Photo by Eric Wolfingers

Make Cotogna's Star Dish, Raviolo di Ricotta, at Home

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Though the raviolo di ricotta is a signature dish at Michael Tusk's Cotogna, the dish was first introduced to the newly Michelin three-starred Quince.

Tusk developed the recipe 20 years ago after a trip to Bologna where he tasted a version of the traditional pasta. The dish is simply a large raviolo filled with ricotta and a runny egg-yolk and drizzled with brown butter, and Cotogna manages to sell 40-50 of these every day.



You can now make this delicious dish at home with the recipe below!


Raviolo di Ricotta Recipe

(Makes 12 ravioli)


Ingredients for egg yolk pasta dough

450 grams 00 flour (3.5 cups)

325 grams egg yolk (approximately 18 egg yolks)

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


Ingredients for ravioli filling

1200 grams (approximately 6 cups) of Bellwether (or comparable) ricotta (hung overnight in a cheesecloth, and drained).

1 Tablespoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper

1 dozen farm egg yolks (whites separated)

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 cup Grana Padano cheese, finely grated


Pasta Dough

1. Combine the kosher salt and the 00 flour.

2. On a large flat surface, form a well with the flour. Pour the egg yolks into the center of the well.

3. With a fork slowly stir in the flour little by little until it becomes too difficult to continue with a fork. At this point, begin using your hands to knead the dough and incorporate the remaining flour.

4. Continue to knead the dough for 5 minutes. When the dough is properly kneaded it will slowly bounce back into its shape when indented with your finger.

5. Tightly wrap the ball of dough with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 30 minutes.


Filling

1. In a mixing bowl, combine the drained ricotta with the kosher salt and pepper.

2. Divide and roll the ricotta into 12 even sized balls. Gently press the ball of ricotta so that it flattens out to be approximately 1 inch thick.

3. In the center of the flattened ball, create another divot with your thumb (or with an egg) approximately 1 inch in diameter. This is where the egg yolk will be placed.

Chef's note: Use a ring mold to measure ricotta for consistent size and weight. Prep a cookie sheet with parchment paper and a sprinkle of semolina flour to hold the ravioli in the refrigerator before you cook them.


Ravioli

1. Once the pasta dough has rested, sheet the dough using a pasta roller attachment to the desired thickness. On most pasta machines for home use, this is the 2nd or 3rd thinnest setting. Tender dough is key to this dish, so it must be thin enough to cook through the pasta but without overcooking the yolk.

2. Once the pasta dough is sheeted, using a knife, cut the dough into 6 inch by 6 inch squares.

3. For each raviolo, place one ricotta ball into the center of the pasta square. Then place one egg yolk into the center of the ricotta where you created the divot.

4. Using a squeeze bottle or your fingers, very lightly mist the edges of the pasta surrounding the ricotta with water. Carefully place another pasta square on top, gently pressing from the inside out to seal the two sheets of dough while eliminating any air bubbles. This may take some practice before it becomes easy.

Chef's notes: You may break a yolk, but that's no reason to throw out the raviolo. It will still taste good if you cook it. Make sure the raviolo are not touching each other when you place them on the pan to be refrigerated prior to cooking.


Cooking the Raviolo

1. To prepare the ravioli sauce, put the butter into a sauté pan over medium heat.

2. Gently stir the butter as it begins to melt. After a minute or two, the butter will begin to brown. At this stage, remove it from the heat.

3. Meanwhile, place the ravioli into a pot of boiling water for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, remove the ravioli from the boiling water with a strainer, making sure to allow all of the excess water to drip off of the pasta.

Chef's note: t's best to use a low sided pan (6 inches on side and18 inches across). Lay the ravioli yolk side up with a spatula flat in the water. Monitor so they do not flip over or touch each other.


To Serve

Place the pasta on plate, sprinkle with grana padano and generous spoonful of the browned butter. Serve immediately.

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