Raviolo al Uovo with Brown Butter

Chef Karista Bennett @ VRAI Magazine

by Chef Karista Bennett

I know, you might think I sound a little crazy when I tell you I adore the shorter, dimly lit days. After a season of very long and sunny days that keep us busy hiking, biking, exploring, grilling and all the wonderful things the sunny season brings, this little respite is quite lovely.

A little drizzle, a little overcast (or a lot), cooler temperatures and more time to create delicious food in my kitchen – like this gorgeous Raviolo al Uovo I’m sharing today.

It’s also a season when I break out the battery-powered candles. And a few wicked candles as well. I have to tell you, when my sister-in-law turned me onto flameless candles, it was like Christmas happening twice in one year.

Flameless Candles to light the holiday season.

Flameless candles are so perfect for our winter days here in the Pacific Northwest. I realize I must be one of the last people to catch on to this flameless candle idea. I’m sure they’ve been around forever… but you know, I’m “that gal” that’s always late to the party.

Hygge Light 1If you come to my house on a dimly lit winter day, you’ll find warm lights twinkling in various spaces, creating a cozy feeling of warmth and peace. Or at least that’s my intention. I’ve always gravitated to “warm and cozy” and when my two sassy gals were little, I worked tirelessly to be sure they always felt warm and cozy when they were home. A place to breathe deeply, leaving the concerns of the day at the door and a place where love and peace abound.

This warm and inviting feeling actually has a name. The Danish call it Hygge (hoo-gah). My dear friend Maria of Pink Patisserie is Norwegian. She tells me Hygge means creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life. The warm glow of candlelight, friends and family gathering around a table of food discussing the little things and the big things… this can be translated as Hygge.

I love the idea of gathering around a table of food, enjoying this cozy and warm feeling of Hygge. And what better way to enjoy this moment than with this decadent Raviolo al Uovo.

Pasta sheets cut into squares, filled with a well of spinach, ricotta, garlic and herbs and one small egg yolk. Gently poached and then served with the most lush brown butter and fresh Italian parsley. Love on a plate.

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Raviolo al Uovo is one of those special dishes I like to prepare for a small special occasion, a quiet dinner in or a wintery Saturday evening at home when we have the time to linger around the table enjoying the raviolo and sipping our favorite red wine.

Raviolo al Uovo may look a little intimidating to prepare, but it’s actually quite easy. Cooking Tip: The key is to take your time and use a gentle hand while making them. It took me several tries to make them without breaking the egg yolk. So if this is your first try, be sure to have an extra dozen eggs on hand. Just in case.

I like using small to medium eggs and on occasion, I can find quail eggs. Those are perfect for smaller Raviolo.

Raviolo al Uovo is one of those special dishes I like to prepare for a small special occasion, a quiet dinner in or a wintery Saturday evening at home when we have the time to linger around the table enjoying the raviolo and sipping our favorite red wine.
Sometimes I make the pasta, sometimes I don’t. I feel lucky I can find fresh pasta (or lasagna) sheets at one of our markets in town. They are dusted with a little finely ground cornmeal, so I brush them with a little water so they’re easier to work with and will stick together. This recipe also works with gluten free pasta sheets.

This is one of those recipes that should to be served as soon as it’s finished cooking. I typically prep the spinach ricotta, make the pasta or cut out the squares, get the water boiling and then set the table and pour the wine. I make the brown butter and then set it aside. Mise en place is definitely helpful with this recipe.

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Once I’ve put the Raviolo al Uovo together, I drop them in the gently simmering water one at a time. I place two on each plate and serve with a drizzle of the brown butter and chopped fresh Italian parsley. Sometimes setting out finely shredded pecorino and Romano cheese for a little extra indulgence.

You can also serve these with your favorite marinara or tomato sauce. I just happen to adore brown butter. A white wine béchamel might also be lovely.

However you adorn your Raviolo al Uovo your guests will be impressed – a special dish for a very special time of the year.

Happiest of Holidays!

