There is something incredibly indulgent about this dish - a whipped basil ricotta and rich egg yolk wrapped inside fresh pasta dough. Whats not to love about it! Best served as a starter (or main if you multiply quantities). Full recipe below...
Enough for 8 ravioli
400g Tipo 00 flour
4 whole eggs
1 tsp salt
Makes roughly 1 cup
2 cups of fresh basil
1.25 cups of neutral tasting oil (I use peanut)
500g ricotta cheese (for a little leftover)
4-5 tbsp basil oil
Salt & pepper
8 egg yolks - get the best quality eggs you can find (filling)
Basil leaves (garnish)
Bring a pan of water to the boil and blanch the basil in it for 1 m minute. Remove from the water and place into a bowl of ice cold water.
Using a blender we are going to make the oil. Add the neutral tasting oil, cooled basil and a pinch of salt to the blender and blitz on high for a few minutes until incorporated. Rinse out the blender for use in a second.
Pass the oil through a fine cheesecloth to get the delicious, bright green and fragrant basil oil
In a blender, add the ricotta, 4 tbsp of basil oil (can adjust to taste later on but we’re aiming for a subtle hint of basil -0 just make sure to save some for topping later on) and a pinch of salt and pepper to taste.
Blitz together until smooth and creamy. This is also great served as a dip so having some leftover isn’t a problem!
Mix together the flour and salt in a bowl, then tip out onto a clean work surface. Make a crater in the middle of the flour using the bottom of your bowl.
Into the crater crack 4 whole eggs.
Beat together the eggs with a fork then gradually incorporate into the flour. Once you have a shaggy dough, use yours hands and knead together for roughly 10 minutes until smooth.
Wrap in plastic-wrap / cling-film and place into the fridge for at least an hour. Remove from the fridge 30 minutes before rolling out.
Once rested and at room temperature, it’s time to roll out the dough. If you’re using a pasta machine roll the dough out to its lowest setting. If using a rolling pin, roll out to about 1/6 inch thick. Aim for the sheet to be roughly 18cm wide and then cut in half lengthways to form two 9cm sheets - one will be the base and the other we will lay over the top.
Pipe (or scoop, roughly a heaped teaspoon) some of the ricotta into circles onto one sheet of the dough, leaving enough room in the middle for an egg yolk. Leave 4 inches of space between the circles.
Place an egg yolk into the centre of the ricotta.
Using a pastry brush, brush some of the leftover egg white around the ricotta to help seal. Lay the second sheet of pasta on top and press down around the edges to seal. Start from as close to the filling as possible (without squishing it) to remove any air pockets effectively.
Using an 83mm cookie cutter, cut out each ravioli and set aside.
Bring a pan of salted water to a boil, place in the ravioli and cook for 4 minutes.
Whilst the pasta is cooking, melt some butter in a sautee pan or frying pan. Once the pasta has cooked for 4 minutes, add it into the pan of butter, with a splash of pasta water and squeeze of lemon juice.
Turn up the heat so the water starts to evaporate quickly and toss the pasta in the butter for 1 minute until fully cooked and coated in butter.
To serve, place a raviolo into a bowl, drizzle with some of the butter and some more basil oil. Top with a good grating of parmesan cheese and a basil leaf. Enjoy!