Yield: 6 appetizer servings
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup finely shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
4 tablespoons unsalted butter cut in 9 to 12 slices
Notes: If you haven’t kneaded pasta before, look at a few videos or tutorials to proceed.
• A longer and skinnier wooden rolling pin, lightly floured as needed, worked best for this dough.
• The thickness of the dough determines the cooking time for these ravioli.
• If you don’t want to make fresh pasta, fresh sheet pasta is available pre-made at Midwest Pasta Co. and frozen at DiGregorio’s market. Follow the directions for filling, closing and cooking. These sheets will probably be thicker, requiring a longer cook time.
1. Place the flour in a mound on a clean surface that’s been lightly dusted with flour. Make a well in the center. It should look like a volcano — high and sloped on the sides, deep in the middle.
2. Break the 3 whole eggs into the well and whisk with a fork until well-mixed.
3. Using the fork, gently work the flour into the liquid. Continue until the dough becomes sticky and difficult to work with.
4. Lightly dust your hands with flour, then use them to form the rough dough into a ball.
5. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead the dough until it becomes smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Cover the dough with a bowl or a clean kitchen towel and let rest 10 to 15 minutes.
6. While the dough rests, stir together the three cheeses in a medium-sized mixing bowl until blended. Taste. Add salt if desired and add freshly ground pepper to taste. Set aside.
7. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Using a rolling pin dusted with flour, begin rolling out the dough, turning it as needed, to make a very thin sheet of dough approximately 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 approximately 15- to 18-inches by 6 inches. Cover one half with a dry towel while you set up the filling.
9. Divide the cheese filling into 6 equal portions. Space 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. Using your fingers, lightly wet the remaining dough with your fingers. This is to help seal the raviolo.
12. Carefully place the reserved sheet of dough over the cheese/yolk mounds. Press the top sheet of dough closely around the filling to seal the top sheet to the bottom sheet, removing as much air as possible between the filling and the dough. Removing the air is especially important.
13. Trim the filled dough with a pastry cutter or with a large biscuit or cookie cutter into 6 round ravioli.
14. Bring a 4-quart or 5-quart saucepan of salted water to 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. Preheat a stainless steel sauté pan or skillet over medium-high heat, add the butter and swirl it around the hot pan. Cook, swirling often, as the butter crackles and snaps. Remove from heat when the butter begins to smell nutty. It will be brown in color. Pour it into a heat-proof dish.
16. Carefully remove raviolo from water with a slotted spoon. Drain well, plate, and top with brown butter.
Per serving: 707 calories; 47g fat; 29g saturated fat; 398mg cholesterol; 23g protein; 44g carbohydrate; 3g sugar; 1g fiber; 388mg sodium; 401mg calcium