Ricotta and Almond Pesto Ravioli
Paired with 2021 Descendants Liégeois Dupont Le Blanc
Recipe by Chef Aislinn McManigal-Quintana
Disclaimer: I want to warn you ahead of time that this is a long recipe. You can make all three sauces and the pasta ahead of time to help with the process. OR for a simplified version make the ricotta and almond pesto only. Pick a store-bought fresh or dry pasta you like. Toss the cooked pasta in the almond pesto and dot it with the ricotta and fresh herbs.
12 oz whole milk ricotta
2 lemons, zested and juiced
Salt and pepper to taste
In a small mixing bowl combine the ricotta with two teaspoons of lemon zest and two two tablespoons of lemon juice. Season with salt, pepper, and more lemon juice to your taste. Transfer to a piping bag and refrigerate until ready to use.
1 c raw almonds, skin on
1 clove garlic
½ olive oil
Salt to taste
Toast the almonds in a large sauté pan over medium heat, shaking the pan constantly until the almonds are fragrant and lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the almonds and garlic to a food processor with ¼ c of the oil. Turn the machine on and drizzle in the remaining ¼ c of oil and a pinch of salt. Blend until no large chunks of almond remain but it is not completely smooth. You can drizzle another tablespoon of olive oil if it is too thick to blend in the food processor. Transfer to a piping bag and chill.
1 c blanched Marcona almonds
1 slice white bread (preferably brioche), lightly grilled or toasted, cubed
1 clove garlic
1 T olive oil
Using a peeler take two long slices of the lemon peel length-wise, be sure not to take any of the white pith. Using tongs place the outside of the peel over an open flame until fragrant and the edges are blackened. Place the Marcona almonds, charred lemon peel, and garlic in a container, cover with water, and let soak overnight in the refrigerator. Strain and reserve the water.
Place the bread, almonds, and garlic in a blender. Drizzle in the olive oil. Add the reserved water one tablespoon at a time until you have a completely smooth sauce. You can strain the sauce through a fine mesh sieve or use it as is.
Egg Yolk Pasta Dough with Parsley
1 c all-purpose flour or tipo 00 flour
8 T semolina flour
10 egg yolks
1 T olive oil
1 to 3 T of water as needed
½ c parsley leaves, ¼ c tarragon leaves (all stems or thick pieces removed)
Combine flours in the bowl of a stand mixer fit with the hook attachment. On low speed add the egg yolks and oil. Let mix entirely before adding any water. You can use your hand to bring the dough together if it is taking too long. The dough should be moist but not stick to the sides of the bowl. Add water one tablespoon at a time until the dough comes together.
Turn the dough onto a floured work surface and knead until it is smooth and pulls back when pressed or stretched. Add more flour if it starts to stick. Shape the dough into a ball and wrap it in plastic. Let rest for at least 30 minutes or refrigerate for up to a day.
When ready to roll out pasta, cut it into 4 equal pieces. Lightly flour your work surface and have extra flour ready. Set your pasta machine to the widest setting. Press one piece of dough down with your palm to flatten it as much as possible. Pass it through the machine. Fold it in thirds like a letter and pass it through again. Repeat this process one more time. Change your machine to the next setting and pass the dough through. Continue to lightly flour the dough as needed so as not to stick. Continue to roll the dough through smaller settings one at a time until the dough is just under ⅛ of an inch (this is number 5 on my Mercato pasta machine).
Spread some herbs on the left half of your dough sheet making sure none overlap. Lightly spray the dough with water. Fold over the other half and gently press down to enclose. Roll the sheet through the pasta machine on the same setting. Repeat the whole process with all four pieces. Keep rolled dough under a slightly damp towel while you finish the rest.
To fill: Lay one piece of dough on your lightly floured work surface. Working on the half of the dough closest to you, pipe a small rectangle of ricotta leaving about a half inch on top and bottom. Continue along the pasta sheet leaving an inch between each filling. Take the almond pesto and pipe a line down the center of the ricotta. Lightly spray the pasta with water or use a pastry brush to wet the pieces between each filling.
Fold the pasta over itself to create your ravioli. Press down around each section of filling to push out any air and seal the pasta. Using a knife or pasta cutter, cut each ravioli apart. Place on a floured baking sheet. If using immediately, cover with a damp towel while you finish the other dough. If you are making them ahead, place them in the freezer. Transfer to a bag or container once they are completely frozen. These can be kept in the freezer for up to 6 months.
To plate: Bring a pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Drop your pasta and cook for 3-4 minutes. Strain into a bowl and lightly toss with olive oil. Spoon your ajo blanco on the plate, and place your ravioli on top. For extra crunch, top with herbs, toasted almonds, or lightly pickled shallot.