In some pasta dishes, the pasta is simply a vessel for whatever meat, vegetables, and sauce it carries. What the Italians do really well, though, is let the silky texture and wholesome flavor of fresh pasta shine by dressing it with simple, quality ingredients.
This egg yolk ravioli lets the homemade pasta co-star with a filling of rich, almost cheesy egg yolk. The supporting sauce is nothing more than sage-kissed butter and starchy pasta water. These seemingly basic components transform into an impressive dish, as you dig in for the first bite and the vibrant yellow-orange yolk slowly streams onto the plate and melds with the butter sauce. How many other ways do you know to make a show-stopper from just four commonly found ingredients?
The recipe serves 2 as a pasta course rather than a full meal and can easily be doubled, tripled, etc.
Egg Yolk Ravioli
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
1 egg + 4 yolks
2 Tbsp. butter
4 small or 6 large sage leaves
Salt and pepper
1. Add the flour to a medium bowl and create a well in the center. Add the whole egg to the well and use a fork to begin whisking together the white and yolk. Continue whisking to incorporate the flour until the dough becomes too stiff to use the fork. Use your hands to bring the dough together and knead for 2-3 minutes, until smooth. Shape into a disc and wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for an hour before rolling.
2. Dust the dough with flour and run through a pasta roller on the largest setting, fold once, and run through the same setting. Move through progressively smaller settings, once each, until the pasta is very thin, but not so thin that you can see through it, adding flour as needed to prevent the dough from sticking to itself (I went to the second-to-last setting on my pasta roller). Place on a lightly floured surface.
3. Cut the sheet of pasta dough in half lengthwise and space the yolks evenly across one half. Carefully cover with the second half and gently press around each yolk. Cut into squares and crimp the edges with fork tines.
4. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. (Use a large pot if doubling the recipe.) In a large pan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Once melted and hot, add the sage. Meanwhile, boil the ravioli for 2 minutes, then use a slotted spoon to transfer them to the melted butter – no need to let the ravioli drip dry first, as some of the pasta water should make its way over to the pan. Cook for another 2 minutes before using the slotted spoon to transfer the ravioli to two plates. Drizzle the butter sauce and sage over the ravioli, sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper, and serve hot.
Elizabeth’s Wine Pairing Suggestion:
Harper Voit, “Surlie” Pinot Blanc 2012
For an unctuous and buttery dish like this, one must balance the weight of the pasta with a fuller style of wine that still has enough acidity to cut through the texture of the starch, butter, and yolks. A Chardonnay from southern Burgundy will do the trick, but I recommend stretching further afield. Harper Voit “Surlie” Pinot Blanc from the Willamette Valley in Oregon has both the body and acidity for this ravioli. The flavor profile of yellow plums and white peaches will add uplifting freshness to this interesting pasta.