If you read this blog often, you know that Suzi and I are ardent fans of Katie and Giancarlo Caldesi. She’s British, he’s Italian and together they have created quite a complex enterprise: cooking school, restaurant, and a flotilla of very important cookbooks.

Now I wrote that paragraph yesterday when I posted a recipe for Linguine with Crab and Cream.

Let’s keep the story going from the great book The Long and Short of Pasta. Here’s a complex, rich and delightful recipe: ravioli stuffed with tomato and bread and served in a warm mozzarella cream. What more can you want?


Ravioli Filled with Tomato and Bread Stuffing in a Warm Mozzarella Cream

Yield: 6

Ingredients:

For the filling:

  • 2 ounces stale country-style bread
  • ½ cup tomato sauce
  • ½ ounces basil leaves, roughly chopped

For the ravioli:

  • ½ pound fresh pasta
  • Coarse semolina or ‘00’ flour for dusting

For the mozzarella cream:

  • 4 ounces ball of mozzarella, roughly chopped, plus the water/brine from the bag
  • ½ cup double (heavy) cream
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter salt, to taste

To serve:

  • 1 ounce salted or unsalted butter, cubed
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • 1 ounces grated Parmesan freshly ground black pepper

Preparation:

To make the filling, soak the bread in a small bowl of cold water until soaked through. Remove the bread from the bowl and squeeze out the water. Put the tomato sauce in a saucepan over a medium heat and add the bread to it – it will melt into the pan. Add the basil and stir through. Leave to cook over a low heat for 15 minutes or until the bread has broken down and thickened the sauce. Remove from the heat, transfer to a bowl and allow to cool to room temperature.

Dot heaped teaspoons of the filling at even intervals (two fingers’ width apart is ideal) onto one of the sheets and place another sheet of the same length over the top. Press down around the filling to expel the air and seal the pasta sheets together. Using a pasta wheel or a sharp knife, cut the ravioli into even 5 cm (2 in) squares. Set the shapes aside on a surface dusted with flour or semolina (semolina is good as it doesn’t stick to the pasta). Repeat with the remaining pasta until the filling is used up.

For the mozzarella cream, put the mozzarella, the brine from the bag, the cream and butter into a saucepan and set over a high heat to melt. When the cheese has melted pass it through a sieve to remove any remaining small lumps of cheese. Taste and add salt as necessary.

To serve, warm the mozzarella cream sauce over a gentle heat. Drop the pasta into well-salted boiling water and cook for 2-3 minutes. Drain and put into a warm dish with the butter and toss to combine – this will stop the pasta sticking. Put a ladleful of mozzarella cream into each bowl and place the pasta on top. Drizzle olive oil on top of each dish, sprinkle over a little grated Parmesan, season with black pepper and serve straight away.


Source: The Long and Short of Pasta by Katie and Giancarlo Caldesi [Hardie Grant, 2018]