Stuffed pasta lends itself to so many options it really is a dish you could make on a daily basis and never tire of it. When I am dining out, if I see there is a unique stuffed pasta on the menu made in house, I often order it so I can get some new ideas to try at home. This pasta is one I enjoyed in Umbria many months ago but just never took the opportunity to try making it myself at home until recently.
The pasta itself are ravioli; soft square pillows of pasta that are stuffed with a mixture of radicchio lettuce, onions, and creamy cheese. If you aren’t familiar with radicchio, it has a bitter flavor that is delicious both raw and cooked. I used robiola cheese which is a very mild, creamy cheese that goes amazingly well with the radicchio.
Since the filling of this pasta is quite subtle and delicate, I simply used a brown butter mixture to sauce the pasta. The one tip I’d share when making this pasta is to ensure the filling has had as much of the liquid removed as possible to ensure the ravioli does not get soggy.
I used a ravioli form to make my pasta which is a handy gadget shown below that creates perfect sized ravioli very easily and can be bought for about $20 at most kitchen supply stores.
- 2 Cups All-purpose Flour Plus Additional For Rolling
- Pinch of Salt
- 3 Large Eggs, Plus One Additional Egg Yolk
- 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Head Radicchio
- 1 Small Onion, Peeled
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- Salt & Pepper
- 5 Ounces Robiola Cheese (Or Other Creamy, Mild Cheese) Cut Into 1/2 Inch Dice
- 4 Ounces Unsalted Butter
- 1 Medium Shallot, Peeled & Finely Diced
- 1/2 Cup Pine Nuts
- 6 Fresh Parsley Leaves, Cut Into Fine Slivers
- Cracked Black Pepper
- Grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano Cheese
- To make the pasta, mound your flour on a large pastry board, or the counter, and make a well in the center.
- Break the eggs, egg yolk, salt, and olive oil into this well, and start to scramble each egg with a fork as it is being added.
- Start to incorporate the eggs and flour by slowly bringing more flour in from the inside edges of the well.
- Continue adding the flour to the eggs until they are no longer runny.
- Using your hands now, bring the outside edges in, forming a large mass on your board.
- Use only the amount of flour needed to form a soft ball.
- Begin to knead the ball of dough as you would bread, pushing it down with the heel of your hand, and continue kneading until the dough is smooth and satiny, for about 5 minutes.
- Wrap the prepared dough in plastic wrap, and let it sit for about 30 minutes.
- Use a pasta roller or roll by hand to make long sheets of pasta 1/4 inch thick.
- I use my Kitchen Aide table mixer with the pasta attachment and roll my past to the third last position. After rolling, cut into 12 inch long strips.
- While the pasta is resting, begin to prepare the filling.
- Remove the core from the head of radicchio, and thinly slice both the lettuce and the onion.
- In a large pan, heat the olive oil, and then add the onion and radicchio.
- Stirring often, cook over medium heat until the mixture has softened.
- Reduce the heat to very low, and cover the pan and cook for another 10 minutes or so until the mixture is very soft.
- Season with salt and pepper and place in a colander to drain and cool.
- Place one strip of pasta over the ravioli frame and then put a teaspoonful of the radicchio into each opening.
- Add a piece of diced cheese to each and then brush edges of the dough with water.
- Place another sheet of pasta on top of the form, pressing gently with your fingers to remove excess air.
- Use a rolling pin to seal the two sheets of pasta together, then gently turn the ravioli form over to release the ravioli.
- Place the prepared ravioli on a baking sheet dusted with fine cornmeal.
- Continue to prepare the remaining ravioli in the same manner, and place the baking sheet in the refrigerator until ready to cook.
- Heat a large pot of salted water to boil.
- While the water is coming to a boil, heat the butter over medium heat with the shallots and pine nuts until the shallots are soft, and the butter is beginning to brown.
- Add the sage, mix and keep warm over low heat.
- Once the water is boiling, drop in the pasta and cook until "al dente". (The timing depends on how long the ravioli was left to rest but generally is only a few minutes.)
- Once cooked, drain the pasta and toss with the butter mixture.
- Serve in individual bowls, offering cracked black pepper and grated cheese at the table.