Mint and Ricotta Ravioli a delicacy from Pantelleria

As Maria is going to Sicily to promote her new book 'La cucina del buon gusto' she thought of getting into the mood and cooked a dish from the deep South of Italy. Pantelleria is a tiny island lost in the sea between Sicily and Tunisia. Its people belong to the land and its food is a reflection of their lifestyle; simple, strong and falvoursome.

She decided to hand-roll her freshly made ravioli. The task was easier than anticipated.She placed her largest chopping board on the kitchen table and divided the dough into small portions. She floured both the board and the rolling pin to form paper thin sheets of pasta which she filled with ricotta and mint. In order to apply more pressure, Maria used a work surface lower than the regular worktop.  Bearing this in mind, her ravioli were ready in minutes.

Ravioli Panteschi 
Serves 4 as a main course
Makes about 22 ravioli

For the dough:
200g plain flour
2 large eggs
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
For the filling:
150 g buffalo ricotta
50 g fresh goat's cheese
20 g mint, chopped
2 tablespoons Pecorino, grated
For the dressing:
60/70 g butter, melted
freshly ground black pepper,
For the garnish:
Fresh mint leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons of Pecorino, grated

Traditional way

Sift flour into a large bowl and make a well in the center. Add a pinch of salt and the eggs. Using a fork at first and then your hands, draw in the flour from the inside of the well, gradually adding more flour until you get a coarse dough.
Easy and quick way
Put all the ingredients into the food processor -using a plastic blade- and mix until you get a coarse dough.
Knead the dough for 5 minutes, until it becomes smooth, firm and soft.
Wrap the dough with the cling film and leave it to rest for 20 minutes in the fridge. (During this time, the filling and the sauce can be made).
How to roll, cut and cook fresh ravioli
Separate into small rounds about the size of a golf ball each. Flour the work both surface and the rolling pin. Roll out into sheets 10 cm x 50 cm and about 2 mm thin. 
Fold the sheet in half lengthways to make a crease in the center. Unfold. Using the crease as a guide, place teaspoonfuls of the filling at 4 cm intervals in 1 row along one side of the pasta sheet. Lightly brush with water around each of the fillings. Fold over the other side of the sheet to cover the filling. With your fingertips, press gently around each mound of filling to seal the dough and to push out any pockets of air. Cut into squares with a pastry wheel.
Place the squares upside down on a clean tea towel, making sure they do not touch. The ravioli are now ready to be cooked. Alternatively, leave to dry on clean tea towels, turning over occasionally, until the dough has dried out completely.
Cook the ravioli in simmering salted water, for 4-5 minutes. 
To drain, scoop out with a slotted spoon and shake off excess water. Place in a serving bowl and toss gently to coat with melted butter.  Sprinkle with pecorino and fresh mint. Serve immediately.

1 comment:

  1. Alessandro Garsia28 February 2012 at 17:30

    Those are not Ravioli Panteschi! There is no butter in them. No Pecorino. No Olive Oil. only one type of ricotta cheese (goat or cow), certainly not buffalo! And the shaoe is totally different: those look more like Tortellini


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