We discovered this dish at a Michelin-starred restaurant in Imola, in Emilia Romagna. The head chef there was taught the recipe by his mentor, who cooked this dish for the last king of Italy, Vittorio Emanuele. The recipe is based on a number of different methods and flavours from the region: tortelli, erbette filling, ricotta and Parmesan. What we love about this dish is that it mixes one of our favourite recipes, Spinach and Ricotta Tortelli, with some very British traditions: poached eggs, smoked salmon and asparagus.
Serves: 4 (makes 4 raviolo)
Pasta: 40 minutes
Filling: 15 minutes
Assembling: 1 hour
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You Will Need
Make your pasta dough. While it is resting, steam the spinach
in a large covered saucepan and cover with a little water and
cook for about 5 minutes, until the spinach has wilted. Remove
from the heat, drain and leave to cool (you can speed up the
cooling process by running cold water over the spinach). When
the spinach is cool enough to handle, squeeze to remove the
water. This is a really important step. If there’s any excess water
in the filling it may cause the pasta to disintegrate, so make sure
the spinach is as dry as possible, then finely chop it.
In a mixing bowl, combine the spinach and salmon with the
ricotta and Parmesan. Season, to taste, with the lemon zest,
salt and pepper, and nutmeg. To bind the filling, add the whole
egg and mix well. Transfer the filling to a large piping bag.
Roll out 2 pasta sheets and place them on a welldusted
work surface. Pipe 4 rings of filling, about 2.5cm high on
one pasta sheet. Carefully place an egg yolk into the centre of
each ring and sprinkle with a pinch of salt.
Using your finger, brush a little water around the filling to help the
top layer of pasta stick. Carefully lay a rectangle of pasta over the
filling, pressing down gently around the outside to remove any air
bubbles and seal tightly. Using a 12cm round cutter cut out the
ravioli and trim the edges, making sure there are no gaps in the
pasta. These ravioli are very delicate so handle them with care. For
tips on making ravioli. Repeat for the other ravioli.
Cut 4 pieces of baking parchment, each large enough for a ravioli
to sit on. Dust with polenta and very carefully transfer the ravioli
to the parchment (this will help you move the ravioli when it
comes to cooking them).
Heat a griddle over a high heat and cook the asparagus turning
occasionally for about 5 minutes, until nicely charred. Remove
from the heat.
Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Lower the heat so the
water is at a gentle rolling boil. Very gently lower each ravioli and
baking parchment into the boiling water. The paper will come
away from the ravioli in the water. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
Don’t let the water boil too vigorously as this may cause the
ravioli to split. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small pan until
it starts to bubble.
Place 5 asparagus stalks on each serving plate. Using a slotted
spoon place the ravioli on top of the asparagus. Sprinkle with a
little Parmesan and spoon over a tablespoon of the melted butter.
Serve, drizzled with a little truffle oil, if desired.