I keep lists of recipes that I plan to make, all separated into different folders. This is one recipe that I have been planning to make for over a year, but just never managed to get to it until recently. We are sort of stuck in the house right now between rising Covid numbers and freezing Michigan temperatures. Being housebound, we tend to cook more involved meals that often include homemade pasta, soups, stews, and bread.
My favorite pasta dish is presently Rigatoni Cacio e Pepe, which is simply a sauce of grated pecorino and cracked black pepper. I just can’t get enough of this pasta, and it is my go-to order when we frequent our favorite Italian restaurant SheWolf in Detroit. The filling for these ravioli is unique, combining grated pears, mascarpone cheese, and grated Pecorino cheese. The sauce of butter and cracked pepper, though, turns the dish into a rich, luxurious plate of delicate pasta that will elicit moans of satisfaction to anyone you serve it to. There are many variations of this pasta dish online, but I chose to use Lidia Bastianich’s version that she serves at her restaurant Felidia in Manhattan.
You can make your ravioli by hand or use ravioli forms, which is what I use. They are easy to use, inexpensive, and make ravioli preparation a very speedy process. I found that my filling was quite wet, so I placed it into a sieve over a bowl in my refrigerator to release excess liquid, which helped a lot. You can make these ravioli in the morning and then cook them and prepare the sauce in mere minutes before you plan to serve them. These ravioli freeze well also, so if you have extra, before cooking them place them spread out on a baking sheet in the freezer. Once frozen, place the ravioli in a freezer safe bag. To cook, place frozen ravioli in lightly salted boiling water.
Deborah Mele 2020
- 2 2/3 Cups All-purpose Flour
- Pinch of Salt
- 1 Teaspoon Olive Oil
- 4 Large Eggs At Room Temperature
- 1-2 Tablespoons Water
- 3/4 Pound Pecorino Cheese, Grated
- 3/4 Cup Mascarpone Cheese At Room Temperature
- 4 Bartlet Pears, Peeled, Cored, & Grated
- 12 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
- Freshly Cracked Black Pepper To Taste
- Grated Pecorino Cheese (Optional)
- To make the dough, place the flour and salt in a food processor.
- While the motor is running, drizzle in oil, eggs, and water and process just until dough comes together.
- Transfer to a lightly floured counter and knead by hand until dough is smooth and elastic.
- Wrap in plastic wrap and let rest 30 minutes to an hour.
- While the dough is resting, make the filling.
- In a large bowl, stir together the grated pears, mascarpone, and grated pecorino until blended.
- If mixture seems wet, place in a sieve over a bowl and refrigerate for one hour.
- To make the ravioli, divide the dough into 3 pieces.
- Lightly coat a baking sheet with semolina flour.
- Work with one ball at a time and keep other balls covered.
- Use machine or hand roll dough with a rolling pin to 1/8th of an inch thick. (I stop at #4 on my KitchenAide pasta roller)
- Either use a ravioli form, or make by hand by placing 1 1/2 tablespoons of filling into each ravioli in form. (Or if making by hand, place filling in two rows leaving 1 1/2 inches between each)
- Brush outer edges with water and cover with second sheet of pasta.
- Use rolling pin with ravioli form, or cut ravioli by hand and place on prepared baking sheet.
- Refrigerate until needed.
- When ready to serve, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.
- Cook the ravioli until "al dente", about 3 to 4 minutes.
- While ravioli is cooking, melt butter in a large skillet over medium high heat.
- Use a slotted spoon to transfer ravioli to the skillet along with a cup of the pasta water.
- Toss to combine along with a teaspoon of cracked black pepper. (Sauce should be thick and creamy)
- Transfer ravioli to a platter or individual bowls and sprinkle with additional pepper and grated pecorino cheese
Adapted from Lidia Bastianich's Pear & Cheese Ravioli
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 758Total Fat: 52gSaturated Fat: 31gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 244mgSodium: 899mgCarbohydrates: 49gFiber: 4gSugar: 10gProtein: 25g