For years I struggled with my ravioli. So many things would go wrong from faulty technique on pasta to a runny over salty filling. Then it all came together over a few months of unrelated culinary experiences.
First, I attended a class at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York, and learned the correct technique for pasta making. A month or so later I read an article and recipe on how to make fresh ricotta at home. I live in rural Nebraska - ricotta - mass produced is hard to find and not great (putting this nicely) - so I was eager to try at home. With huge success the first try - I started to think forward, what would I do with it (other than eat from the bowl with a spoon and scrap of crusty Italian loaf)?
RAVIOLI! All at once I had perfected my ravioli. A simple sauce to finish it off, something that complemented the flavor of the fresh ricotta. —jennanorth
Prepare pasta dough (mix and knead until smooth), let rest, covered, for 30 minutes before rolling out. Meanwhile, in a large pot, heat water over high heat for pasta. Roll out pasta using a pasta machine (I love my Atlas, but there are several machines on the market. Cut sheets about 12” long (most machines will roll it out about 4” wide).
In a bowl add ricotta, mozzarella, ½ cup parmesan, nutmeg, ¼ tsp. kosher salt, ½ tsp. fresh ground black pepper, and one egg (whisk the egg in a separate bowl before adding), mix very gently until just incorporated. Set aside.
In a small ramekin/bowl, whisk last egg and set aside. In a large sauté/skillet over medium low heat, add butter and begin to melt it. Once butter is melted, add sage leaves and cook over medium low heat. The butter will begin to foam slightly; the leaves will cook and begin to turn a darker green color. Do not burn the sage leaves or butter. It will be finished when butter is slightly brown and sage leaves slightly crisp.
While butter and sage is cooking, begin to make ravioli. Pasta dough should be covered when not in use or it will dry out. Layout half the sheets on a large counterpace. Using either two spoons or a small Tbl. scoop, place 1 heaping tablespoons of the cheese filling onto pasta, spacing about 2” between each (on either side). Most pasta is rolled out wide enough to accommodate 2 rows of ravioli on sheet.
Using a pastry brush, brush the egg wash around each of the mounds of cheese. Carefully place the second set of sheets of pasta on top, pressing down gently around the mounds – but not on top. Using either a knife or pasta cutter/crimper, cut down the middle then across the sheets to form the individual raviolis. You should be able to get 24-36 ravioli.
Once ready to assemble the dish, carefully add ravioli to boiling salted water. Cook for 2-3 minutes at most. Remove with a wide mesh spoon and add to sage butter. Toss to coat well. Season with black pepper. To plate, serve ravioli with the fried sage leaves, brown butter, and top with the remaining parmesan cheese.