This past year I’ve been diving into making homemade pasta, and have been especially enjoying homemade ravioli! It does take extra time and effort in comparison to store bought ravioli, but the ability to customize the filling with whatever flavors and ingredients suit your fancy gives you endless possibilities! This recipe featured a ricotta-based filling, brightened with a hint of lemon.
Because the filling is rich, I chose to only dress the ravioli with a glug of extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper with bits of sausage and crispy sage leaves scattered on top for added flavor. Oh, and I couldn’t forgo a good handful of shaved parmigiano reggiano!
If you are generally pressed for time come dinner, I suggest making the ravioli the night before or on some Saturday afternoon free of plans, spreading it out with some flour on a baking sheet, popping it in the freezer for 20 minutes, then transferring them to a big ziplock bag! They’ll be tucked away in the freezer, ready to cook at a moment’s notice, and can be kept this way for a week. I like to make a double portion when I make ravioli, cooking half and freezing half in this way for another night.
LEMONY RICOTTA RAVIOLI WITH SAUSAGE AND FRIED SAGE
Makes two dinner portions or four small servings
For the pasta dough:
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 3 eggs
For the ravioli filling:
- 2 cups part skim ricotta
- 1/3 cup finely grated parmigiano reggiano
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Zest of one lemon
To toss with the ravioli:
- 1 lb ground Italian sausage
- 1 bunch sage
- Shaved parmigiano reggiano
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- A few lemon slices to garnish as well, if you’d like!
Prepare the pasta dough:
Measure the flour and pour into a bowl, then make a well in the middle for the eggs. Add the eggs, then use a fork to gently whisk them. Once whisked, gradually introduce flour to the whisked eggs with the fork while stirring. Once enough flour has been combined, set the fork aside, and knead until the dough comes together in a uniform ball. If the dough is dry, you may add 1/2 tablespoon of water at a time, until the dough is no longer dry but not yet sticky (if it’s sticky, you can add a bit more flour). Alternatively, use a food processor to combine the eggs and flour, adding the eggs one at a time, pulsing the machine until it forms into a ball. Knead the pasta dough on a floured surface for a few minutes, then cover with plastic wrap and rest the dough for 15 minutes or up to an hour.
After the dough has rested, divide the dough into four pieces. Using a pasta machine, feed a piece at a time through the roller set at the widest position, dusting generously with flour to help the dough not stick. Roll the dough thinner and thinner by adjusting the rollers to the next narrow setting each time. Keep going until the pasta is quite thin, to where you can just see your hand through it. Repeat with the rest of the dough, then place each sheet side by side on parchment paper.
Assemble the ravioli:
Mix all ingredients of the ravioli filling together in a mixing bowl. On each pasta sheet, place about a half tablespoon amount of filling an inch apart in a row, leaving enough space on the top half of the pasta sheet to fold over on top of the filling. Wetting your finger or a small pastry brush with some water, wet the edges of the pasta around each dollop of ricotta filling. Fold over the top half of the pasta sheet, pressing the air out near each spoonful of filling, and firmly pressing the two pieces of dough together so that it adheres. Cut the ravioli apart and set aside (I like using a pizza cutter).
Cook the pasta and prepare the toppings:
Fill a large pot with water, adding salt, and place over high heat so that it reaches a rolling boil.
While heating the water, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, adding the sage leaves once hot. Fry the sage until crispy, then set aside. In the same pan, cook the ground sausage, breaking up into small pieces.
When the water has reached a rolling boil, carefully add the ravioli, stirring so that none of the pasta sticks to the bottom of the pot. Boil until they rise to the top, giving them another minute or so once they’ve risen, then drain the water.
Spoon the pasta onto a serving dish, then cover with sausage, the fried sage leaves, a good amount of shaved parmigiano reggiano, and salt and pepper to taste. This is great served with a light salad and a warm baguette. Buon appetito!