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Photo by Donna Ruhlman

Summer is flying by too quickly and I’ve been buried in all the good things–work and family and friends and food.  Ma was here and I showed her the Iron Chef show with Symon v. Bloomfield and she was so enamoured of Symon’s idea of putting a yolk inside pasta, I made some for her (above, on a bed of sheep’s milk ricotta I got from Paul Minnillo at Baricelli Inn, seasoned with citrus and espelette), served with a simple brown butter sauce.  Sooo. Good . Yolk spills out into the butter.  Then off to NYC to judge an Iron Chef competition, then back home on the 4th for Old Chicago’s on the grill at my Dad’s and fireworks viewed from the first fairway of a local course, then Pardus, my chef was here, for reasons I won’t reveal now, but we cooked a meal that is worth a blog post on it’s own.  His visit of course required a two day restoration of the body and soul before work began again.

Yesterday I was with Symon as he was making some of his own egg-yolk-only pasta dough and he said something interesting that I’d never thought about.  He made it very dry and scarcely kneaded it.  I believe in kneading for at least ten minutes till it’s satiny smooth, but Symon believes that the key to great texture is in not creating too much of a gluten network (which happens by kneading) so he treated it practically like a pie dough.  It makes sense.  I don’t know if I’m willing to give up that satiny pasta dough, but it’s an interesting idea, and his ravioli were very tender.  Is this a common thing?  Not kneading? [I've since tested this and find that the all-yolk pasta does not need the kneading, whereas pasta dough with whole egg does require thorough kneading, which is part of the fun!]

For those of you wanting to try an egg yolk ravioli, they’re very easy.  Marcella Hazan recommends a cup of flour and two eggs to make a pasta dough, mixed and kneaded till it’s satiny, about ten minutes.  And of course there’s a Ratio for it!  Three parts flour, 2 parts egg by weight; if you have the Ratio iPhone app, weigh your eggs, plug the weight into the ratio calculator to calculate the exact weight of flour you need, add it right on top of the eggs! (I love the Ratio app!)  While it’s resting in plastic wrap in the fridge,  mix into a cup of ricotta, citrus zest (any kind you like, lemon and orange are great, maybe a little juice), black pepper, espelette if you have it, some chives or minced shallot if you have it, kosher salt (and taste it for to make sure it’s delicious). Make a pillow on the pasta for the yolk, put a little cheese on top to protect the yolk, and fold the pasta over it, using water or egg wash to seal the pasta.  Boil gently for a few minutes and serve with a brown butter and some julienned parsley.  The yellow ooze is worth the effort.

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43 Wonderful responses to “Homemade Ravioli”

    • Andreas Duess

      The problem with Android is fragmentation. Any Android app will only work on a fraction of all Android devices. This situation is made even worse by the multitude of custom skins being released by hardware manufacturers.

      We looked into an Android app to supplement our own iPhone app and gave up in frustration.

  • Zach

    Might be a stupid question, but what kind of flour? Semolina? All-purpose?

    Thanks!

  • Connie

    I keep scrolling back up the page to stare at that egg yolk. Love the simplicity and power of this dish. Dang.

  • Caroline

    I don’t knead pasta dough, and I think it would do a disservice to ravioli, which you want to be tender and pillowy. But I’m thinking it would be a good strategy to strengthen stranded pasta.

    I’m curious as to how you serve the yolk ravioli– if you give someone a normal ravioli portion, they’d end up consuming 5 or more yolks in one sitting. Combined with the cheese and browned butter, this would make for a very rich and cholesterol-laden meal! But I think it would be fun to put yolks in just a small population of the ravioli, as an occasional surprise. Or, perhaps, to place a single egg yolk ravioli atop a bed of sauteed vegetables or greens.

    • SauceRobert

      When I have served them I Have done one large “Raviolo”(yes, thats the term.). it has always been served as an app. Although, now that I think about it, it would be fun to use quail eggs and make multiple smaller ravioli!

  • Natalie Sztern

    1st. I want your life…
    2nd. is there anything a soft egg yolk doesn’t taste good in, on, or with?
    3ird. I can’t wait for your next book.

  • Tags

    Hey, thanks for reawakening that gnawing feeling I get when I look over at the bookshelf and see the (as yet unread) “Lost Ravioli Recipes of Hoboken” by Laura Schenone.

