There are a few general things to keep in mind when it comes to making this Pastamadre's Ravioli with asparagus and ricotta recipe , that it's worth remembering:
Contrary to the typical northern Italy pasta dough for ravioli that is made from soft wheat flour and eggs, we are using for this recipe a dough of 100% durum wheat semola mixed only with water, which is instead traditional of the South. At Pastamadre we love to bring together different cooking Italian traditions to make a dish that satisfies our taste buds but can also be light and nutritionally balanced.
When you buy durum wheat semola always check the protein content on the back of the package. Should be around 12(±1)% as to be used for a good pasta dough.
Always cook asparagus in fat (olive oil or butter) and not in water. Most of the asparagus molecules that contribute to flavor are water-soluble and thus are lost when cooked in water.
Keep the filled ravioli on a flour-dusted surface apart from each other to prevent sticking.
Sautè the ravioli and the sauce by flipping the pan and not by using utensils as to avoid breaking the ravioli.
Ingredients (for ca. 15 medium size ravioli that make 2 good portions)
- 200 gr durum wheat semola
- ca. 100 gr water
Mix the flour and water and knead by stretching and folding for few minutes until you create a mix that feels smooth like a playdough. Cover the dough and let it sit for 15-30 min. Alternatively, you can store it in the fridge up to 3 or 4 days or up to several months in the freezer.
Roll out the pasta dough in sheets (thin enough that the light passes through) using a pasta machine or a rolling pin.
- 250 gr asparagus spears
- 100 gr ricotta
- zest of one lemon and a bit of the juice
- salt (as you like)
- pepper (as you like)
- parmiggiano (as you like)
Rinse under water the asparagus spears. Gently bend the end of each spear until it breaks naturally. Don't waste the bottom-fibrous part and use them for example for preparing broths. Cut the tender asparagus tips and keep them aside to cook as whole with the sauce.
Blend briefly the asparagus main bodies in a food processor until you get small pieces.
Add the rest of the ingredients and mix with a spoon.
Taste and adjust ratio based on your personal preference.
Shaping the ravioli
Cut the pasta into squares (roughly 5cm x 5cm) and place a teaspoon of the filling in the middle of each. Alternatively, place few times the filling on the whole pasta sheet leaving some space between each of them (roughly two fingers apart).
Dip your finger in water and run it along the edges of the square or pasta sheet.
Fold over the pasta square or sheet to create the ravioli pockets, trying at the same time to remove all the air.
Cooking the ravioli
Cook the ravioli in a large pot of generously salted boiling water for ca. 5 min or until there is no a white line visible on the pasta after cutting through a raviolo.
In the meantime sauté the asparagus tips in butter (ca. 80 gr) adding some of the pasta water.
Transfer carefully the cooked ravioli in the pan with the butter sauce, add some lemon juice and mix by flipping the pan. If the ravioli get dry add some more pasta water and keep mixing
Serve, grate some parmiggiano and enjoy!