Ravioli is one of the most popular dishes at America’s best Italian restaurants, and for good reason. Soft pillows of pasta brimming with a cheese- or meat-based filling are hard to beat. But if you want to make this specialty in the comfort of your own home, it’s a little bit more complicated than you might think, even if you already know all the tricks to cooking pasta perfectly.
“It’s important to have a very strong but at the same time a very light and elastic dough,” said Rome-born chef Antonio Morichini of Via Vai out of Queens, New York. “The pasta has to be very thin.”
Many popular fresh pasta recipes, like this one from America’s Test Kitchen, call for whole eggs and flour. In order to ensure that his ravioli are soft and elastic, however, Morichini uses only egg yolks and no whites, powder-fine “00” flour and a small amount of oil. After making his dough and letting it rest for an hour, he runs it through a pasta machine, starting at the highest setting and gradually reducing the thickness until it’s at “almost zero.” He fills it with a mixture of ricotta, Parmesan or grana Padano, and nutmeg “to give aroma.” After letting it boil for just a few minutes, he serves it with a simple sauce of butter, pasta water and sage and garnishes with a sprinkle of Parmesan.
If you want to try making this recipe for yourself, even if you don’t have a pasta machine at home, you can find Morichini’s recipe here. Before you know it, you’ll be making fresh pasta that’s as good as America’s best restaurant pasta dishes.