This egg raviolo was inspired by the Uovo in Raviolo ‘San Domenico’, a dish I had at Davanti Enoteca in San Diego’s Little Italy last weekend. The raviolo, which I learned from the friendly waitress is the singular form of ravioli, was filled with an egg yolk lying on a bed of ricotta and spinach. As I broke into the raviolo for a bite, the runny egg yolk oozed all over the pasta and melded with the brown butter to form a luxurious sauce. It was a simple dish, but the creamy and silky texture of the egg mixed with the ricotta, butter, and sage was exquisite. I knew I had to replicate this stunning dish at home.
Yesterday, I devoted some time to figuring out how to make the raviolo for myself. I enjoy sharing my food discoveries and creations with other food lovers so we invited our Aunt Janet over for dinner. She’s a wonderful cook and loves to try new things so I knew she would be game for this experiment. Since I’d never made these before and I was serving it to a dinner guest, I had to make a test run beforehand. I made some fresh pasta dough and for the filling, simply combined some ricotta cheese and some store bought pesto sauce to form a nest to hold the egg yolk. The raviolo only needed a couple of minutes to cook in boiling salted water and then I tossed it into a brown butter and sage sauce with a healthy sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.
Success!!! My version came very close to the one I had at the restaurant. I love it when I succeed in recreating a restaurant dish that I really like, especially when it costs a lot less than what the restaurant charges. The egg yolk was so silky and good combined with the nutty brown butter sauce and Parmesan cheese. This raviolo, while easy to make, does take a little bit of time.
Since I was serving this for dinner, I wanted to “fancy” it up a bit more so I used some green-colored pasta to make the ravioli. I thought it would be a nice color contrast once the yellow-orange egg yolk seeped out. In addition, I added some asparagus spears and dollops of pesto to the brown butter and sage sauce. I have to tell you that the dish was a huge hit! It was an elegant dish presented in a beautiful and unique way. It makes a perfect first course.
Today, since I had leftover pasta dough, filling, and asparagus, I decided to make another raviolo for lunch, with one addition….pancetta, Italian bacon! It’s a new way of enjoying bacon and eggs. Why didn’t I think of this for last night’s dinner?
I didn’t really follow a recipe, per se, and I apologize for imprecise measurements, so improvise and have fun making your own.
Note: The raviolo contains an undercooked egg. Please see raw egg warning below.
Yields 2 servings
fresh pasta, large enough to cut four 4-inch squares (click links for a pasta recipe from Tyler Florence or from Allrecipes.com )
3 tablespoon ricotta cheese
2 tablespoon pesto sauce, homemade or store-bought
2 egg yolks*
salt and pepper
2-3 tablespoons unsalted butter
fresh sage leaves
6 asparagus spears
extra virgin olive oil, as needed
pesto sauce, as needed for sauce
parmesan cheese, as needed for garnish
2 tablespoons diced pancetta, cooked until crispy
Roll out dough using a pasta machine until very thin. (On my old Imperia hand crank machine, I rolled it out to the next to last setting for thin, yet slightly firm dough to hold the egg yolk more securely.) Cut four 4-inch squares of pasta dough. Set aside.
To make the filling, combine ricotta cheese and pesto sauce. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if needed. Set aside.
To assemble the ravioli, place a mound of filling on each of two pasta squares. Make a crater in the top of each mound and place an egg yolk into each crater, being careful not to break the egg yolks. Using a pastry brush, brush the exposed edges of the pasta around the egg yolk/filling mixture with a little water. Gently cover the filling of each raviolo with the remaining two pasta squares, pressing down around the edges to seal the sheets of pasta together. Center a 3-1/2″ round cutter around the filling of each raviolo and press down to cut away the extra pasta dough. Use a spatula to transfer the ravioli to a lightly floured sheet pan until ready to cook.
Trim asparagus spears and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast until browned and spears are tender, about 7-10 minutes. Turn spears over, if needed. Keep warm.
Melt butter in a sauté pan and cook on medium-high heat until the butter is browned. Add sage leaves and turn heat to low.
Gently place the ravioli in salted boiling water and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, at most. Do not overcook the ravioli or the egg yolk will set. Remove the ravioli with a slotted spoon and place each one on its own plate. Arrange 3 asparagus spears on the plate. Spoon the warm brown butter and sage sauce over the raviolo and asparagus. Spoon pesto sauce around the raviolo and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Top with crispy diced pancetta.
*RAW EGG WARNING
Use caution in consuming raw and lightly cooked eggs due to the slight risk of salmonella or other food-borne illness. To reduce this risk, use only fresh, properly refrigerated, clean grade A or AA eggs with intact shells, and avoid contact between the yolks or whites and the shell.
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