Ragusa Style Ricotta Ravioli

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 2 hr 10 min
  • Prep: 1 hr 40 min
  • Cook: 30 min
  • Yield: 2 dozen ravioli, 6 appetizer servings
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1 1/2 cups (about 15-ounces) ricotta cheese

1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

1 orange, zested

Fresh pasta sheets, either store-bought or home-made pasta dough, recipe follows

1 egg, lightly beaten, for brushing

Cornmeal, for sprinkling baking sheets

Ragusa-Style Meat Sauce, for serving with ravioli, recipe follows

Basic Pasta Dough (Pasta All' Uovo):

1 pound all-purpose flour, about 2 cups

1 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

8 egg yolks

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 to 2 tablespoons water, as needed

Ragusa Style Meat Sauce:

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 1/2 cups chopped onions

2 (35-ounce) cans whole Italian tomatoes, broken up, with juices

1 tablespoon sugar, or to taste

1/2 teaspoon crushed fennel seeds

1 pinch ground nutmeg

1 pinch ground allspice

1 pinch ground cloves

1 1/2 to 2 pounds small meaty pork riblets, or spare ribs that your butcher has cut crosswise into strips

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Salt and freshly ground black pepper 


Special equipment:
Pasta machine and Immersion blender
  1. For the filling: In a medium bowl, combine ricotta cheese, sugar, and orange zest.
  2. For the dough: Place thinly rolled out pasta sheets on a clean work surface and place tablespoonfuls of the filling, along 1 of the long edges about 2 inches apart and about 2 inches from the edge. Brush around the filling lightly with some of the beaten egg. Fold the dough over the ricotta filling and, using a sharp knife or pastry wheel, cut the ravioli apart into squares or circles about 2 1/2 inches wide and press the edges carefully to seal. Place the ravioli on a baking sheet that has been sprinkled with some of the cornmeal and repeat with the remaining filling and pasta sheets until you have used all of the filling.
  3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil
  4. Cook the ravioli, in batches, until they float on the top of the surface, about 5 minutes. Serve hot with the Sicilian Style Meat Sauce.

Basic Pasta Dough (Pasta All' Uovo):

  1. In the bowl of a food processor combine the flour and salt. Turn on processor and mix well. With the machine running, add the eggs, egg yolks, and olive oil through the feed tube, and process until it resembles wet cornmeal, about 2 minutes. Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, as needed, to help pasta come together when pressed.
  2. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil
  3. Take a handful of dough at a time and form into a firm ball. Press each dough ball into desired shape using a pasta machine according to the manufacturer's instructions. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  4. Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, 2001

Ragusa Style Meat Sauce:

  1. In a Dutch oven or large saucepan heat 1/2 the olive oil over medium-high heat and add the onions. Cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon until soft and lightly caramelized, about 6 minutes. Add the tomatoes, sugar, fennel, nutmeg, allspice and cloves Bring the sauce to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until sauce has thickened slightly, about 20 minutes. Using a hand-held immersion blender, puree the sauce until smooth.
  2. Heat the remaining oil in a skillet and add the pork ribs. Season the ribs lightly on all sides with salt and pepper, turning occasionally, until well browned on all sides. Add the browned ribs to the tomato sauce and simmer until sauce is thick and flavorful and the ribs are very tender, 2 to 3 hours, adding water as necessary to keep the sauce from getting too thick and burning. Serve over pasta or Ragusa-Style Ricotta Ravioli.
  3. You may want to pull the meat off the bones, shred it, and return it to the sauce before serving the sauce with the ravioli.
  4. Any unused pasta sauce may be frozen for up to 2 months.
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