Friday, February 12, 2010

Taking a Trip to Trentino-Alto Adige - Ravioli di Ortica alla Pusteresi

So now, having obtained the ever elusive Stinging Nettle, it is time to embark upon a delicious pasta recipe from northern Italy in the Trentino-Alto Adige region. This one follows along the lines for Pizzoccheri in the fact that the pasta is not a full semolina nor a white flour pasta. Just as Pizzoccheri uses Buckwheat, so this pasta uses Rye flour.

Why is this? Well, for those alpine regions of the north, there are many areas where wheat just will not grow. In these areas rye and buckwheat are planted since they are hardier than wheat, thus the pastas (paste) of these regions tend to be made with flours made from local grains. Technically this should be made with ALL rye flour, but just like with the Buckwheat for the Pizzoccheri, the strains grown here in the US are a little different, as well as the grinding practices, thus alterations must be made.
As a side note, this Butter Bread crumb sauce is really delicious over Spaghetti as well ... Quick and simple, but massively delicious :)

Ravioli di Ortica alla Pusteresi

Rye Pasta
1 1/2 cup Rye Flour
1 1/2 cup AP flour
2 Large Eggs
2 TB Melted Butter
2 TB Milk (Room Temperature)
AP Flour for Rolling

Nettle Filling
5 oz Stinging Nettles (Blanched to remove the sting)
6 oz Ricotta
4 oz Mascarpone
1 TB Shallot, Finely Minced
1 1/5 oz grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 Large Egg
1/2 tsp White Pepper
1/4 tsp Kosher Salt
1/8 tsp grated Nutmeg

1 large egg white

8 TB European Cultured Butter
4 TB Panko
Kosher Salt and Fresh Pepper
Ground Hazelnuts

Make the Pasta
Whisk the flours together on a pastry board and create a well.....

In a small bowl, combine the Melted Butter and Milk.

Crack the eggs into the well and add the Milk/Butter mixture....

Begin stirring with your fingers or a fork until a paste forms.

Continue slowly incorporating more and more flour until you have obtained a soft dough.

Begin kneading at this point… For about 10 minutes.

Cover and let it relax for 30 minutes.

Make the filling while it’s resting…..
In a small bowl, combine the cheeses, seasoning, and egg into a bowl.

Stir in chopped nettles.

Cover and refrigerate until the pasta sheets are ready…….

Back to the Pasta and making ravioli though, technically not a ravioli, they are more of a little purse (which I cannot remember the name of)

Begin kneading again for an additional 10 minutes

I always cut my dough into 4 pieces to make it more manageable.

Wrap three of them in plastic while you work with the first piece..

Run through your pasta machine (I do not recommend rolling by hand because it is really hard to work with)

For ravioli, only roll to #6 or it will become too thin and the green filling will show through when cooked.

Sprinkle each sheet with additional AP flour before layering them together in a pile and covering with Plastic wrap to prevent drying.

When all Pasta is rolled….
Take 1 sheet and place 1 tsp of filling, keeping the filling about 2 inches apart.

Brush between the filling mounds with Egg white and cut between the fillings.

Carefully fold over 1 edge and pinch closed; then pinch the opposite edge

Ensure the "front" is still open so you can remove as much air as possible before sealing.

And there ya go...

Lay out on a floured baking sheet, cover with plastic and continue on with the next sheet.

Until all the ravioli are completed.

Now let's cook it up:

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and drop the ravioli, cooking them until they float plus about 1 minute more.

Melt the cultured butter in a saucepan.

When it is done "boiling" off the water, add the panko....

Cook the Panko until it begins to brown, then remove from the heat.....

Place ravioli in a bowl and spoon the butter/panko sauce over the top; then sprinkle with salt and pepper.



matt74 said...

You keep me humble when it comes to food..your unending knowledge astounds me! truely are an

DutchBakerGirl said...

Matt's right--you are who I refer to for all the "how-to" things. This ravioli looks fantastic. Now I need to get me a pasta maker.

Bob said...

Awesome. Just awesome. Man, I need to break out my pasta machine.

Unknown said...

delish! Beautiful! Between you and Michele making ravioli, i really need a pasta machine!!