Yield: 6 appetizer portions
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
4 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into 9 to 12 slices
Comments: If you’ve never kneaded pasta before, watch a few videos or tutorials to continue.
• A longer and thinner wooden rolling pin, lightly floured if necessary, worked best for this dough.
• The thickness of the dough determines the cooking time of these ravioli.
• If you don’t want to make fresh pasta, fresh pasta in leaf form is available from Midwest Pasta Co. and frozen at DiGregorio’s market. Follow the directions for filling, sealing and cooking. These sheets will likely be thicker, requiring a longer cooking time.
1. Place the flour in a mound on a clean surface lightly dusted with flour. Make a well in the middle. It should look like a volcano – high and sloping on the sides, deep in the middle.
2. Break the 3 whole eggs into the well and beat with a fork until well mixed.
3. Use the fork to gently mix the flour into the liquid. Continue until the dough becomes sticky and difficult to handle.
4. Lightly flour your hands and use them to form the rough dough into a ball.
5. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Cover the dough with a bowl or a clean tea towel and let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes.
6. While the dough is resting, stir the three cheeses in a medium mixing bowl until blended. Taste. Add salt if necessary and add freshly ground pepper to taste. Put aside.
7. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Using a rolling pin dusted with flour, begin to roll out the dough, turning if necessary, to make a very thin sheet of dough about 15 to 18 inches by 12 inches. The dough should be “thin enough to see the knots in a wooden cutting board” — or “thin enough to read a newspaper,” according to chef Andy Hirstein.
8. Cut the dough into 2 rectangles about 15 to 18 inches by 6 inches. Cover one half with a dry towel while you prepare the filling.
9. Divide the cheese filling into 6 equal portions. Place them on the uncovered sheet of pasta, 1 to 2 inches apart.
10. Make a well in the center of each mound of cheese and place an egg yolk in the center, taking care not to break the yolk.
11. Use your fingers to lightly wet the remaining dough with your fingers. This is to help close the raviolo.
12. Carefully place the remaining pastry sheet over the cheese/yolk mounds. Press the top sheet of dough shut around the filling to seal the top sheet to the bottom sheet, removing as much air as possible between the filling and the dough. The removal of air is especially important.
13. Cut the filled dough with a cookie cutter or with a large biscuit or cookie cutter into 6 round ravioli.
14. Bring a pot of 4 quarts or 5 quarts salted water to a boil. Carefully slide the ravioli into the water one at a time. Cook for 3 to 6 minutes, depending on the thickness of the dough, until the pieces are al dente.
15. Heat a stainless steel sauté pan or skillet over medium heat, add the butter and swirl it around the hot pan. Cook, swirling often, as the butter crackles and pops. Remove from heat when the butter starts to smell nutty. It will be brown in color. Pour it into a heatproof dish.
16. Carefully remove the raviolo from the water with a slotted spoon. Drain well, plate and cover with brown butter.
Per portion: 707 calories; 47 g of fat; 29 g saturated fat; 398 mg cholesterol; 23 g protein; 44 g carbohydrates; 3 g of sugar; 1 g fiber; 388 mg sodium; 401mg calcium