Ravioli alla Caprese is the most simple yet delicious “primo” on the Island of Capri. Using the best ingredients of fresh ricotta, Parmigiana-Reggiano cheese and fresh marjoram (or use oregano), these ravioli are very simple to make. Also unique to southern Italy is a dough made of just flour and hot water. These are great ravioli to make in advance and freeze.
Recipe for 6 servings.
Ingredients and equipment:
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 cup water
- 16 ounces fresh good-quality ricotta cheese, drained
- 5 ounces grated Parmigiana-Reggiano cheese
- 1 egg
- 1 ounce roughly chopped marjoram or oregano leaves
- 1 tablespoon oil olive
- 2 garlic cloves
- 14 ounces canned San Marzano tomatoes (crushed by hand); half a 28 ounce can
- Fresh basil leaves (about 3 tablespoons)
- 1 ounce butter
Grated Parmigiana-Reggiano cheese
Note: Have a large wire Chinese strainer available to remove the ravioli from the boiling water.
For the dough, add the water to a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. Once the water boils, immediately remove from the heat. Using a stand mixer, add the flour to the bowl and create a “well” in the center. Add the hot water to the flour well. Put the bowl on the stand mixer with the dough hook. Slowly process until all the flour is mixed with the water and an elastic dough is formed. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes until cool.
For the filling, while the dough is resting, make the filling. In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, Parmigiana-Reggiano cheese, egg and the roughly chopped marjoram (oregano). Use your hands to combine well.
For the Sauce, in a medium sauce pot over a medium-high heat, add the olive oil. Add the chopped garlic and cook until light brown (do not burn!). Add the tomatoes and simmer over a low heat. Cook and reduce the sauce until thick. Add salt and pepper to taste. Roughly chop the basil and add to the sauce. Cook a little more until the basil flavor is cooked into the sauce.
To assemble and cook, roll out the dough using a stand mixer attachment to #4. Lay out on a board and, using a teaspoon, place a dollop of the filling about 1 inch apart on the dough. Cover with another piece of dough. Using a juice glass, cut out each ravioli. Remove the excess dough and use a fork to seal the ravioli all around. Lay out on a sheet pan to dry until ready to cook. If it will be more than an 1 hour before you cook the ravioli, dry out on an uncovered sheet pan in the refrigerator. Turn over the ravioli every 30 minutes to dry all over.
Cook the ravioli in salted boiling water until cooked through. Since this pasta doesn’t use eggs, it will cook quickly. When the “flour” smell is gone from the pot and the ravioli float to the top, they’re done.
To serve in a traditional manner, drain the ravioli and place around a plate. Spoon a few ounces of tomato sauce in the center of the plate and garnish with a few basil leaves. Sprinkle with grated Parmigiana-Reggiano cheese and serve.