How to Make Traditional Sweet Ravioli
Good things come in small packages. In the case of the diminutive casing of pasta dough known as the raviolo, that means big flavours delivered by an impressive accompaniment of inner delights that can include, in a range of combinations, veal, pancetta, parmigiano, pumpkin, spinach, ricotta and nutmeg.However, given the culinary versatility that has made the raviolo’s home region of Emilia Romagna world famous, it isn’t surprising to learn that the accent doesn’t always have to be on the savoury. What sweeter way, for example, of celebrating father’s day, which in Italy coincides with the feast of San Giuseppe (Joseph), than a plump tray of pasta parcels filled with a delicious mostarda, or mustard, of apples, ripe pears, sultanas and almonds, and given a final blanket of glistening icing sugar before being served up as an alternative dessert?
Fruit Filled RavioliTo Make the fruit filling you'll need:
- 0.5kg of peeled and cored cooking apples
- 75g of peeled and cored pears
- 100g of dried prunes
- 25g of almond flakes
- 50g of sultanas
- 250g of icing sugar
- Zest of one lemon
- 1tsp of red wine vinegar
- A pinch each of cinnamon and mustard powder
MethodPlace the apple and pear slices in a heavy bottomed pan and cook on a low heat until they break down. Then add the remaining ingredients together with a little water to prevent the mixture burning, and simmer for about half an hour. Allow the mix to cool.
For the Sweet Pasta DoughNow for the sweet pasta dough to serve six people: sieve together 500g of plain flour and 200g of sugar, and place on a cold, clean surface. Make a well in the middle and break into it two medium eggs. Beat the yolks and whites together with a fork and add to this mix 200g of butter at room temperature, the zest of one lemon, a pinch of salt, and a little dried active yeast. Then begin folding the flour into the wet mix, bringing all the ingredients together to form a soft, pliable dough. Leave the dough for an hour in a cool, dry corner of the kitchen, then roll out thinly and cut into six-inch-diameter (15cm) circles with a pastry cutter.
Assembling the RavioliPlace a measure of the fruit mix on each disc and fold over to form a loose semi-circle (you don’t have to seal the casing). Heat the oven to 180 deg C (350 deg F; gas mark 4), place the ravioli on a non-stick tray and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown. Dust with icing sugar and transport to the table.
Although the diners will need no extra incentive to tuck in, perhaps a little mascarpone and some additional lemon zest may fire their appetites all the more.
Speaking of imagination, there is no reason why the adventurous cook shouldn’t think about different fruit fillings, such as peaches, strawberries, or a combination of summer berries. But whatever flavours hit the spot with friends and family, there’s no doubt that they’ll be getting more than their just desserts.