Thursday, May 6, 2010

Near and Far: Ricotta and Truffle-Butter Ravioli

The Setting: A beautiful South Florida day

The Soundtrack: John Mayer, Room for Squares

On the Stovetop: Ricotta and Truffle Butter Ravioli

The Scenario: Testing 3 products in one sure-to-be-orgasm-inducing recipe: Locally-produced fresh ricotta (from Mozzarita of Pompano, FL), imported Parmigiano-Reggiano (the real deal, made from milk sourced from a single farm in Italy), and Terroirs d' Antan Black Winter Truffle Butter (a domestic product that features imported truffles and French butter).

For Pasta Dough:
6 oz all-purpose flour
4 oz (about 2 large) eggs
pinch salt

Combine dough ingredients either with your hands in a bowl or over your kitchen counter, or with the dough-hook attachment of an electric stand mixer on medium speed. Knead till smooth and elastic, about 15 minutes by hand or 10 minutes with mixer. Let dough rest 15-20 minutes, covered, to relax the gluten.
Short on time? Try using wonton wrappers instead of making your own pasta dough.

For Filling:
6 oz Mozzarita Fresh Ricotta from Pompano, FL
3 oz (1 tub) Terroirs d' Antan Black Winter Truffle Butter, softened at room temperature
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 freshly cracked black pepper
1 T fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley, very finely minced
1/4 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1 egg, lightly beaten

Use a spoon or fork to combine all filling ingredients except for the egg in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate till ready to use.

Roll out pasta dough into two 10x16-inch rectangles. If the dough is too resistant to being rolled out, roll a little, cover and rest a few minutes, and continue. Repeat if necessary.

Drop filling by teaspoons, 2-inches apart in rows and columns on one sheet of pasta. Dip your finger in the egg, and lightly trace the rows and columns, re-wetting your finger with the egg as necessary. Top with remaining sheet of pasta, and trace the rows and columns again with a clean finger, pressing gently to seal. Use a pizza cutter or ravioli wheel to cut the ravioli into squares.

For Cooking and Topping:
2 T extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/4 cup water
2-oz chunk Parmigiano-Reggiano, pulsed in food processor till roughly the size of lentils
Freshly cracked black pepper and fresh, flat-leaf Italian parsley, very finely minced (as desired)

Add water and half of oil to a large saute pan over med-high heat. When water begins to boil, add ravioli. Once water has completely evaporated, allow ravioli to saute 1-2 minutes, then remove from heat and add remaining oil and garnishes.


Notes: The hardest part of this recipe by far is rolling out the dough so that it is thin enough not to be gummy when cooked, but sturdy enough to contain the filling. But that's OK because I have a feeling I'll be making this dish frequently enough to perfect my rolling skills in no time. Soooo good!!

This local ricotta is so tasty and fresh, I'd love to try making a cheesecake with it. The truffle butter would be amazing incorporated into mac'n'cheese or mashed potatoes.

If you have leftover ravioli filling, try spreading it on a slice of toasted homemade bread and topping it with an over-easy egg and any leftover parmigiano. Totally the new breakfast of champions.