Egg Yolk-Filled Ravioli Is Easier To Make Than You Might Think

If you have trepidations about making fresh pasta, the process is easier than you might think. Making your own pasta can open up a world of creativity and flavors you might not otherwise have tried. There are loads of different ways to make pasta, but the primary difference between fresh and dried is the inclusion of eggs. And while fresh pasta isn't always better than dried, it can be a fun way to experiment in the kitchen.

Rolling out the dough and cutting it into ribbons like tagliatelle or fettuccine is all well and good, but what you really want to work your way towards making is ravioli. According to Cucina Toscana, the first written mention of ravioli was in a 14th-century Tuscan merchant's recipe and, surprisingly, around the same time in a cookbook written by one of King Richard II's chefs. Derived from the Italian riavvolgere or "to wrap," ravioli is a simple dish of savory filling enclosed in crimped sheets of pasta dough that are then boiled and served with some kind of sauce. Most of us are familiar with ricotta and spinach or butternut squash-filled ravioli, but there is another filling that brings a rich decadence to these already flavorful little pockets. It's called uovo in ravioli or egg yolk ravioli. And no, it's not as difficult to make as it sounds.

Nest your yolk in ricotta pillows

According to Food52, egg yolk ravioli was first made in 1974 at Ristorante San Domenico in Imola, Italy, just outside Bologna in Emilia-Romagna. Chefs Nino Bergese and Valentino Marcattilii concocted a perfectly runny egg yolk on a bed of spinach and ricotta. The fact that the two chefs and their restaurant have gone on to win Michelin Stars does not mean the dish is beyond regular cooks. Uovo in raviolo is easy to make with the help of one simple tool, the pastry bag.

The process of making egg yolk ravioli is relatively straightforward. Take a long sheet of pasta dough about 1/6 of an inch thick and slice it evenly in half. Fill a pastry bag with the ricotta filling and pipe a 3-inch diameter circle every 5-inches along the dough, being sure to leave a 1/2-inch divot in the center of each circle, which is wide enough to fit an egg yolk. You can add another ricotta ring on top of the base to help support the yolk, as Serious Eats recommends. The ricotta filling acts as a nest that helps protect the yolk while the ravioli cooks, which should be for about 4 to 5 minutes in boiling water. The result is a wonderfully runny ravioli that is certain to delight. And you can sit back knowing that you made these lovely little pockets of savory goodness on your own — well done, pasta chef.