Raviolo al uovo, ricotta e carciofo (single raviolo with egg, ricotta and artichoke)
What is it?
Raviolo al uovo is a single large raviolo filled with ricotta and containing a soft egg yolk that oozes out when you cut into it (“raviolo” is not a typo, in Italian “ravioli” is plural, “raviolo” is singular). You would serve one per person drizzled with butter, hollandaise, light tomato sauce or whatever else you think would go with it. Serve it on its own or with a little topping such as sautéed mushrooms, asparagus, artichokes etc.
Who makes it?
Apparently it’s an Italian dish but I never encountered it during our 4 months stay in Italy last year. First time I saw the egg-in-a-ravioli was on The Mind of A Chef when Gabrielle Hamilton made it in a “free form” she called “handkerchief”, essentially a soft poached egg covered with a sheet of pasta and drizzled with butter (a few more ingredients like prosciutto etc. went in there as well). Another video in the same program shows how Franca Camerucci makes Tortello al Rosso D’uovo, a ravioli filled with ricotta and spinach with a soft yolk. I was curious about it, looked a little further and found a few recipes online but none in my Italian cookbooks.
Where was it invented?
The restaurant posted the recipe online and you can find it here (image below).
Let’s make it
Today I wanted to try it so I made a soft and silky yellow pasta dough with eggs (sometime I make it without eggs) and thought I’d make two large ravioli al uovo to see what it’s like and use the rest of the dough to make a few ricotta and artichoke ravioli without the egg, recipe in the previous post.
Recipe yields 2 large egg ravioli and about a dozen or so smaller cheese and artichoke ravioli.
Fresh pasta dough rolled very thin (level 8 on my hand cranked pasta machine), lightly dusted with flour. You need the pasta to be thin because it only cooks for 2 minutes.
See pasta recipe in previous post.
1 1/2 cups ricotta
1 cup grated parmesan plus more for serving
1 small jar artichokes, drained)
2 eggs yolks, unbroken (use free run, yolk should be orange colour). I made 2 ravioli with egg, the rest with just the filling. If you make more egg ravioli use as many eggs as you need.
Brown butter sauce
1/2 cup butter
A twist of lemon
Salt and pepper
Salt and pepper
Shaved or grated parmesan
Optional: steamed or quick-sautéed artichokes, asparagus, mushrooms, shaved truffles etc. Keep it simple.
Drain the artichokes and chop finely. If you do it in a food processor don’t over process. You can keep a few pieces of artichoke for the topping if you wish.
Mix the ricotta, parmesan and artichokes, taste and add salt if needed.
Add the egg and mix well.
Assembling the ravioli:
Place piles of the cheese on the sheet of pasta, spacing them apart.
With a spoon form a crater in the center of the cheese where you will place the egg yolk (see image below).
Break the eggs one at a time into a bowl, separating the yolk from the white, and place the whole yolk into the crater in the ricotta. If the yolk breaks remove it with a spoon, it must remain whole for this dish to work. I find it best to use my fingers to separate the whites from the yolk, a little messy but you avoid breaking the yolks on the sharp edges of the eggshell.
Brush a little egg white around the ricotta mounds to help the pasta sheets stick together.
Lay a second sheet of pasta over the filling and with your fingers press gently to remove any air pockets.
Cut the ravioli any way you want: with a knife into squares, with a ravioli cutter or with a round cutter. Make sure there is light dusting of flour under the pasta to make sure it doesn’t stick to the counter so you can remove the ravioli with ease.
If you don’t cook it right away set on a parchment sheet or a tray lightly dusted with flour.
Note: Use the rest of the pasta and filling to make regular size ravioli, or if you are adventurous and making this for a few people, make the egg ravioli with the whole dough.
To make beurre noisette (brown butter sauce):
Melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Watch it carefully and let it cook until it begins to turn golden brown. Bits of the butter will get dark so be careful not to burn it.
Add salt and a squeeze of lemon.
Cook the ravioli:
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add plenty of salt.
Drop the ravioli into the water and cook for 2 minutes (the yolk must remain soft). Remove when ready.
Spoon some brown butter into a plate, set the raviolo over and drizzle with additional brown butter.
Scatter fresh thyme leaves and chopped chives.
Shave parmesan over.
Optional garnishes: , artichokes, sautéed mushrooms, asparagus, truffles etc. I used the tops of a couple of broccolini quickly cooked in the pot of boiling water before I added the pasta to it.