I've been wanting to recreate that dish at home ever since that meal. When I saw a similar recipe in Mark Peel's newest cookbook, I knew I had to try it soon. It was the perfect recipe for my next cooking project with my friend Stephanie.
I was fairly intimidated by this dish at first. I mean, so many things could go wrong...you could break the yolk while assembling the raviolo, the pasta could bust during cooking, the yolk could get over-cooked...
But, what I discovered is that this is a pretty easy recipe to make! And it's simply stunning to look at. I ate two of these for dinner and made more for lunch the next day.
Giant Ravioli with Spinach, Ricotta, & Egg Yolk
10 ounces frozen spinach - thawed, squeezed of excess water, & chopped
1 pound fresh ricotta
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
juice of 1 lemon
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for sprinkling
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream
fresh pasta dough (recipe below)
12 large egg yolks
extra-virgin olive oil
- While the dough is resting, make the filling: In a large bowl, mix the ricotta, garlic, spinach, parsley, lemon juice, Parmesan and salt & pepper to taste. Fold in the cream a few tablespoons at a time to make the mixture soft and malleable (you may not need all the cream). The filling can be made ahead of time.
- Roll out the pasta into thin sheets, Cut 12 4 1/2-inch squares and 12 5-inch squares. Cover with a damp cloth while you make the ravioli. We rolled out a quarter of the pasta dough, through setting 6 on the pasta machine, then cut the long sheet of dough in half instead of cutting into squares.
- Working 2 or 3 squares at a time, spoon about 2 tablespoons of filling onto the middle of each 4 1/2-inch square. With the back of your spoon or fingers, make a depression in the middle of the mount. Carefully place an egg yolk in the depression and season with salt and pepper. Break & separate the eggs immediately before adding.
- Carefully, cover the yolk with another tablespoon of filling and spread it over without pressing down, so it joins the bottom mound of filling. Gently pinch the bottom and top layers of filling together to seal the egg yolk. We found that the easiest way to do this is to shape a tablespoon of the filling with your fingers into a flat disc that is big enough to cover the yolk.
- Brush the edges of the pasta squares with water. Place a 5-inch square over the top of each 4 1/2-inch square and gently pinch the edges together. Repeat until you have 12 squares. We added the filling to one half of each piece, folded the dough over the filling, sealed the edges with water, then cut with a pasta wheel to trim excess dough. Be sure to gently press out all the air before sealing & cutting, so that your ravioli doesn't float and/or break while cooking.
- At this point, you could store the ravioli in the refrigerator until you are ready to cook them.
- Bring a large pot of water to a simmer & add a generous tablespoon of salt. Add the giant ravioli & cook for 5 minutes, until the pasta is al dente. Be careful to not allow the water to reach a rolling boil or the ravioli may fall apart. Remove with a skimmer and place 1 or 2 in a deep soup plate.
- Drizzle with olive oil & sprinkle with Parmesan and freshly ground pepper. Serve immediately.