Thank goodness it’s Fiesta Friday again. Because there was definitely a fiesta going on in my kitchen last night. I made an absolutely enormous heart shaped ravioli based upon the classic Uova di Raviolo dish, which is a ravioli stuffed with a pool of seasoned ricotta, into which an egg yolk is dropped. The ravioli cooks so that the egg poaches, and when you cut into it, the yolk runs into your bowl and serves as a buttery sauce, mingling with the rest of the pasta goodness. Generally recipes for this dish call for egg pasta, ricotta and parmesan, and an egg. For my riff and since it’s Fiesta Friday and Valentine’s Day all in one, I added some beet cooking water and one very small beet to my egg before I added it to 2 cups of semolina flour. Since this is an adaptation and has added moisture in the form of the beet water and beet, I had to round out the pasta flour with some additional flour before rolling. Here’s what the final dough looked like:
I took a bratwurst out of its casing and gently pressed the meat into one of the ravioli sheets. I chose bratwurst because it is an all time favorite of my husband, so why not? In the center I placed a dollop of ricotta, indented to hold an egg yolk. My first egg yolk “broke” so I added a second one to the ricotta “pool.” Then I seasoned the ricotta and yolk with parmesan and pepper:
Double Yolk Stuffed
Then I covered the ginormity with another pasta sheet:
Dropped the very cumbersome ravioli into boiling water. I think it weighed about 5 pounds.
Finished with Beet Butter Parmesan Sauce and some bacon
Here is the Recipe:
1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated, plus more for garnishing pasta
1/4 cup fresh sheep’s milk ricotta
Salt and white pepper to taste
1 recipe basic pasta dough, recipe follows
2 very fresh eggs
12 tablespoons butter, melted and kept warm
BASIC PASTA DOUGH
2 cups flour
1 very small beet and about 2 Tbsp of its cooking water
1/2 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
In a non-reactive bowl, combine the Parmesan and ricotta and mix well, and season to taste with nutmeg, salt and white pepper. Set aside.
Roll out the pasta dough to the thinnest setting on a pasta rolling machine. Or just roll as thin as you can with a pin. From the thin pasta sheet, cut out 2 large hearts.
In the center of one heart, mound the ricotta mixture. With the back of a small ladle or spoon, hollow out a well in the center of the mound. Carefully break the eggs, 1 at a time, into a small bowl, and transfer the yolks and a bit of white into the center of the well. It is imperative that the yolks remain unbroken.
Cover the pasta with second heart and press the edges together with fingers to seal.
Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil and add 2 tablespoons salt. Gently, using a wide spatula, lower the ravioli into the water to cook for 4 minutes or until al dente. Remove from the water and place gently into a 12 to 14-inch saute pan with the remaining butter, shave some additional parmesan over if you wish, and carefully put 1 on a plate.
BASIC PASTA DOUGH
Mound 1 1/2 cups of the flour in the center of a large wooden cutting board. Into a small bowl smash the beet with its water with the back of a fork until it is a paste. Make a well in the middle of the flour and add the eggs and the olive oil. Using a fork, beat together the eggs and oil and begin to incorporate the flour, starting with the inner rim of the well.
As you expand the well, keep pushing the flour up from the base of the mound to retain the well shape. The dough will come together when half of the flour is incorporated.
Start kneading the dough with both hands, using the palms of your hands. Once you have a cohesive mass, remove the dough from the board and scrape up and discard any leftover bits. Lightly reflour the board and continue kneading for 6 more minutes. The dough should be elastic and a little sticky. Wrap the dough in plastic and allow to rest for 30 minutes at room temperature. Roll or shape as desired.