  • Bob Y

    I thought I knew most ingredients, but what is “espelette?” Thanks.

  • Michael Long

    Michael, That sounds, I don’t quite know how to express it, but lets say great… I’m going to do my best to do this one… the wife doesn’t care for experiments, but my friend across the street and I are willing to try most anything… Thank you for the recipe and post, and your great book, “RATIO” i use it a lot… Thank you again… Oh and tell Miss Donna, she’s a great Photographer…

    Mike

  • S. Woody White

    I love making pasta, and my partner loves when I make it. What I need is a good pasta machine – one that is easy to clean, and won’t jam up at the slightest provocation. Any recommendations? (Spaghetti/linguini cutters aren’t necessary – the partner prefers really wide noodles.)

    Thanks.

    • Marcella Hazan

      The best pasta machine is a Bolognese sfoglina, broad haunched and with fleshy hands. The next best for home consumption is the Kitchen Aid stand mixer with pasta attachment. I have made tons of pasta with it, and I have let my students play with it, and I have never had a glitch. I hope you are cutting your broad noodles by hand with a fluted wheel, pappardelle style.

      I hate un-kneaded egg pasta. It is spineless. I have made thousands of tortelloni, less frequently ravioli, and they are as pillowy as anyone can possibly want them.

      • S. Woody White

        Thank-you! We already have the stand mixer, the pasta attachment comes next.

  • bunkycooks

    Ravioli with cheese and an egg yolk…that must be incredibly rich. I think I would prefer the traditional cheese filling, but suppose that one never knows until they give it a try. I am sure the browned butter sauce puts this over the top!

  • Giuliano Hazan

    I love ravioli filled with egg yolk. So deliciously decadent. I actually use 3/4 cup of all-purpose flour per whole egg when I make pasta, but the weight ratio makes so much sense because the size of eggs can vary. You may still have to make minor adjustments depending on the ambient humidity.

  • QuarryLaneFarms

    Hey Ruhlman-

    We love this idea of yolk in ravioli with the surprise inside. Yum.

    So does this make you an “egg slut”? (Blame your buddy Bourdain on this one).

    QLF

  • Andrew

    After trying egg yolk pastas on several occasions and (probably due to my own lack of skill) always cooking the yolk, I finally hit on a solution:

    Freeze the yolks first.

    It makes it a no-brainer, and as far as I can tell, it’s a necessity for doing quail-egg-yolk ravioli.

  • ruhlman

    What an honor to have the comments of Marcella Hazan and her son Giuliano! Thank you, both.

    Love the “spineless” remark, Marcella!

    I don’t know the machine you describe, can anyone find a link?

    • Marcella Hazan

      I am flabbergasted! Is there anything on earth that doesn’t have a video on youtube? What fun.

  • NYCOOK

    Ruhlman you get advanced copy of Bourdain’s book yet? No review/comments

    • Rhonda

      Michael, I am interested in knowing this as well.

      You have chewed me out (privately) for using the word “Douche” and apparently, Tony has titled a chapter containing this word.

  • charsiew

    If one egg yolk is too large, try using quail’s egg for a smaller ravioli, think it’ll be a perfect petite size!

  • twoshoes

    well, I was hoping for a bbq post for the holidaze weekend backyard family picnic. I guess I’ll just go for braised ribs finished on the grill, wonderful bbq chicken baked beans corn on the cob potato salad coleslaw and pie.

  • The Purple Foodie

    Egg yolk only pasta? Interesting. I always wanted to trying pasta dough with minimal kneading and looks like only yolks in the way to go. Hope it turns out fine.

  • Vivian

    Love the idea of egg yolk in pasta. Definitely will give that a try. I have much admiration for both Marcella and Giuliano Hazan so it is a treat to see them among the commentors here. I absolutely love the video posted by Mike as well, it makes me feel just a bit spoiled by modern conveniences.

  • Rhonda

    HOLY. CRAP. RUHLMAN!

    Marcella Hazen reads and comments on your Blog

    Way to go, my Big Brother!

  • Rhonda

    Weird timing as I have a 1/2 day off today, I found some fantastic oxtail which is now braising and I am going to make ravioli.

  • john p

    egg filled ravioli is truly one of life’s pleasures I first enjoyed this concoction at San Domenico(now closed) central park NYC. looking forward to your book about salume