Karista

Raviolo al Uovo with Brown Butter
 
Author:
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: Serves 2 - 4
Ingredients
  • For the Pasta (or if you can find fresh pasta sheets that works well also)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus a little more for dusting
  • 4 eggs
  • Pinch of salt
  • For the raviolo filling
  • 1 ½ cups ricotta cheese, drained
  • ½ cup cooked spinach, drained, squeezed and chopped
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • ½ teaspoon dried Italian herbs
  • One squeeze of lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4-8 medium eggs
  • For the Brown Butter
  • ½ cup salted sweet cream butter, diced
  • Garnish
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • Finely shredded pecorino or Romano cheese (optional)
Instructions
  1. To prepare the pasta
  2. On a large, clean work surface, pour flour in a mound. Make a well in the center about 4 inches wide. Pour whole eggs, egg yolks, and salt into well and, using a fork, beat thoroughly. When combined, gradually incorporate flour into the eggs until a wet, sticky dough has formed.
  3. Using a bench knife, scrape excess dough from fork and fingers. Begin to fold additional flour into the dough with the bench knife, turning the dough roughly 45 degrees each time, until dough feels firm and dry, and can form a craggy-looking ball, 2 to 5 minutes.
  4. Press the heel of your hand into the ball of dough, pushing forward and down. Rotate the ball 45 degrees and repeat. Continue until dough develops a smooth, elastic texture similar to a firm ball of Play-Doh. If dough feels too wet, add flour in 1 teaspoon increments. If dough feels too dry, add water slowly using a spray bottle.
  5. Wrap ball of dough tightly in plastic wrap and rest on countertop for 30 minutes.
  6. To Roll the Pasta: Meanwhile, place a sheet of parchment paper on a tray or cutting board and dust lightly with flour. Unwrap rested dough and cut into quarters. Set one quarter on work surface and re-wrap remaining dough. With a rolling pin, flatten the quarter of dough into an oblong shape about ½ inch thick.
  7. Set pasta maker to widest setting and pass dough 3 times through the machine at this setting.
  8. Place dough on a lightly floured work surface. Fold both ends in so that they meet at the center of the dough, and then fold the dough in half where the end points meet, trying not to incorporate too much air into the folds. Using rolling pin, flatten dough to ½-inch thick. Pass through the rollers 3 additional times.
  9. Narrow the setting by 1 notch and repeat step 8. Repeat once more (the dough should now have passed through the third widest setting). Continue passing the dough through the rollers, reducing the thickness by 1 setting each time until it reaches the desired thickness. It should now be very delicate and elastic to the touch, and slightly translucent.
  10. Place rolled dough onto a work surface or baking sheet lightly dusted with flour or lined with parchment paper, folding the dough over as necessary so that it fits; sprinkle with flour or line with parchment between folds to prevent sticking.
  11. Cover dough with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel to prevent drying, then repeat Steps 6 through 10 with remaining dough quarters. If making noodles, cut dough into 12- to 14-inch segments.
  12. To prepare the Raviolo
  13. Begin by cutting 4-8 six-inch squares from the fresh pasta sheets, or larger squares if you use larger eggs. I like to have plenty of pasta to work with and then I cut off any extra.
  14. In a food processor pulse together the spinach, garlic, ricotta cheese and Italian herbs until nicely combined. Add a squeeze of lemon and season to taste with salt and pepper. This mixture should be firm.
  15. Place half the pasta squares on a work surface and add a tablespoon or so of spinach ricotta to the center of each square, making a deep well in the center. Carefully crack the egg, separating the yolk from the egg white and then gently drop the egg yolk into the center of the well. The sides of the well should be high enough to hold the egg.
  16. Repeat for each pasta square. When finished, top each Raviolo al Uovo with a pasta square and pinch all sides with a fork or ravioli crimper/cutter to seal.
  17. Now that you’ve made your raviolo, heat the water and make the brown butter.
  18. Place a medium pot of water over high heat and bring to a boil. Once it begins to boil turn it down to a low simmer. Let it simmer while you prepare your ravioli.
  19. To make the brown butter, add the diced butter to a light bottomed sauce pan and heat over medium heat. The butter will froth and then begin to darken. Just as it turns a toasty brown and you smell the nutty aroma, remove it from the heat and transfer to another pan so the cooking process will stop and your brown butter won’t burn. Set aside in a warm place.
  20. Once the water is simmering, add one or two raviolo at a time. I usually add one at a time since I typically only prepare 4-8 raviolo and I want quality control. Let the raviolo cook for about 1 - 1 ½ minutes and then remove it with a mesh strainer and place it on a plate. Repeat the process, plating two raviolo on each plate.
  21. Once the raviolo is done, drizzle with the reserved brown butter and garnish with fresh chopped Italian parsley. Serve with shredded pecorino or romano cheese and enjoy!
Notes
For the fresh pasta, I adore the method given by Serious Eats. I’ve adapted the ingredient list, however I use her method for preparation.

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