Ricotta ravioli with a soft egg yolk, brown butter and pan grattata

This veggie pasta dish topped with herby fried breadcrumbs is a great way of using up leftover pasta dough.


For the ravioli
  • '00' flour, for dusting

  • 200g/7oz ready-made pasta dough

  • 150g/5oz ricotta

  • handful chopped mixed fresh herbs (such as basil, parsley, thyme)

  • 75g/2½oz freshly grated parmesan

  • pinch freshly grated nutmeg

  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 4 small free-range eggs, separated

For the pangrattato
For the brown butter

Preparation method

  1. For the ravioli, flour a pasta machine. Starting at the lowest (widest) setting, feed the dough through the machine, turning the handle with one hand and holding the dough as it comes through the machine with the other. Change the setting on the pasta machine to the next-widest setting, flour it again and feed the pasta sheet through the machine again, as before.

  2. Repeat this process 3-4 more times, flouring the machine and changing the setting down by one notch each time. At one point, you'll need to cut the pasta sheet in half lengthways or it will become too long to handle. The pasta should be quite thin, but still easy to handle without tearing. Don't be tempted to skip settings or the dough may tear.

  3. Once the pasta sheets have reached the ideal thickness, trim the edges slightly. Flour your worktop and cut the pasta sheets into 8 x 10cm/4in squares.

  4. Mix the ricotta with the finely chopped herbs, parmesan and nutmeg and season, to taste, with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  5. Place one rounded tablespoon of the ricotta filling into the centre of four of the pasta squares. Make a well in the centre of each portion of filling large enough to hold one egg yolk. Gently place one egg yolk on top of each portion of filling, being careful not to break them.

  6. Lightly beat two of the egg whites in a bowl (save the remaining egg whites for another recipe).

  7. Brush the edges of the pasta squares with the beaten egg white.

  8. Carefully place one of the remaining (empty) pasta squares on top of each filled pasta square and gently press the pasta dough around the filling so that the egg yolks are enclosed inside the ravioli. Press the edges of the pasta dough together to seal, pushing any excess air out.

  9. Using a large chefs’ ring, cut the edges of the ravioli to create neat round shapes (make sure the edges are tightly sealed and that there are no air bubbles).

  10. Lower the ravioli into a large pan of boiling, salted water and cook for 2 minutes, or until they float to the surface. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside to drain on a plate lined with kitchen paper.

  11. For the pangrattato, fry all the pangrattato ingredients, apart from the parsley, in a frying pan until golden-brown and crunchy. Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley.

  12. For the brown butter, heat the butter and lemon zest in a pan until the butter starts to foam.

  13. Keep cooking until the butter turns golden-brown, but be careful not to burn it. Remove from the heat and add a squeeze of lemon juice.

  14. To serve, lay two ravioli each of two wide serving bowls, spoon over the brown butter and sprinkle over the pangrattato. Garnish with a final grating of lemon zest.

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