I just finished this painting of a view of Amalfi. When I’m deep in a painting of a beautiful Italian scene I feel myself in that place. I can even smell the air. Feel the sea breeze. My palate gets nostalgic, too. So I’m remembering the lemony ravioli we had on our last trip to Amalfi in 2014. It was at a restaurant in Maiori. A place right on the beach.
Lemons are huge in Amalfi and grow everywhere. The cuisine is filled with lemons, too (this where limoncello comes from).
This ravioli lemon-filled dish was so spectacular I figured out how to make it and we’ve cooked in class several times.
Try this immersion into lemon love. Ravioli with lemon-scented ricotta filling and a very lemony cream sauce.
Lemony-Ricotta Stuffed Ravioli w Lemon-Cream Sauce
For the dough:
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus extra
¼ teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
For the filling:
1 lb. ricotta
½ cup grated cheese
zest of 3 lemons
salt & pepper to taste
For the Sauce:
½ stick unsalted butter (4 tablespoons)
1 cup dry white wine
2/3 cup cream
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 cup grated cheese
Make the dough: Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl, and shape into a mound. Create a “well” in the mound and add the eggs. Using a fork slowly mix the flour into the egg, until the dough comes together and most or all the flour is mixed in. Gather the dough and knead it on a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth, shape into a ball and cover with plastic wrap. Let rest for 30 minutes.
Make the filling: Mix the ricotta, grated cheese, and lemon zest. Combine well. Season with salt & pepper.
Make the ravioli: Cut the dough into four pieces. Work with one piece at a time and keep the other pieces covered in plastic wrap. Flatten the dough into a rough rectangle, and roll through the pasta machine, changing the numbers from thick to thinner (lower to higher) one at a time until you reach the next-to-the-last number on the machine. Dust the sheet with flour in between every couple of numbers to keep it from sticking in the machine.
Lay the sheet on a table. Place scant ½-teaspoons of filling in row on the bottom half of the sheet, about an inch apart. Fold the top half over the bottom half. Press all the edges closed to seal well. Cut in between to make the individual ravioli. Place the finished ravioli on a flour-dusted sheet and repeat with the rest of the dough.
Make the Sauce: Zest the 2 lemons. Then quarter each lemon, cut off the peel entirely and minced the lemon pulp, discarding any seeds. Melt the butter in a medium sauté pan. Add the zest and pulp. Heat till hot. Add the wine. Cook until simmering. Add the cream. Stir to combine. Cook on medium low heat until cream is bubbling and slightly reduced. Season with salt & pepper.
Cook the ravioli: Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. Salt water. Drop in the ravioli and cook until al dente, about 3 minutes. Spoon half of the sauce into a large shallow serving bowl. Add a few small spoonfuls of pasta water to dilute sauce a bit. Add ravioli, top with more sauce and gently coat. Serve with some grated cheese.