Once in awhile, you find yourself in the mood for what we like to call “project cooking”: a complex, multi-stepped recipe with astounding results. This spring raviolo recipe, which Chef Ian Newman shared with us during his time in the Pennsylvania Kitchen, is a perfect example. Yes, it’s ambitious: a five-part recipe, including making pasta dough from scratch and assembling each raviolo by hand. But, learning how to make pasta is a meditative, intensely rewarding experience; why not set aside part of an afternoon to give it a try? Then, the rest of the recipe is actually pretty easy: a lemon-y mascarpone filling topped with a local egg yolk (we like Sauder’s Eggs from Lititz, PA), some simple local spring veggies, and a careful but simple-enough assembly and composition on the plate. Your efforts will pay off when you present a truly gorgeous, restaurant-worthy dish to your family or guests!
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00 Flour is a specialty Italian flour used for making pasta and pizza dough. It is milled more finely than all-purpose flour, resulting in a silky-but-chewy texture. You can find 00 Flour in specialty shops or online.
- 1 1/2 cups 00 Flour
- 1/4 cup semolina flour
- 12 egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon milk
- Salt, to taste
- Make a well of flour on a sturdy surface. (Like a volcano with a very large opening.)
- Fill the opening with the egg yolks, milk, oil and salt.
- Slowly begin incorporating the yolks and the flour. Once the egg and flour mixture becomes too thick to use a fork, mix the dough together with your hands.
- Knead the dough until it is smooth and supple, cover with plastic wrap and allow it to rest for at least 30 minutes.
- 2 packages of mascarpone cheese, 8 ounces each, at room temperature
- Zest of 2 lemons
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Mix all ingredients together in a small mixing bowl. Taste and adjust seasoning. It should be creamy, well-seasoned, and bright with lemon, without being sharp or acidic. You should feel lemon, but not taste juice.
- Place mixture into a piping bag.
There aren’t exact measurements for the vegetables; feel free to use as little or as much as you like, or to sub in other vegetables of your choosing.
- Asparagus tips
- Asparagus spears (oblique cut)
- Fava beans
- Royal trumpet mushroom
- Local pea shoots (we like Village Crest Farm)
- Cut and trim the asparagus as desired and blanch them in rolling salted water for 30 seconds then immediately shock in ice water.
- Remove the fava beans from their shells and set aside.
- Cut the mushrooms in half, mark them with a knife in a cross-hash pattern, season and sear them on the cut side, then saute until tender.
Assembling the Ravioli
- Prepared pasta dough
- Lemon mascarpone filling
- Egg yolks from local eggs (1 per raviolo)
- 1 tablespoon water or egg whites (for sealing ravioli)
- Roll a piece of the pasta out to the desired thickness (thinner is preferable).
- Cut out large rounds of the finished pasta dough. They should be large enough to hold the filling and the egg yolk.
- Line up dough rounds next to one another, top and bottoms should be side by side. Pipe some filling onto each of the bottoms; the size should be larger than a half dollar, but smaller than the rim of the pasta.
- With a teaspoon, hollow out a home for the egg yolks to rest in. Place 1 egg yolk on each of the prepared mascarpone thrones.
- Either spray water from an atomizer, or brush with egg whites or water to use as an adhesive, around the outer rim of the bottom pasta round.
- Place the top pasta sheet over the bottom and carefully work your way around to seal the ravioli. Place on a floured surface until ready to serve.
Assembling the Finished Dish
The finishing touches of prosciutto and caviar are totally optional, if you would like to keep the dish vegetarian, or a bit more budget-friendly.
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 wedge of fresh lemon
- Prepared ravioli
- Prepared spring vegetables
- Local prosciutto, to taste (optional)
- Caviar, to taste (optional)
- Prepare a pot of salted boiling water for the pasta.
- Take a few ounces of pasta water and start the sauce, add unsalted butter and swirl the pan until the butter and water are emulsified, a few drops of lemon juice in the water are a good aid in the emulsification process.
- Season and taste the emulsion. Set aside until pasta is cooked.
- Add the blanched vegetables and sauteed mushrooms to the sautee pan with the sauce in it to begin warming up.
- Swirl the water in the pasta pot. And carefully add the ravioli, one at a time to the pot. Cook the ravioli for 3-4 minutes, or until they float for a little while.
- Carefully remove the ravioli from the water and place it in the pan with the sauce. Return sauce pan to the heat and baste the ravioli with the sauce and vegetables until everything is warm.
- Arrange nicely on a plate. Finish with the fresh pea shoots, prosciutto and a bit of caviar on the center of each raviolo and some extra-virgin olive oil.
- Recipe: Chef Ian Newman
- Photo: Dish Works