marzo 30, 2011
Every promise is a promise: after the first Juls’ Kitchen on demand I posted the spring-like recipes for buttercream cupcakes to comply with the majority, but I said as well that fresh pasta would have come soon, and here we are.
A few days after my confessions of a fresh pasta maniac I found Elena’s recipe in my mailbox, written with her usual sweetness and freshness. I met Elena just once more than one year ago when I was on a business journey, then we met again here by chance, and we got to know each other better. Usually I share with Elena food recipes, she gets back to me with life recipes, weaving the words of her e-mails with the brightness and cheerfulness of her land, the Campania.
Among the ingredients of her recipe, ravioli filled with ricotta and ham, there is parsley: I’m used to green into fresh pasta filling, just think of spinach, chard or even pesto… but the parsley! A very unusual ingredient that threw me out to comb through my potties in search of the fresh leaves of this poor herb, usually so mistreated.
In Italy we say you are as the parsley when you are everywhere and come up everywhere, something like you turn up like a bad penny. This saying is due to the large use of parsley in Italian cuisine. Everyone, myself included, keeps talking about Sienese tarragon, thyme, hyssop or catmint, while the poor parsley is banished to the margin, a mere touch of colour on the plate.
This recipe is its revenge: Nobody puts Parsley in the corner! It makes the difference and you notice it, even though used in small quantity compared to the other ingredients. It gives a fresh, green, woody note to an otherwise well balanced blend of fresh ricotta cheese, ham and cacioricotta cheese*.
I waited for the spring to bloom in my herb garden and potties to have all the ingredients for this recipe and, above all, the freshest parsley: it was there, looking at me with its tiny leaves still curled and wet from the recent rain. Actually the parsley was looking at me, but I couldn’t see it, it was so tiny and delicate I had to call Grandma to help me find it! I thought it was just weed… definitely not a green thumb, I have to admit it!
* Cacioricotta cheese is an aged and savoury ricotta you can grate, just like aged pecorino or Parmesan cheese. If you can’t find cacioricotta, try with pecorino cheese.
After tasting this recipe, I bet you will groom your herb garden to find some fresh parsley to make Elena’s ravioli! It’s like tasting something made with a few dewdrops inside, you will love them!
Ham and Parsley ravioli – Elena’s recipe
Fresh pasta ingredients
- 500 g plain flour
- 5 large eggs
- 400 g sheep ricotta cheese (pressed with the masher)
- 100 g aged cacioricotta cheese, grated
- 150 g ham sliced and cut into thin stripes
- 3 heaping tbs fresh chopped parsley
- See how to make fresh pasta in one of my previous post, as for cappelletti.
- To make the filling, mash all the ingredients and use your hands to mix them.
- Roll out the pasta and make small balls of filling to fill it.
- Cut out round or square ravioli using a cookie cutter.
- Pierce each raviolo with a noodle three times to prevent them from opening into boiling water.
- Boil them for a few minutes, until they float to the surface and the pasta is soft.
- Serve them with tomato sauce, grated cheese and a leaf of basil.
Thank you Elena for the recipe!