The Ravioli Experiment
The Ravioli Experiment
I’m fascinated, ok; obsessed with the idea of ravioli that contains it’s own sauce. Ristorante San Griorgio, in Umbertide does this incredible ravioli with a light, buttery, almost frothy carbonara sauce that spills out when you cut it open.
Elaine and I decided we would try replicating that ravioli, and then some. I made up a batch of pasta while Elaine tinkered with the fillings. We were going for:
c) tomato anchovy
Once you get going there’s no reason to not make a complete mess of the kitchen.
The carbonara filling was mostly egg, with some cheese and a little cream that got whipped. The gorgonzola was a mix of gorgonzola dolce (mild and quick melting) and gorgonzola piccante. The tomato anchovy was fresh tomato, tomato puree, salted anchovy and a touch of cream.
The biggest mis-calculation we made was our capacity to eat all three varieties of ravioli in one sitting.
First up was the carbonara, which we paired with crispy guanciale (cured pork jowl) and frizzled onions. I made the pasta too thick for this ravioli because I was afraid the pasta would leak which resulted in the pasta being under done, so we threw them back in the pot. When they came back out, the eggs in the filling had hardened and I think we created the first ever breakfast ravioli. I think we need to add more fat or butter to the mixture and let it freeze firmer before trying to use it as ravioli filling. It liquefied from the heat of my hand, and I was working pretty quickly.
We opted for the tomato ravioli next and it was an absolute success. This was plated with a parsley and breadcrumb sauce that perfectly complimented the creamy tomato anchovy filling. The only problem here was that we froze the filling in a small ice cube tray, and frozen cubes and round ravioli wraps makes for some weird looking star shaped ravioli.
The gorgonzola ravioli was paired with fresh pears and toasted hazelnuts and is divine but incredibly rich. I threw down my fork in defeat; I could not eat another bite. We talked about all sorts of variations and ways to lighten the overall ravioli, but in the end decided it was damn good just as it was, but coming after the other raviolis it was more than three humans could handle.
The mind reels with all the other possibilities for raviolis with secret sauces.
Funny, but remember when I left your pad a few years ago to head off on my giro, at the first restaurant I went to I had a carbonara ravioli dish that I still think of on like a weekly basis. It was at Lillo Tatini, a beautiful spot in tiny hilltop ville called Panicale. Here’s the link http://www.lillotatini.it . Apparently the ravioli, called Carbonara del Perugino, are still on the menu. Each raviolo — made with hand-rolled pasta the way it should be — had a delicately cooked quail egg inside. It was served in a sauce (butter-based if I recall correctly) with Cinta Sinese pancetta and a pecorino. Mmmm Mmmm good.