I’d like to go out on a limb here and say that homemade ravioli is the ultimate comfort food. Anyone agree? Here’s my argument: After a glass of wine or two, you use your fork to break open one soft, delicate pocket of dough. Out comes pouring creamy ricotta, mascarpone and freshly grated parmesan cheese. You find yourself overcome with content. More than content: extreme pleasure! In my opinion there is nothing more satisfying and comforting than 3 or more cheeses. Especially after you’ve made a complete mess of the kitchen. Flour, egg and KitchenAid attachments are everywhere and your biggest reward is taking that first bite. It’s an experience worth having. Invite a good friend over for wine, cheese and a heck of a lot of fun rolling out pasta sheets. It’s a night you won’t soon forget. This recipe comes from a young talent: chef Dominick Tesoriero.
Yield: 6 servings
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 1/2 cups fine semolina flour
- 2 whole large eggs plus 5 large yolks
- 1 tablespoon whole milk
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1 cup mascarpone cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
First we make the pasta dough. Whisk the all-purpose and the semolina flour in the bowl of a stand mixer to combine (you can also do this the old fashioned way, right on your counter top and mix with your hands. I prefer the stand mixer for easier clean up). Make a well in the center.
Combine the whole eggs, yolks, milk and olive oil in a small bowl and pour it into the well. Using the dough hook, mix on low speed until the dough just starts to come together, then increase the speed to medium and mix for 5 minutes (Or use a large fork to work egg mixture into flour manually). If you find the dough is still piece-y and not coming together, slowly add water, only 1 tablespoon at a time, until it comes together. You don’t want to add too much or it will become sticky.
Lightly flour your work surface. Knead the dough by hand until it is smooth and elastic, and springs back when you press it with your finger, about 10 minutes. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
To make the cheese filling, combine the ricotta, mascarpone and Parmesan in a small bowl. Put the mixture in a pasty bag (or ziplock bag with a corner cut) and refrigerate until needed.
Remove your dough from the refrigerator and cut into 4 equal sections. Using your KitchenAid roller attachment or manual sheet roller, roll out 1 section of dough into a long sheet, passing through several times until it is thin and translucent enough that you can see just see your fingers through it. I usually go through the roller once on the #1 setting, then once through the #2 setting, and finally go through twice on the #4 setting. Flour in between passes so it doesn’t stick to the roller. Flour your work surface VERY well before you place the rolled sheet down. Once you’ve rolled out one sheet, starting at the bottom half of the rectangle, pipe about 1 tablespoon (or more) of filling into portions about 2-3 inches or so apart from the next. Once you have a line of piped portions, whisk 1 egg and brush around the edges of the cheese. The egg wash acts as a glue to hold the dough together. Then gently fold over the top half of the sheet over the bottom half containing the filling. Using a ravioli cutter or other cookie cutter, gently cut out the dough. Make sure you constantly are flouring your work surface! Continue this process with the other 3 sections of dough. An alternate method to this is to pipe on one sheet and cover with another sheet, as I have done below. You’ll waste a little more dough, but you can make bigger ravioli. From this step, you can refrigerate or freeze until ready to cook.
If ready to cook, bring a pot of water to a gentle simmer (medium high) but not boiling. Place 6-8 ravioli in the pot for 2-3 minutes, tops. Even if they float to the surface before this time, they may not be fully cooked. Gently remove with a slotted spoon and top with marinara and parmesan to serve. Enjoy!
Recipe courtesy of Dominick Tesoriero, adapted from Agnolotti Bolognese, www.foodnetwork.com.