Renaissance Recipes: Fig and Walnut Stuffed Ravioli
Good Tastes of Tuscany near Florence shares this ravioli recipe from a cooking class we experienced recently.
We recently visited Good Tastes of Tuscany near Florence and attended an afternoon class on Renaissance cooking. The ravioli stuffed with fig and walnuts recipe that follows is just one of our lessons designed to introduce us to Renaissance cooking–cuisine that Lorenzo de Medici might have dined upon as he contemplated the challenging affairs of state in the late 15th century.
Renaissance Ravioli Stuffed with Fig and Walnuts
400g flour—or all purpose
pinch of saffron flour
Mix the saffron into the flour, and then on a floured work surface form a well with the flour adding the eggs in the centre of the well. With a fork slowly work the flour into the eggs and stir until it thickens, adding a little at a time being careful not to break the sides of the well. Once all the flour is mixed into the egg, start to kneed the pasta well; fold and kneed until you have a homogenous dough and it bounces back a little under the touch of your finger.
Wrap in cling wrap and place to rest in fridge for at least 30 minutes.Remove the dough and then it is ready to work. Kneed some more, then roll out thinly to form sheets; cut the sheets approximately 10 centimetres in width. In the centre, spoon on a small ball of the mixture, leave enough space on either side before placing the filling for the next ravioli and so on until the sheet is complete. Carefully place a second sheet of pasta of the same size on the top, matching the ends and sides, then carefully around each ball of mixture close by pressing with your fingertips the 2 sheets together, being careful to remove any air pockets. Then with a sharp knife or cutter, cut the sheets between each mixture to form your ravioli.
250g fresh ricotta cheese
40g walnuts with skins removed and finally chopped
100g dried figs cut into small cubes
80g pecorino cheese, grated
Take all the ingredients of the filling and mix well in a bowl. Place a large pot of well-salted water to boil. When it is boiling, carefully ad the ravioli and cook for 3 minutes. Remove carefully with a slotted spoon or utensil.
Add a small amount of ragú on the plate under each ravioli and on top. Serve with grated pecorino cheese.
Here is the ragú for the ravioli:
Sugo di salsiccia
extra virgin olive oil
300g pork sausage, skin removed and minced into small pieces
1 onion diced
1 bay leaf
1 cup of red wine
500mL chicken broth
Sauté the onion with some olive oil, add the sausage and cook until slightly golden. Add the bay leaf and wet with the wine. When the wine has nearly completely evaporated, add the broth and cook over a low flame for approximately 1 hour, adding more broth if necessary, and salt and pepper to taste.