What to buy: Pecorino Romano is an Italian grating cheese made from sheep’s milk. It’s salty with a nice bite and can be found in most gourmet grocery stores.
If you don’t have the time, or desire, to make fresh pasta dough, you can buy it in frozen sheets at many gourmet markets. You can also substitute wonton wrappers (using 2 wonton skins for each ravioli and sealing the edges with a brushing of lightly beaten egg yolk).
Special equipment: A pasta machine will make rolling out the dough easier. There are many available, but we like Imperia’s hand-cranked model.| by Aida Mollenkamp
- 1Divide prepared pasta dough into two pieces. With your hands, press each into a round roughly 1/4 inch thick. Set a hand-cranked pasta machine on the widest setting and pass one round of dough through the machine’s smooth rollers.
- 2Continue passing dough through the pasta machine, adjusting to a narrower setting with each pass, until it is very thin, about 1/16 inch thick, or dial number 8 on most machines. Cover pasta sheet with plastic wrap and repeat with remaining dough round. Trim pasta sheets to 24 inches in length and cover with plastic wrap while you assemble the filling.
- 3Combine mozzarella and pecorino in a medium bowl and mix until well blended. Place a sheet of pasta (roughly 24 by 5 inches) on a dry, lightly floured surface and evenly space 9 (1-tablespoon) portions of filling across the dough (be sure to keep at least 1 inch between each spoonful of filling). Cover with the second pasta sheet and press the sheets of dough together, pushing out any air pockets as you go. Using a ravioli cutter or a knife, cut out 9 ravioli. Repeat with remaining dough and filling for a total of 18 ravioli. Place ravioli on a baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap until ready to cook. (This can be done up to a day ahead, and the ravioli can be kept in the fridge.)
- 4Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add a few ravioli, being sure not to crowd the pot, and cook until the ravioli rise to the surface, the dough is al dente, and the filling is hot, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate and reserve while you cook the remaining pasta.
- 5Arrange three to four ravioli per plate, top with sauce, and serve immediately.
Beverage pairing: Livio Felluga Tocai Friulano, Italy. The wine you choose may change depending on the sauce you put on the pasta, but at the most basic, the cheeses in the ravioli will go great with a medium-bodied wine like Tocai Friulano, which comes from northern Italy at the border of Slovenia. The wine has light pear and nutty notes and strikes a great balance between enhancing the richness of the cheese and cutting through it with gentle acidity.