Is there anything worse than going out for dinner on Valentine’s day? You’re lined up on tables of two like sardines in a can, there’s the pressure, oh the pressure, to gaze lovingly into each other’s eyes and dinner probably ends with a soggy molten chocolate lava cake. I’m much happier to take a rain check on dinner and stay home with some good food, good wine and maybe
netflix and chill snuggle up to watch the final series of The Americans on Amazon.
But don’t get me wrong, I’m not the Grinch of Valentine’s Day! I’ve been away all week at a conference so I thought I’d put a little more effort into my Valentine’s dinner with Paul. Ever since I became
obsessed interested in making fresh pasta last year, I’ve amassed quite the collection of ravioli cutters. When this one popped up in my “suggested for you” Amazon feed I clicked “buy”, click on image to get your own (affiliate link):
When it arrived, I was surprised at the size, it’s 3.5 inches wide which got me thinking about individual ravioli or raviolo. I remembered a Uovo da raviolo dish I’d eaten many years ago in Italy. Translucent fresh pasta sheets hid a bright yellow warm yet still runny egg yolk that broke perfectly when the raviolo was split with a fork.
First you make your fresh pasta, some Italian grocery stores sell fresh pasta sheets if you want to skip this step.
If you don’t have a kitchen scraper and you regularly make fresh pasta (or bake bread), then what are you waiting for? These gadgets clean up all sorts of worktop stickiness and can be used to easily cut dough into portions. Click on picture to get yours (affiliate link):
Then you make some kind of ricotta filing. Simplest was fresh ricotta, a little grated parmesan, salt and pepper for me. Mixed in a baggie to save on washing up (plus you can snip the end of your baggie to make a piping bag when you’re ready. You could also add sauteed chopped spinach or maybe finely diced and sauteed mushrooms.
I’ve always wanted to try making striped pasta and just happened to have a couple of beets in the fridge. I *should* have juiced them and just added a little of the beet juice to a small portion of the pasta but I decided that just grating a little fresh beet would work. There was no beet flavor and I kind of liked the speckled appearance.
Once you’ve rolled out your pasta, you simply pipe a little ring of ricotta mixture in a circle to keep your yolk in place. Moisten the pasta with a little water to seal and if you happen to have a heart shaped cutter, go to town.
90 seconds in a boiling pan of water and these babies are good to go. Leftover breakfast bacon and a handful of mushrooms made a little bed for the raviolo to rest upon. I also fried up a couple of sage leaves for a crispy green topping.
We have friends visiting so I made a little more than I usually would for two, if there’s just two of you, half the ingredients.
Uovo Da Raviolo or Egg Yolk in Pasta
1 cup of Triple OOO flour plus extra for dusting
1 whole egg
3 egg yolks
Pinch of salt
Fresh pasta (see above)
A few drops of beet juice or red food coloring if you want to do the stripes
6 egg yolks
1 cup fresh ricotta
1/4 cup finely grated parmesan or gruyere
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon butter
6 slices bacon
6-10 mushrooms (white or a mix of white and shitake)
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
Optional: fresh sage leaves crisped up in a little butter or oil
You’ll also need a pasta rolling machine or Kitchen-Aid pasta attachment, plastic wrap and a kitchen scraper is helpful.
1. On a clean surface (wood or marble) tip out the flour. Make a well in the middle and add the whole egg and egg yolks.
2. Being super gentle, start to whisk the eggs with a fork to incorporate the flour from the sides, try not to let the eggs escape over the wall, once you have a fairly shaggy ball use your hands to knead the dough.
Note that you might not incorporate all of the flour, it’s going to depend on the size of your eggs. A bench scraper is also a genius tool for getting eggy flour unstuck from your worksurface. The dough will initially feel kind of sticky and wet, keep dusting your hands and surface with flour until it no longer feels wet and starts to feel a little rough.
4. Knead for 10-15 minutes, don’t skip it, this is essential to release the gluten in the flour. Push the base of your hand into the ball of dough to stretch it out, turn 90 degrees, double over and repeat.
5. When the dough feels smooth and springy, almost like play-doh, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap.
6. Rest the dough for a minimum of 30 minutes (or it’ll happily rest for a few hours longer). Room temperature is OK for an hour or just pop it in the fridge.
7. If you want striped pasta, cut off a piece of the dough, about the size of a small ping pong ball and in a baggie, add a few drops of beet juice, smoosh it around in the baggie until incorporated.
8. While the dough rests, prepare the ricotta filling. In a baggie, dump a cup of fresh ricotta, a good pinch of salt and pepper and the grated cheese.
9. Saute the bacon or pancetta until crispy, remove from pan to drain on paper towels. Wipe out excess oil and saute mushrooms in same pan until they’re golden and smell beautifully nutty. Add bacon back to pan but remove from the heat until needed later.
10. Roll out the pasta, I do a few passes on the widest setting, folding and turning the pasta and then keep going until you can just see through the pasta sheets (setting 6 on my Kitchen-Aid). If you want striped pasta, roll out the dyed pasta until very thin, slice long strips, place on the regular pasta when it’s one setting away from being done, press lightly to stick and then do the final roll.
11. Put a large pan of water on to boil.
12. Cut the pasta into 4 inch squares, lay on plastic wrap and cover with a damp kitchen cloth to prevent drying out.
13. Cut the corner off your bag of ricotta mixture and pipe a yolk-sized circle on the bottom pasta sheets. Plop an egg yolk into the well.
14. Use a pastry brush to brush a little water around the ricotta (this acts as glue to stick the top piece of pasta down). Add the top piece (striped side out if using) and press down gently but firmly to stick together and push out any air bubbles. Trim the side or use any ravioli cutter you happen to have
15. Put the bacon/mushroom/butter mixture back on the heat to warm through.
16. Cook the ravioli in the boiling water for 90 seconds, remove gently with a slotted spoon, drain and add to mushroom/bacon pan for 20 seconds to toss in butter, add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
17. To serve, add mushrooms and bacon to plate, top with a raviolo and crispy sage leaves.
Serve with a chilled glass of a crisp Sauvignon Blanc or Champagne to cut through the richness of the egg yolk. Break the pasta with your fork and watch the perfect yolk spill out onto the plate. Warm baguette slices work perfectly to mop up the yolk!