This dish has been in the pipeline since the beginning of the year. The reason I wanted to prepare it is because I recognized it from Cook Like A Rock Star by Anne Burrell with Suzanne Lenzer while watching Worst Cooks in America. Chef Burrell used the dish in the final challenge and I wanted to re-affirm my skills as a home cook. I obviously got side tracked for a couple of months but it got moved up to a priority when Mrs. Stuntman was watching an Iron Chef America episode a couple of weeks ago and saw Chef Forgione re-imagine a carbonara dish as an egg yolk raviolo. The concept also appealed to me because I remember a carbonara dish I had a several years ago that was topped with a poached egg. It was extremely creative because the broken egg yolk made a perfect sauce for the dish.
Re-affirm my skills. Is one of the worst cooks in America better in the kitchen than me?
The recipe can be found on pages 116 to 117 of the book noted above, but Chef Burrell's adaptation she used on the show can be found here. I also used Chef Burrell's pasta dough recipe found on pages 102 to 104.
For the pasta dough:
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
4 large eggs
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons water
For the filling and sauce:
2 cups ricotta cheese
1 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, freshly grated
1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
2 large eggs
8 egg yolks
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
2 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup fresh sage, chopped
1. Make the pasta dough: On a clean, flat work surface, place the flour in a mound. Scoop a hole in the middle so that the pile of flour looks like a volcano. Ensure the hole (i.e. well) is large enough to hold the fluids. Separately, in a medium bowl, combine the eggs, egg yolk, olive oil, and water. Season with salt. Pour the egg mixture into the well. With a fork, slowly incorporate flour into the eggs but be mindful not to break the sides of the flour. When enough flour has been combined into the eggs so the mixture has thickened, combine the remaining flour using hands. Knead the dough until it's smooth and flexible, about 8 to 15 minutes. Once done, wrap it in plastic wrap and let it rest at room temperature for 1 hour, or if not using immediately, refrigerate but bring to room temperature before rolling.
2. Roll the dough: Once the dough has rested, unwrap the dough and cut in half. Rewrap one half for another use and cut the other half into two pieces. Rewrap the first piece, then flatten the second. Pass the dough through a pasta roller at the widest setting. Fold the dough into thirds and pass the dough through the roller at the widest setting a second time. Fold the dough into thirds a second time and pass the dough through at the widest setting a third time. Decrease the width by one notch and pass the dough through only once, then decrease the width by one notch again and repeat the process. If the dough becomes sticky or tacky, lightly dust it with flour in between passings.On my pasta roller, there are 6 settings and I went to the fifth setting. Unwrap the second piece of dough and repeat this process.
3. Prepare the ricotta filling: Combine the ricotta, Parmigiano, parsley, and 2 eggs in a medium bowl, then season with salt.
4. Make each ravioli: Dust a clean, flat surface with flour and lay out two sheets of pasta, each about 12 inches long, then brush each sheet lightly with water. Spoon 4 dollops of the ricotta mixture onto each sheet of pasta at about 1 inch intervals. Use the spoon to make a small well at the center of each dollop, then carefully place an egg yolk on each ricotta bed. Cover each pasta sheet with a second one of equal length. Using your finger, seal the pasta around each ricotta nest, then cut each raviolo separately using a fluted pastry cutter or dough roller. Each ravioli should be three to 4 inches in diameter. Reserve the ravioli on a flour dusted sheet pan.
5. Cook and finish the dish: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat, then melt half of the butter in a large skillet. Once the butter is melted, add half of the chicken stock, then season with half of the sage and salt. Bring the chicken stock to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Add half of the ravioli to the boiling water and cook until they float to the top, approximately 3 minutes. Transfer the ravioli to the chicken stock carefully and simmer for two to three minutes, adding some boiling pasta water to the sauce if it reduces too much. Remove each ravioli to a serving plate spooning each with some of the sauce and garnish with freshly grated Parmigiano. Repeat this process with the remaining ravioli, butter, sage, stock and Parm.
The one word I would use to describe this dish is sophisticated. The flavors, preparation and execution of the dish certainly were. I would definitely it this dish in the intermediate-to-advanced category, but my efforts were appreciated with Mrs. Stuntman noting that it was one of her favorites.