Ravioli filled with tomato & bread stuffing in a warm mozzarella cream

Ravioli filled with tomato & bread stuffing in a warm mozzarella cream

Ravioli ripieni con pappa al pomodoro in crema di mozzarella di daniela sera

By
From
Tuscany
Serves
6
Photographer
Helen Cathcart

This is one of Daniele Sera’s signature dishes that he makes at the stunning hotel Castello di Casole in central Tuscany. He has taken a typical Tuscan recipe for a tomato, basil and bread soup called pappa al pomodoro and made it into a filling for fresh pasta. These tangy, tomatoey parcels are served in a warm bath of melted mozzarella and cream: dairy heaven in a sauce. (You can enjoy it as it is or make it thicker with cornflour/cornstarch blended with a little of the sauce.) The result is sublime.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient

For the filling

Quantity Ingredient
50g stale country-style bread
150ml Homemade tomato sauce
10g basil leaves, roughly chopped

For the ravioli

Quantity Ingredient
1 quantity Fresh pasta
coarse semolina or ‘00’ flour, for dusting

For the mozzarella cream

Quantity Ingredient
1 x 125g ball of mozzarella, roughly chopped, plus the water/ brine from the bag
125ml double cream
125g unsalted butter
salt, to taste

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
25g salted or unsalted butter, cubed
extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
25g grated parmesan
freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. To make the filling, soak the bread in a small bowl of cold water until soaked through. Remove the bread from the bowl and squeeze out the water. Put the tomato sauce in a saucepan over a medium heat and add the bread to it – it will melt into the pan. Add the basil and stir through. Leave to cook over a low heat for 15 minutes or until the bread has broken down and thickened the sauce. Remove from the heat, transfer to a bowl and allow to cool to room temperature.
  2. To make the ravioli, take half the fresh pasta. Flour the work surface but don’t flour the top side of the pasta or it will be hard to seal. Roll out the pasta using a rolling pin or a pasta machine until you can see your hand through it. If using a pasta machine set it on the second to last setting – the very last setting makes the thinnest pasta but this is too fragile for ravioli – and roll out 2 equally sized sheets of pasta.
  3. Dot heaped teaspoons of the filling at even intervals (two fingers’ width apart is ideal) onto one of the sheets and place another sheet of the same length over the top. Press down around the filling to expel the air and seal the pasta sheets together. Using a pasta wheel or a sharp knife, cut the ravioli into even 5 cm squares. Set the shapes aside on a surface dusted with flour or semolina (semolina is good as it doesn’t stick to the pasta). Repeat with the remaining pasta until the filling is used up.
  4. For the mozzarella cream, put the mozzarella, the brine from the bag, the cream and butter into a saucepan and set over a high heat to melt. When the cheese has melted pass it through a sieve to remove any remaining small lumps of cheese. Taste and add salt as necessary.
  5. To serve, warm the mozzarella cream sauce over a gentle heat. Drop the pasta into well-salted boiling water and cook for just 2–3 minutes. Drain and put into a warm dish with the butter and toss the bowl to combine – this will stop the pasta sticking. Put a ladleful of mozzarella cream into each bowl and place the pasta on top. Drizzle some olive oil on top of each dish, sprinkle over a little grated Parmesan, season with black pepper and serve straight away.
Tags:
Italy
Italian
Caldesi
Tuscany
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