Italian kitchen is the queen of reusage. A few ingredients, left in the fridge or in the pantry, well combined, make the magic.
Patience is the key ingredient, even if is related to the waiting times. In this case the reward is these beautiful tasty little pieces of beauty.
Ingredients are minimal, a little bit of this, of that, and you can add or substitute with what you have.
Ingredients for 8 people:
A ball of dough made with 400gr/14oz semolina flour, 4 eggs, one tablespoon of EVO and one pinch of salt, kneeded for about 10 minutes and let rest for about one hour covered out of the fridge.
600gr/20oz of fresh ricotta
150gr/6oz grated medium aged pecorino cheese
80gr/2.5oz grated grana or parmigiano cheese
generous grate of nutmeg
a finely chopped mix of fresh herbs of your liking, in my case: tarragon, marjoram and savory
one stalk of celery, one small onion and a small carrot
one chilly pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
one clove of garlic
200gr/7oz of porcini mushrooms
First things first: clean and cut the mushrooms, they should be dry, saute quickly on a skillet with one clove of garlic and Extra Virgin Olive Oil, heat up! Or they will turn out mushy. Put aside.
On a bowl mix togheter the cheeses, the herbs, adjust with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Leave in the fridge, covered, to chill, it will be easier to form the ravioli.
Once the pasta is made and rested, roll it to a medium thickness, on
a kitchen aid would be setting 5 On a manualy operated pasta maker would be a 6.
Anyway, once the pasta is rolled, cut it in 9cm squares (about 3 1/2 inches) like this. =>
Put in the center of it a medium cherry sized ball of filling. For a cleaner result I use a piping bag, but you can use a teaspoon, or a ziplock bag.
Right in the center of each square.
You don't need waterwash or eggs white to seal it, unless the pasta is on the dry side.
you do, go for it, use a not too wet brush for it.
Fold them in the middle into rectangles.
I know, it seems complicated and painfully long, but the result is phenomenal and with a little practice is actually fun.
Now seal it. Get the two lower corners and wrap them around your finger. Like this.
If you are like me, who consider fun prepping all sorts of stuff for family and friends to enjoy, you will have fun, but by the fact that you are actually reading this, it seems like we're sort of on the same wave lenght..
Ok, let's move on to sauce making.
The ones of you I have met in person knows that I am a fan for balance.
More constructed and complicated sauces are for simpler pastas. Like, a ragù that cooks for hours and with many different ingredients goes on tagliatelle, pappardelle and the like, but flavorful and savory stuffed pasta needs something simple.
So. grab a large enough pan, while the pasta water is up for boiling. Put in a GENEROUS splash of EVOO - remember, THIS is what will season your pasta, and keep it separated, so no fear of oil!- Do not heat it up, add the finely chopped carot, celery, onion and the chilli pepper if you decided to use it, and let it heat up and simmer gently for as long as it takes for the carrots to be tender. Use a gentle flame, we do not want the onions to brown.
At this point (6/7 min?), rise the flame and add half a glass of white wine, when that is evaporated, reduce it to a puree with an immersion blender (hint, you can do it ahead of time and heat it at the last minute),the sauce is ready and the pasta water is boiling.
When the pasta water is boiling hard (no, Alton Brown, no "hot water", sorry, BOILING WATER, you're welcome), add a good handful of coarse salt, and the pasta, stir and cover with a lid, so it will re boil faster. When it keeps up the boiling again, remove the lid and lower the flame to reduce it to a gentle boil.
Pasta IN! For about 2/3 min. Drain it and toss it directly in another skillet with a generous amount of butter, a tablespoon or two of grana cheese and a couple of tablespoons of pasta water.
Now, compose the dish:
A couple of tablespoons of the soffritto cream on the bottom of the
plate, put on the shinied ravioli -butter and just enough cheese with create a light creamy shine that will flavour your pasta without making it too heavy- cover with a tablespoon or two of the chopped sauteed mushrooms... Bon Appetit!