schnucks Cooks Cooking School on Wed., Sept. 24, at 6pm to make the dishes in this month’s menu. Tickets are just $40 for a night of cooking, dining and wine. RSVP at schnuckscooks.com or call 314.909.1704.
MAKE THE MEAL
- Homemade Egg Yolk Ravioli
- Caprese Salad with Basil Oil and Balsamic Reduction
- Fresh Late-Summer Vegetables with Bagna Càuda
- Duo of Mocha and Summer Berry Sorbets
In this month’s class, you’ll learn how to make pasta dough and shape it into ravioli. Also, learn how to make flavored oil using herbs and how to make bagna càuda, a rich dipping sauce made with anchovy, garlic and oil.