I love homemade ravioli for their endless variety of recipes, shapes and ways of serving. Every region and almost every village, has a special version depending on the season and holidays.
This recipe is inspired by the cuisine of Lombardy and Emilia Romagna where it is not unusual to include sweet elements like fruit, chestnuts and even raisins in the filling.
To obtain the right texture you need pears with firm smooth flesh, not the grainy and soft ones. Ideally you should also used aged balsamic vinegar at least 15 years old. If aged balsamic is not available, substitute with a commercial balsamic glaze which does not have by far the complexity of proper aged balsamico but it’s creamy and will not make your sauce runny. For an even more modern touch, you could also use good quality raw honey instead of the balsamic.
- 200 g (1 3/4 cups) Italian 00 flour
- 2 large eggs
- 250 g (8 oz) fresh ricotta
- 1 firm pear (e.g. d’Anjou)
- 60 g (2 oz) grated Parmesan
- grated zest of 1 lemon
- 60 g (4 tablespoon) butter
- 30 g (1 oz) thin shavings of
- aged Pecorino
- 2-3 teaspoons aged balsamic vinegar or 1/2 teaspoon raw honey per person
Peel, slice and cut the pear into very small cubes. Sauté briefly in 1 teaspoon of butter and allow to cool. Combine with the ricotta cheese, lemon zest and grated Parmesan.
Make the pasta dough in the food processor as explained in my basic recipe. Divide the pasta into a few balls of the size of a large egg. Using a pasta machine, roll them out into long thin strips.
Put teaspoons of the pear and cheese filling about 5 cm (2 inches) apart on the sheet so that you can make a “parcel” by folding over the pasta sheet.
Using a pasta cutter, seal each parcel by cutting on three sides (the fourth is the fold). Dust a large tray or your worktop with flour and carefully place the ravioli on it, taking care that they do not overlap.
Cook in salted boiling water for about 3 minutes, until al dente.
Drain and transfer the ravioli to a large pan with the remaining melted butter. Increase the heat, add a few tablespoon of pasta water and stir to absorb.
Distribute onto 4 plates, top with Pecorino shavings and drizzle with balsamic vinegar or honey.
Makes about 50 ravioli, serves 4.