CHEESE FILLED RAVIOLI - CAPRI STYLE
Ravioli alla Caprese is the most simple yet delicious “primo” on the Island of Capri. Using the best ingredients of fresh ricotta, Parmigiana-Reggiano cheese and fresh marjoram (or use oregano), these ravioli are very simple to make. Also unique to southern Italy is a dough made of just flour, boiling water and olive oil. These are great ravioli to make in advance and freeze. These can also be fried as ravioli fritti.
- 16 ounces fresh good-quality ricotta cheese, drained
- 5 ounces grated Parmigiana-Reggiano cheese
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh marjoram or oregano leaves
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup extra virgin oil olive
- 2 garlic cloves
- 4 pounds ripe plum tomatoes crushed by hand
- 1/2 cup fresh minced basil
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese to taste
To make the dough, add the water to a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. Once the water boils, immediately remove from the heat. Mound the flour on a work surface and create a “well” in the center. Add the hot water to the flour, a little at a time along with the olive oil to create a dough. You may not need all the water. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes until cool.
For the filling, combine the ricotta, Parmigiana-Reggiano cheese, egg and the marjoram (oregano) in a bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste
For the Sauce, in a medium sauce pan over a medium-high heat, add the olive oil and the garlic and cook until light brown (do not burn!). Add the tomatoes and simmer over a low heat. Cook and reduce the sauce until thick. Add salt and pepper to taste. Roughly chop the basil and add to the sauce. Cook a little more until the basil flavor is cooked into the sauce.
To make the ravioli: cut the dough in half and roll out each half using a rolling pin or hand crank pasta machine. Thin the dough until you can see your hand behind the sheet but not so thin that the filling will poke through. Lay the sheets out on a board and, using a tablespoon, place a dollop of the filling about 1 inch apart on sheet of the dough. Cover with a second sheet of dough. Using a juice glass, or pastry wheel, cut circles, remove the excess dough and use a fork to seal the ravioli all around the edges. Place the formed ravioli on clean kitchen towels on sheet pans and allow to dry until ready to cook. If it will be more than an 1 hour before you cook the ravioli, place sheet pan in the refrigerator. Turn over the ravioli every 30 minutes to dry all over.
Cook the ravioli in salted boiling water until they float to the top, they’re done.
To serve in a traditional manner, drain the ravioli and place around a plate. Spoon a little of the tomato sauce in the center of the plate and garnish with a few basil leaves. Sprinkle with grated Parmigiana-Reggiano cheese and serve.