I Ravioli Arbëresh (Lucani) (Grazia’s version)


Instructions
 

  • Pour a pile of half cake flour, half-hard durum wheat flour (both very finely ground) onto a wooden surface—about a fist-size amount per person. Mix it up and make a well in the center, and add the same amount of water as flour. For every six servings, add two egg yolks. Stir it all together with a fork until the ingredients begin to come together; then start to knead, adding more cake flour if the mass is too wet. Knead for ten minutes. Wrap the ball in plastic wrap and let rest at least half an hour in the refrigerator.
  • While the dough rests, make the filling: In a large bowl, mix one cup of the best ricotta you can get. Add two egg yolks, 200 grams of cane sugar, and cinnamon to taste. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  • When you’re ready to make the ravioli, take the dough out of the fridge. Flour your work surface and, with a rolling pin, roll out the pasta so thin that you can see shadows through a sheet of it when held up to the light.
  • Grazia makes her ravioli as oyster shells, placing spoonfuls of the filling on half the pasta sheet, then folding down the top half over the filling. To seal the ravioli, turn a water glass upside down and press it around each bump. Err on the side of too little filling versus too much, as too much will cause them to open as they boil. Cut the circles out, using a little water on your fingertips to help seal them if necessary.
  • Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add the ravioli and boil until they begin to float. Cooking times will vary based on pasta thickness and amount of filling but should be around 5 minutes; cut into one to taste and determine doneness. Dress with a tomato-based ragù. Dust modestly with grated cheese. This pairs beautifully with a Southern Italian rosato.

This story appears in the print issue of June 2014.
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