I was in a ravioli-making mood today, so I got my pasta machine out of the closet and made a filling using a combination of veal and fatty trimmings from a piece of Culatello I got at Eataly recently. If you’ve never tried Culatello, you haven’t lived. It’s awesome. Think of it as the Kobe of cured meats.
Culatello hasn’t been available in the US until recently because it requires strict sanitary measures to produce but someone finally figured it out and makes it just like in Parma. That someone is Mario Batali’s father. To make Culatello the hind muscle of a pig’s thigh, usually reserved for prosciutto, is boned, and the best part is reserved, carefully trimmed, covered in salt and spices and energetically massaged and then placed to rest. It’s then tucked into the pig’s bladder, tied with string in the shape of a pear and dried for two to three months in a humid and well-aired environment. It’s usually aged for about 10 months after that. Needless to say, don’t try it at home but do try to find it at your local Italian market.
In supporting roles for the ravioli, the cast included chanterelles, radicchio, sage and of course some good parmegiano-reggiano. There’s a delicious autumnal vibe to this dish and that’s because that’s where we heading, friends. Buon appetito!
Veal Ravioli w/ Culatello, Radicchio, Chanterelles & Sage
- Serves 4
For the ravioli pasta:
- 3 cups “00″ flour, plus more for dusting work surface
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 whole eggs
- 1 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 or 2 tablespoons water
For the filling:
- olive oil
- 1 lb ground veal
- Culatello or proscuitto trimmings, diced
- 1/2 cup shallots, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon sage, chopped
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons parmesan, grated
- 1 whole egg
- 1/2 lb chanterelles
- 1 head radicchio
- 1/2 lb Culatello, sliced
- sage, julienned
For the ravioli dough:
- Combine the “00″ flour, the salt, the eggs, yolks and olive oil in a Kitchenaid bowl and combine on low speed using the dough hook (this also could be done by hand in a large bowl). Increase the speed until you get a rough dough. This should take 1 or 2 minutes.
- When the mixture comes together transfer to a floured clean surface and knead the dough, turning the inside-out, until you obtain a dough that’s smooth on the outside, adding flour everytime the dough starts to feel sticky. The whole process should take less than 5 minutes. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
- Time to start on the ravioli. Take the dough out from the fridge and place it on a floured surface. Cut it in 4 equal pieces. With a rolling pin make rectangle with the pieces of dough, so that they fit inside your pasta machine.
- Start rolling pasta sheets on the thickest setting and cut in half (so it doesn’t get too long). Keep rolling reducing the setting everytime. The number “8″ setting on this machine is where i usually stop.
- You should be able to see your hand through the pasta sheets when you have reached the right thickness. You want it thin but not so thin that it becomes fragile.
- Now for the fun part. Make an egg wash by beating an egg with a tablespoon of water. Cut sheets of pasta so they have about the same length and lay them on a floured surface. Place blops of filling at regular intervals using a revolutionary new-age piece of equipment called… err.. a spoon. Using a pastry brush, sweep some egg wash over the edges of the pasta and in-between each ravioli and down the center. Pick up another sheet of pasta and place on top, sealing the gaps between the filling by pressing gently with your fingers.
- Using a pasta-cutter, pastry cutter or whatever-the-heck-you-want cutter, make pretty shapes. Make sure each ravioli is sealed by pressing gently around the edges with your fingers. At this point, the ravioli can be frozen to be used at a later time. Make sure not to store them on top of each other, use cornmeal and separate them with layers of wax paper.
For the filling:
- Heat some olive oil in a large sautee pan. Add the ground veal and proscuitto trimming and cook, breaking the veal chunks with the back of a spoon. Cook for about 10 minutes over medium hight heat. Season with salt and pepper and add the shallots, garlic and sage. Cook for 2 minutes more and deglaze with the white wine. Reduce until dry. Add the milk and cook for a few minutes more. Add the parmesan and let the filling cool the mixture for 10 minutes. Check the seasoning.
- Place the content of the pan in a food processor, add the egg and process until smooth.
- Refrigerate until ready to use. Place the filling in a pastry bag with a round tip to fill the ravioli or use a teaspoon.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the ravioli for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a large pan sautee the chanterelles, and radicchio in olive oil. Add a clove of garlic to the pan.
- Drain the ravioli and add to the pan, toss with butter, sage. Finish with parmesan and slices of culatello.