We introduced Australian-born, Italian-wed chef Emiko Davies in our piece on ‘La dolce vita’. She’s been living and cooking in Italy since 2005 and today we’re bringing you a deliciously savoury dish from her Italian repertoire.
With ingredients sourced in Rome’s markets and prepared at Via Zara, Emiko’s Pear & Ricotta ravioloni (giant ravioli) is her own special twist on a typical pasta—it’s also a recipe for the ideal Rome experience. The city’s streets make Emiko feel like Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday: “I’ve always thought of Rome as incredibly romantic. It’s ingrained in my mind: a princess wandering the cobblestones, buying sandals and gelato, losing and finding herself.”
For the sauce
400g plain flour
4 egg yolks (reserve one egg white for later)
50g salted butter
8 sage leaves
Grated pecorino cheese, to serve
2 medium pears; peeled, cored and quartered.
80g grated pecorino cheese
1 egg yolk
A pinch of salt
Start with the pasta. Put the flour in a bowl and make a well in the centre. Put the eggs, yolks and 2 tablespoons of water in the well. Whisk the eggs with a fork, incorporating the flour little by little until the mixture becomes thick. Use floured hands to combine the rest of the flour. Knead for about five minutes, until you have a smooth, elastic dough (it should bounce back when poked). Wrap in cling film (plastic wrap) and let it rest for 30 minutes.
For the sauce
For the filling, poach the pear quarters in a saucepan of boiling water for 10 minutes, or until they’re just tender. Drain, let them cool, and dice them into tiny pieces. Combine with the rest of the filling ingredients. Chill until needed. To make the ravioloni, cut the dough into four pieces and dust lightly with flour. Roll out the dough using a pasta machine, working down one by one to the narrower settings, or with a rolling pin. The dough should be thin enough that you can see your hand through it. If you’re rolling by hand, you’ll notice that the elastic dough will tend to bounce back, so roll from the centre outwards. Roll or cut your dough into strips at least 10cm wide. Place a teaspoon of filling on to the pasta sheet at intervals of about 5cm.
Beat the leftover egg white from earlier and brush it all around the filling. Place a pasta sheet of the same width and length over the top. Press it carefully around each spoonful of filling, being careful not to trap too much air. Work from one side to the other. With a fluted pastry wheel cutter or a sharp knife, trim the ravioloni so there’s a 1cm border around the filling.
Cook the ravioloni immediately in a saucepan of salted, boiling water over a medium heat until al dente – about 5 minutes. While the ravioloni are cooking, make the sauce by melting the butter in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the sage and a ladleful of the pasta cooking water. Swirl in the pan to create a slightly thicker emulsion. When the ravioloni are ready, drain them with a slotted spoon and add to the sauce. Toss gently to coat. Serve with grated pecorino cheese.
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