Summary: This pasta dish was inspired by a meal I devoured in Florence, Italy. I don't actually recall what was in the ravioli there, but the creamy sauce flecked with speck (an Italian bacon) was out of this world. This is my homage to that.
Yield: serves 2
- 1 cup "00" flour
- ¼ cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 2 large eggs, yolks and whites divided
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ c water
- 1 ounce pancetta
- dash of olive oil
- 1/3 cup diced shallots
- 2 cup diced cremini mushrooms (about 10-12)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 teaspoon chopped parsley, divided
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/3 cup cream
- 3-4 teaspoon grated Parmesan
- 1x3” strip of blue cheese, about ¼" thick
- ¼ - 1/3 cup reserved pasta cooking water
Make the pasta dough: Combine the first 6 ingredients ( 00 flour through water) in a food processor, and blend until it starts to come together in a ball. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead ~6 minutes incorporating only as much flour as necessary; this dough should not be sticky.
Shape into a ball, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and let sit at room temp for 1 hour.
Make the ravioli filling: If you haven't already, dice 10-12 cremini mushrooms into duxelles- you want two cups- and enough shallots to make a third cup. Set aside.
In a 10” skillet set over medium-high heat, fry the pancetta until a crunch is near. You want this cooked but pliable. If the pancetta isn't releasing much in the way of fat, add a splash of olive oil. Remove the pancetta to a paper towel-lined plate and when cool, mince two-thirds of it. Chop the remaining third and keep the two piles separate.
In the meantime, with the pan still over medium-high heat, add the shallots and cook in the pancetta drippings for 2 minutes. Then add the mushrooms and toss everything around until coated. Add the butter and season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Add 1 teaspoon chopped parsley. Cook until the mushrooms are soft, the shallots are translucent and the skillet is almost dry.
Scrape the mixture into a bowl, stir in the minced pancetta, and set aside.
When the pasta dough is ready, set a large pot of well-salted water to boil, and while it heats, make the ravioli.
Cut the dough into pieces about the size of an egg. Roll each through your pasta maker; I go to 8 on my Atlas for these ravioli.
Lay out a long strip of the rolled pasta and place teaspoons of the mushroom mixture at regular intervals down the strip. Cut into rectangles, and using the reserved egg white, fold over and then seal the edges of the ravioli into squares or triangles, pressing firmly to make sure the sides adhere. Place on a floured surface while you finish rolling and stuffing the remaining ravs.
In the same 10” skillet you’ve been using, put the cream, blue cheese and a hefty grating of fresh Parmesan (1-2 teaspoons). Turn the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, while you cook the pasta.
When the pasta water is boiling, cook the ravioli for 3-5 minutes; then, using a slotted spoon, transfer them to the skillet in which you’ve been cooking the sauce. Add some of the pasta cooking water; start with about ¼ cup and add more if you want. Toss gently until the ravs are equally sauced.
Pour into a serving dish and sprinkle with the remaining parsley and pancetta and some more grated parm. Serve immediately.