When San Domenico restaurant was still on New York City’s Central Park South, I ordered its signature dish – a plate-sized, single raviolo filled with ricotta cheese and a egg yolk that oozed decadently onto your plate when you broke through the pasta. Combine that with a parmesan cheese and sage sauce and you’ve got a celestial forkful of goodness. The only thing that could elevate it to truly divine status would be a shaving of truffles on top. I’ve been thinking about that dish ever since I first ate it years ago and wanting to recreate it at home. This was the year I finally did, for our Thanksgiving first course. It was just as special as I remembered it. Although my pocketbook didn’t allow for the truffle indulgence, this dish still has such a wonderful taste and mouth feel, that you won’t miss it. I urge you to try it for your next special event. It’s a bit tricky to make in large quantities, only because of the size of the pots needed, so I caution you to make this only when your group is eight or less.
I started out by making some fresh pasta, but if you want to take the easy route, buy some fresh pasta sheets. A few pasta makers, like Rana, for instance, sell fresh pasta sheets for lasagna, and they’d work just fine. If they’re a little on the thick side, just roll them thinner with a rolling pin.
After rolling out the dough, I cut out disks using a plastic container from the deli as a guide. It was about four inches in diameter. This pasta recipe makes enough for about sixteen of these disks, which is what you’ll need for eight servings.
Just work with a third of the dough at a time, leaving the rest covered under a bowl or in plastic wrap so it doesn’t dry out.
Top it with a mixture of ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese and spinach (or in my case, wild broccoli rape I foraged and froze.) I forgot to add an egg to the ricotta mixture itself and it was fine, but I might try adding it the next time I make this. Create a little “nest” with the ricotta mixture and drop in a medium size egg yolk.
Wet the outside edge with some water and place another disk of pasta on top, securing all around the edge with the tines of a fork.
Drop the disks in a pot of boiling water only long enough to cook to the “al dente” stage. This could take as little as two to three minutes.You don’t want to cook it so much that the egg yolk hardens. Then, remove the disks from the water, and in another large, shallow pan, add butter, some of the pasta water and sage. Sprinkle heavily with freshly ground black pepper.
Place each raviolo in individual pasta bowls and sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan cheese and some of the sauce from the pan.
A lovely and delicious surprise is waiting for you when you cut into it.
Here comes the sun! This might seem like a difficult dish to make, but it’s not. The important thing is to use quality fresh ingredients and not to prepare too far ahead of time. I assembled these about one hour before cooking them. I wouldn’t do it more than two or three hours ahead of time, because I’d be afraid that the dough would absorb too much of the liquid from the ricotta mixture, even though I’d drained it overnight.
Here’s a little video of me assembling the ravioli. I hope it inspires you to try it at home.
Big Fat Raviolo
printable recipe here
dough (enough to make eight large ravioli or sixteen disks)
3/4 cup semolina flour (I used a mixture of semolina flour and Italian “double zero” flour, which makes for a more “toothy” dough, but next time I might use all “double zero” flour, or unbleached white flour for a “softer bite,” since I was concerned that the egg yolk would harden in the time it took to cook the pasta through. It didn’t, but using a softer flour would insure a quicker cooking time for the pasta.)
3/4 cup unbleached white flour
2 large eggs
Place most of the semolina and regular flour into a food processor bowl. Keep about 1/4 cup of the flour or semolina aside. Add the eggs, then pulse the ingredients until a ball starts to form. Add more flour or semolina if it seems too sticky. Put on a board and knead, adding more flour as needed. Let it rest under a bowl, or covered with plastic wrap, for at least a half hour. Work the dough through a pasta machine per instructions with the machine. Make sure to flour the dough as you make each pass through the rollers, so it won’t stick.
Cut out the disks using a small plate, or a plastic deli container as a pattern.
2 cups ricotta cheese, drained overnight
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 large egg
a grating of fresh nutmeg
1 cup of chopped spinach, squeezed really dry (I used foraged broccoli rape but not everyone has that option)
8 medium size eggs
Mix the ingredients together with a spoon. Place some of the filling on each of the disks, and create a little “nest” by indenting the center of the ricotta filling. With the medium eggs, separate the yolks from the whites and save the whites for another recipe. Drop a yolk into the center of each ricotta “nest” then wet the rim of the pasta disk with water. Place another pasta disk on top and pressing gently from the center, seal the edges with your fingers. Use the tines of a fork to seal the edges of the disk a little more securely.
8 T. butter
fresh sage leaves (at least eight to 12, depending on size)
freshly cracked black pepper
parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top
Boil the ravioli in a pot of water for about two to four minutes. A lot will depend on the type of flour you used and the thickness of your raviolo. In a separate large pan, melt the butter over low heat. Add the sage, then remove each cooked raviolo from the pasta pot and add to the butter sauce. Add water from the pasta pot to keep the ravioli from sticking and to create a slight “sauce.” Serve each raviolo in a single bowl, topped with parmesan cheese and a sage leaf that’s been cooking in the sauce.
Fabulous! I love that runny yolk…
Confession: I have never made homemade pasta. I know, you are shocked. I don't have the room in my kitchen. I am doing it, pronto!
I love the runny yolk too!
Beautiful, really what a wonderful recipe! And love the video for the extra help…
I have had that dish at San Domenico, and it is truly fabulous! Thanks for posting the recipe!
I'm inspired, I'm truely inspired, can't wait to try this!
Fantastic idea! I need to try this with some fresh swiss chard filling that I just made. Love the egg yolk oozing out!
che piacere sentire di nuovo la tua voce Linda ! Il tuo raviolone è perfetto per il prossimo Natale, un abbraccio !
What is it about a runny yolk that makes you instantly hungry and happy? This is a must-do for one of our carb nights. My favorite way to dress ravioli is indeed butter and sage. One big fat raviolo is coming to my kitchen soon.
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Such beautiful ravioli, Linda! Thanks for including the step-by-step photos ~ really helpful. I had a giant raviolo a few years ago at Valle Scannese, Gregorio Rotolo's place outside of Scanno. It was plate-sized (half-moon shaped), filled with fresh sheep's milk ricotta from his farm and dressed with simple tomato sauce. I recreated it at home and put it in Glorious Pasta (unfortunately there's no photo of the recipe in the book). We went back a few years later but it wasn't on the menu that day. I'd love to try your version with the egg yolk, which I imagine makes it all the richer and impressive. Hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving!
What a beautiful and elegant dish. I bet your guests were thrilled. I can just imagine the richness the yolk imparts. This is such a wonderful post. Your step by step photo essay is really informative, giving all the info needed to recreate your dish, and the video just rocks. I love it all! Complimenti!
Looks so fantastic! Absolutely delicious! I have to try it. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe.
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I have always wanted to make these. Yours look amazing.
I saw you making this amazing raviolo on the video on facebook and I was so impressed! I will definitely try making it one day. I wonder if a little splash of truffle oil on top would give you the tastes you desired? I am so jealous you can forage for wild broccoli rape in your area!
I've made one of these. It is such a delight to see the guests beam when served something so beautiful. GREG
Oh my goodness, Linda, this beautiful recipe had my mouth watering at the first picture. I love the addition of the egg and how it creates it's own bit of sauce for the ravioli.
I absolutely love this and I am going to have to try it. An egg yolk in pasta is my kind of meal!
Gotta try this! It looks so elegant, and yet I have tot think it's actually easier to make than your standard raviolo…
This is amazing. Never thought of something like this. I like it very much. Probably I will try to add some chopped onion and garlic in the filling, I like onion in ravioli. 🙂
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