Pear & ricotta ravioloni

Pear & ricotta ravioloni

Ravioloni di pera e ricotta

By
From
Florentine
Serves
4
Photographer
Lauren Bamford

Ravioloni are simply large ravioli. This is a variation on the more classic spinach and ricotta ravioli, which is commonly served very simply with a butter and sage sauce (similar to gnudi). It is inspired by a dish from a popular Florentine restaurant, comprising little pasta bundles filled with pear in a cheese sauce. The pairing of pear with pecorino cheese is a favourite, whether it’s fresh fruit on a cheese platter, on crostini or in some other form.

Although the classic pasta ratio is 1 whole egg per 100 g of flour, this pasta recipe uses yolks to replace some of the whole eggs because the whites of the eggs tend to make pasta puff up when cooked – this is undesirable for filled pasta such as ravioli because you are aiming for the thinnest pasta achievable for the best results, both in terms of visual appeal and bite.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
grated pecorino cheese, to serve

Pasta

Quantity Ingredient
400g plain flour
2 eggs
4 egg yolks, (reserve 1 egg white for later)

Filling

Quantity Ingredient
2 medium pears, peeled, cored and quartered
200g ricotta
80g grated pecorino cheese
1 egg yolk
A pinch salt

Sauce

Quantity Ingredient
50g salted butter
8 sage leaves

Method

  1. Pasta

    Put the flour in a bowl and make a well in the centre. Put the eggs, yolks and 2 tablespoons water in the well. With a fork, begin to whisk the eggs, incorporating the flour little by little until you can no longer whisk with the fork. Use floured hands to combine the rest of the flour and knead for about 5 minutes or until you have a smooth, elastic dough (to tell if it is elastic, it should bounce back when poked). Wrap in plastic wrap and let it rest for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Filling

    Poach the pear quarters in a saucepan of boiling water until just tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and let them cool, then chop into tiny pieces. Combine the pears with the rest of the filling ingredients. Chill until needed.
  3. Ravioloni

    Cut the dough into four pieces and dust lightly with flour. Roll out the dough using a pasta machine, working down one by one to the narrower settings, or with a rolling pin. The dough should be thin enough so that you can see your hand through it. If rolling by hand, you will notice this is a very elastic dough and tends to bounce back – roll from the centre outwards.
  4. Working on strips of pasta at least 10 cm wide and as long as you like, place 1 teaspoon of filling onto the pasta sheet about 5 cm apart. Beat the leftover egg white from earlier and brush it all around the filling. Then place a sheet of pasta of the same width and length over the top and, working quickly, press the pasta sheet down carefully around each spoonful of filling, being careful not to trap too much air. Work from one side to the other and, if needed (and if you have two extra hands helping you), work one ravioloni at a time. With a fluted pastry wheel cutter or a sharp knife, trim the ravioloni so that you have a 1 cm border around the filling (you can save the trimmed pieces, knead them together and keep using – cover when not in use to avoid drying). Continue until you finish the pasta and the filling.
  5. Cook the ravioloni immediately in a saucepan of salted, boiling water over a medium heat until al dente, about 5 minutes.
  6. In the meantime, make the sauce by melting the butter in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the sage and a ladleful of the pasta cooking water and swirl in the pan – this will create an emulsion, a slightly thicker sauce.
  7. When the ravioloni are ready, drain them with a slotted spoon, add to the sauce and toss gently to coat. Serve the ravioloni with the sauce and some grated pecorino cheese.
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