This is a traditional Italian dish to die for. If you haven't tasted walnut ravioli (ravioli alle noci), you haven't had one of the best pasta dishes ever created. Definitely on the richer side, this ravioli contains a filling typically made with ricotta. The sauce is cream-based and so rich you don't need very much on your plate. If you can find really good pasta sheets appropriate for making ravioli at home, go for it. I can't, so I make the pasta from scratch. It is really not that hard and is great fun to do with friends or kids. You will need a pasta machine to roll out the dough. I use a basic hand-turned machine that works just fine.
Recipe courtesy of Teresa Veniero
Show: UpRooted
Episode: The Nut Route
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Walnut Ravioli in a Cream Sauce
Total:
1 hr 40 min
Active:
1 hr 10 min
Yield:
4 to 6 servings
Level:
Intermediate
Total:
1 hr 40 min
Active:
1 hr 10 min
Yield:
4 to 6 servings
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients

Pasta Dough:
  • 1 1/4 cups "00" flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk 
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
Ravioli:
  • 1 cup ricotta
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmigiano
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, finely chopped (see Cook's Note)
  • Pinch freshly grated nutmeg 
  • Salt and pepper
Cream Sauce:
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, finely chopped 
  • 2 cups heavy cream 
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano

Directions

Special equipment: a pasta maker; a stamp cutter or pastry wheel

For the pasta dough: Mound the flour on a large work surface and form a well in the center with your fingers. Add the eggs, egg yolk, olive oil and salt to the well. Using a fork, lightly beat the wet mixture until combined. Then incorporate the flour, beginning with the inner edges of the well and working outwards, until a shaggy dough forms. Knead the dough by hand until completely smooth, 8 to 10 minutes. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let rest for at least 20 minutes. (It is important to let the dough rest; otherwise, the gluten in the flour will make it very difficult to roll out. The dough can be made a couple of days in advance and kept in the fridge.)

For the ravioli: Mix together the ricotta, Parmigiano and walnuts in a medium bowl. Add the nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste; mix again and set aside. 

Cut the pasta dough into four equal pieces. Roll the first piece through a pasta machine on its widest setting. Decrease the width by one notch and roll the dough through again. Continue, decreasing the width one notch at a time (ending somewhere between settings 5 and 7, depending on your machine), until the pasta is very thin. Place the pasta sheet on a flour-dusted work surface. Repeat with the three remaining pieces of dough.

On one of the pasta sheets, place rounded balls of filling (about 2 tablespoons each) spaced 1- to 1 1/2-inches apart. Brush the pasta around each ball lightly with water. Lay a second sheet of pasta on top and press firmly around each ball, making sure there are no air pockets. Using a stamp cutter or pastry wheel, cut out each ravioli (about 2 inches in diameter) and transfer to a baking sheet lightly dusted with flour. Repeat with the remaining two sheets of pasta. I like to use a fork to press the edges of the ravioli to make sure they are closed and to give them a pretty design.

For the cream sauce: Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and fry until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the walnuts and fry for 2 minutes more. Add the cream and mix well. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low and simmer gently until slightly thickened but still liquid, about 8 minutes. Season with pepper.

While the sauce is cooking, bring a large pot of water to a slow boil. Carefully lower half of the ravioli into the water. Cook until the ravioli start to float and are just tender, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the ravioli directly to the sauce. Repeat with the remaining ravioli. Sprinkle with the Parmigiano and gently toss to coat the ravioli in the sauce.

Cook's Note

I like the walnuts very finely chopped so you can taste them but not feel them very much.

A viewer or guest of the show, who may not be a professional cook, provided this recipe. It has not been tested for home use.

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