Chef Joe Cipro's Recipe Of The Week

Sweet Corn Ricotta Ravioli




Pasta ingredients (serves 8)

1 1/2 c semolina flour

3/4 c OO flour or all purpose flour

2 eggs

4 egg yolks

Extra semolina flour for rolling pasta

Ravioli cutter

Filling ingredients

4 ears of corn, cut kernels off and set aside. Keep the cores for stock.

1/2 gallon whole milk

1 lemon (juiced)

1/4 c olive oil

1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese

Cheese cloth

Salt and pepper to taste

Pastry bag or a Ziploc plastic bag with one of the corners cut off

Sauce and garnish ingredients

1/4 lb butter

1/3 c corn stock (refer to directions, this will be used for the filling also)

1/3 c grated Parmesan cheese

Chopped parsley

Directions

Peel the kernels off the corn and set aside, then cut the cores into three pieces each. Put them in a medium sized sauce pot with two cups of water, cover with the lid, and heat over low medium flame for two hours. In the meantime, you will work on the pasta and ricotta cheese.

For the pasta, use a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. Mix all ingredients together at a slow speed until a ball is formed. If you do not have a stand mixer, you can use your hands. Mix the flour in a bowl. Then, on a flat work surface, create a mound with the flour. Make a well in the center of the flour mound for the eggs and yolks. Now, gently work the dry ingredients into the wet with your hands until you’ve created an evenly incorporated ball of dough. Then, cover the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest at least 30 minutes at room temperature.

While the dough is resting, make your ricotta cheese.

For the cheese, bring the milk to a simmer in a sauce pot, then add the lemon juice and stir gently. You will see the curd (chunky white solids) separate from the whey (the cloudy liquid). Scoop out the curds and place them in your cheesecloth. When you’ve removed all the curd, gently wrap the cheesecloth around the curd and squeeze out a little more of the liquid whey. At this point, you’ll whisk together the salt, pepper, olive oil, Parmesan cheese, and curds. Cover in plastic wrap and put in the fridge for later.

When your corn stock is ready, remove the cores and a third-cup of the stock to use later with your sauce. Place the kernels into the rest of the stock, then heat over medium heat for about 10 minutes with the lid on. When you’re finished, add a teaspoon of salt and purée on high in a blender (this purée should be thick), then pass the purée through a fine mesh strainer. Cover the final product in plastic wrap and set it in the fridge to cool for about 20 minutes, then mix the ricotta cheese and corn purée together and you have your filling. Keep this mixture refrigerated until you’re ready to fill the pasta.

Now, we roll out the pasta. If you have a hand crank pasta machine at home, use it. Otherwise you’ll have to make do with a rolling pin and a well-floured work surface. Once the dough is rested, dust your work surface with a generous amount of semolina flour, cut the ball of dough in half, then roll each ball of dough into a disk about half-inch thick with a rolling pin. Cover the one you’re not working with in plastic wrap until you’re ready for it. If you’re using a pasta machine, set the thickness to four for the first press through, then feed the sheet of dough through at two, and finally the one setting for the desired thickness of your sheet of pasta. (Remember to keep adding flour to your work surface to prevent the last from sticking). If you’re using the rolling pin, do your best to get it as thin and even as you can. Cut the sheets of pasta into three-inch-wide sheets. Fill your pastry bag or Ziploc with filling.

Pipe the filling into the middle of each three-inch-wide pasta sheet. Whisk one egg with a little bit of water and brush the edge of the pasta sheet. This will glue and seal the pasta. Fold the other edge over the filling, then run the back of your hand on the sheet of pasta along the filling. Use the ravioli cutter to trim any excess pasta, and portion each ravioli about an inch long. Repeat this process until your filling is gone.

Finally, we’re ready to assemble this dish. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add two tablespoons of olive oil. In another large pan, something with plenty of surface area like a roasting pan or sauté pan, reduce the remaining third-cup of corn stock by half, then whisk in the cold butter over a very low flame. While you’re whisking in the butter, dunk half the pasta in the boiling salted water for about one-and-a-half minutes, remove with a slotted spoon, and toss in the butter sauce plate and serve with grated Parmesan and parsley over top. Then, repeat with the other half of the pasta. There should be plenty of butter sauce remaining. Enjoy!