Butternut and ricotta ravioli from fresh homemade pasta
* the pasta
· 3 eggs
· 280 grams of Italian doppio zero flour (‘00’)
· extra ‘00’ flour for dusting
The doppio zero flour has been finely ground and retains only 50% of its original weight, it results in a strong and elastic flour and is thus most suitable for pasta.
* the filling
· 85 grams of grated butternut pumpkin (or any other of course)
· 145 grams of ricotta
· 30 grams of sour cream
· 30 grams of grated pecorino
· the zest of a half lemon
· 4 grams of salt
· 1,2 grams of grated nutmeg
* the sauce and garnish
· 100 grams of butter
· Parmigiano Reggiano (parmesan)
· olive oil
· 200 grams of chestnut mushrooms
*the pasta: step one
Pour the flour on your working space and make a well in the centre, crack the eggs in the middle.
Use a fork to gently beat the eggs and slowly but surely, start adding flour from the outside.
When done so, start using your hands to knead the dough. In the beginning it will stick at your fingers, but continue kneading until you obtain and soft elastic dough. This might take a while, 15 to 20 minutes, but we want to be sure the gluten develop completely.
Puff up the pasta and cover it in plastic foil to prevent it from drying, set it aside to rest and make the filling meanwhile.
Peel and grate the pumpkin until you obtain 85 grams, you could keep the rest to make a
lovely wintery soup for instance…
Add the ricotta, sour cream, grated pecorino, salt, pepper, grated nutmeg and lemon zests and blend it well to obtain a nice homogenous mixture.
When you make a stuffing for ravioli don’t be afraid to spice it up, the flavours will become milder when you cook the pasta.
Now you’ve made the filling you can get back to the pasta.
*the pasta: step two
Dust your kitchen counter with some of the ‘00’ flour and put your unwrapped pasta in the middle.
Start by flatten it with your hands to a big flat circular cookie.
Now roll out the dough with a rolling pin (il mattarello in Italian), Italians say you have to be able to read the newspaper through it. Make sure it is thin enough, try aiming for 1 mm, the raviolis will have a better result. If you use a pasta machine, thin down to the lowest number.
Cut the pasta in two and save one half to cover the raviolis. Now we get to the final step; making the ravioli.
Use two coffee spoons or a pouch and put little piles of filling (more or less 10 gr) on one of the two halves of pasta, leave about 1 to 2 cm space in between. Try to align them to get evenly sized ravioli.
Moisturize the pasta with water between the piles of filling using a brush.
Cover the ravioli with the other half of the pasta, start from one side and push the air out to prevent it from creating air pockets.
Dust the pasta with flower and cut the ravioli with a cutting wheel, if you use a regular knife, make sure to push on the pasta to firmly seal the ravioli. Nowadays a ravioli cutting wheel is easy to find in the shop and gives a more authentic look to the ravioli, it’s worth the investment…
Boil the ravioli in extra salted water for about 2 or 3 minutes, they are ready as soon as they float to the surface.
Cut the chestnut mushrooms in equal chunky parts.
Melt the lump of butter on a higher heat in a large pan and fry the mushrooms as soon as the butter starts to fizzle, then also add a couple of leafs of sage.
Use a skimmer to remove the ravioli from the boiling water and add them in the pan, don’t worry about the little water.
Agitate the pan in order to nicely butter the ravioli and poor it in a nice dish.
Grate some Parmigiano on top and finish with a good quality olive oil, a pinch of salt and freshly grinded pepper.
The fresh ravioli is ready to serve!