We all know how the Italians feel about me. Hopefully, Nonna's 77 years of pasta-making will go easy on me.
Nonna Nerina's Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli
● 1 cup (200g) "00" grade or All-Purpose Flour
● 2 eggs
● 1 cup (250g) of Ricotta cheese
● 2.5 cups (75g) of spinach
● 2 tbsp (28.2g) of Butter
● Fresh sage
● Extra-virgin olive oil
Fill a large pot with salted water and bring to boil.
Put the spinach in a small pot with some water on low heat and cook until soft. Remove and drain on paper towels, or squeeze the water out with a mesh strainer and a fork. Roughly chop the spinach.
Put your ricotta in a bowl, fold in your Parmigiano and grated nutmeg and mix until combined. Fold in your chopped spinach.
Put about 1 cup of flour on a counter or a wood cutting board and create a large crater in the center.
Break 1 egg at a time into another small bowl and then pour the eggs into the crater of your flour.
With a fork, break the yolks and gently mix the eggs. As you mix, start incorporating a little bit of flour from the edges of the crater. Repeat until all flour is eventually incorporated.
Flour your hands and begin folding and pressing the dough gently with your finger tips. Continue rolling and folding the dough until it becomes compact enough that you can start kneading with your palms. If the dough is slightly wet add more flour. If the dough is dry, add a splash of water.
Knead until it becomes a tight ball that bounces back gently when you press on it.
Place your dough in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rest for about 30 minutes.
Cut your pasta ball in half. Using a rolling pin, roll the 2 halves of the dough until the layers become thin enough to see through.
Starting in the middle of each pasta layer and moving toward you, make three rows of ricotta filling. Each scoop should be one teaspoon, two fingers apart from the next scoop.
Fold your layer of pasta so it completely covers the scoops of filling. Press all around the filling, making sure to get rid of air, and seal all the borders.
Using a ravioli cutter, cut around your scoops of filling.
Melt your butter and when it's brown turn off the heat and add a few leaves of fresh sage.
Put the ravioli in your salted boiling water and cook for 5 minutes. Check the edges of the ravioli to see if they're soft enough to eat.
Drain pasta and plate. Cover with melted butter and sage mixture, a drizzle of olive oil, and more Parmigiano.
Joshua's Pasta all Gricia
3 ounces (90g) guanciale, fine dice
6 ounces (180g) mezzi rigatoni
100 g Pecorino Romano, grated
Salt to taste
Begin by browning diced guanciale in a pan over medium low heat. Allow fat to render and guanciale to cook until golden brown and crispy. Remove guanciale from the pan, and set aside to cool. Keep the pan with the rendered fat.
In a pot bring at least 3 quarts of water to a boil over high heat. Lightly season the water with salt to taste, being careful not to over-season. Once the water reaches a boil, add pasta and cook for 2-3 minutes less than the package directions. The pasta should be a little more than half way cooked.
While the pasta is cooking, finely chop half of the rendered guanciale to use as a topping.
Transfer 1-2 cups of pasta water to the pan containing rendered guanciale fat. Add cooked pasta and bring mixture to a boil over high heat. The mixture should begin to emulsify and thicken creating the base of the sauce. Add more pasta water if necessary.
Once reduced, add half of the grated Pecorino and toss until completely emulsified. Then add the remaining Pecorino and toss the pan to fully incorporate.
Once the sauce is emulsified and the pasta is fully cooked, fold in diced guanciale.
Transfer completed pasta to a plate and garnish with Pecorino and chopped guanciale.