Ravioli di Ricotta al Ragù ai Frutti di Mare

When I make ravioli, usually I put most of the ingredients in the filling and serve them with a simple sauce. But when I had ravioli stuffed with ricotta and seafood ragù at Pepe Nero, I realized that the other way around can also be very nice. And so I decided to prepare something similar. The result was very nice and I will certainly make this again.

Another technique that I copied from Pepe Nero is to chop the mussels and squid for the ragù. I enhanced the flavor of the ricotta by adding lemon zest. For the ragù I used fresh tomatoes, roasted to enhance their flavor. Unlike many other ragù recipes, no long simmering is required or allowed, because that would toughen the seafood. As usual, the liquid released by the seafood is used for the ragù, as that contains a lot of flavor.

Ingredients

Serves 4 as a primo piatto, makes about 24 ravioli

  • 180 grams (.4 lb) cleaned squid
  • 500 grams (1.1 lb) mussels in their shells
  • 500 grams (1.1 lb) ripe plum tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, thickly sliced
  • 250 grams (1 cup) ricotta
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • grated zest of a lemon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 120 ml (1/2 cup) dry white wine
  • fresh pasta dough made using 2 eggs and about 200 grams (1 1/3 cup) Italian 00 flour
  • fresh flat leaf parsley, for garnish

Instructions

If the ricotta looks at all wet, place it in a colander or sieve lined with cheesecloth, and allow to drain overnight in the refrigerator.

This serves to get rid of any excess water, so the filling of the ravioli will taste more creamy.

Preheat the broiler. Cut the tomatoes in half, and arrange them on a baking sheet.

Broil the tomatoes until charred, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Pour 120 ml of white wine into a pan.

Clean the mussels and discard any mussels that are open. Place the mussels in the pan with the white wine.

Cover and cook over high heat until the mussels have opened. Do not cook longer than necessary to avoid toughening the mussels.

Drain the mussels, reserving the liquid.

Chop the squid.

Take the mussel meat out of the shells, reserving 4 shells with a mussel still inside as garnish. Chop the mussel meat.

Beat an egg in a large bowl and add the grated zest of a lemon.

Add the ricotta and season with 1/4 teaspoon table salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Stir to mix. Cover and refrigerate the filling until you are ready to use it.

Roll out the pasta dough as thinly as possible and make ravioli using my instructions, using about 1/2 tablespoon of filling for each raviolo.

As the filling is quite liquid, it is important to turn the ravioli after a while so they can dry on both sides.

Sieve the roasted tomatoes using a food mill.

The foodmill will remove the skin and seeds.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan. Add a thickly sliced garlic clove and tilt the pan to deep fry the garlic in the oil. Discard the garlic as soon as it turns golden.

Cook the chopped squid very quickly over high heat in the garlic-infused olive oil, then turn off the heat and transfer the squid to a plate using a slotted spoon.

Add the sieved tomatoes to the olive oil and squid juices. Do not add salt, as the mussel liquid will provide all the salt needed for the ragù. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and boil gently until reduced by half.

Filter the reserved mussels liquid through kitchen paper, and add about half of the mussel liquid to the tomato sauce.

Simmer until the tomato sauce is nice and thick. Taste and add more mussel liquid (and reduce it again) until the sauce is salty enough. Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper.

Add the chopped mussels.

Stir over low heat.

Add the squid and stir to incorporate.

Stir over low heat.

In the meantime, boil the ravioli in plenty of salted water for 2-3 minutes.

Lift the ravioli out of the pot as soon as they have finished cooking, and add to the ragù. Toss to mix.

Serve at once on preheated plates, garnished with the reserved mussels and some parsley.

Wine pairing

This is great with many Italian whites, such as a Greco di Tufo, Fiano, Verdicchio, or Vermentino.

Flashback

This Mexican dessert of vanilla and chocolate flan with dulce de leche and toasted pecans is absolutely delicious.

4 thoughts on “Ravioli di Ricotta al Ragù ai Frutti di Mare

  1. I find this hugely interesting ! I have made ravioli or similar surrounded by ragu before . . . but methinks not a seafood one. I do understand the reason for chopping the seafood but do not remember ever cutting up mussels or making squid so small . . . yes, that would hardly take any time cooking . . . as the Brits say ‘in for a penny, in for a pound’ . . . yours looks great, so shall try !!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This looks and sounds absolutely delicious. I know I would love the seafood ragu but pairing it with the ricotta ravioli just takes the dish over the top! Definitely a dinner party dish!

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.