Today is World Pasta Day and to mark this delicious occasion, Trafalgar has introduced us to Florence-based Italian chef Libero Saraceni, of Ristoriante I Tre Pini on the Tuscan hills, who has shared his authentic Italian ravioli recipe that captures the taste of Tuscany. Interacting regularly with South African tourists, he loves to show guests to his restaurant the secrets of ‘la cucina Italiana’ (Italian cooking) and this recipe is no exception.

To make this divine dish, make sure you shop for fresh, local produce and have a good bottle of wine at the ready to do pasta the ‘right’ way. Ravioli Mugellani, or ravioli stuffed with potatoes, is a popular traditional recipe and is generally served with a ragu of beef or pork.

Ravioli Mugellani

Serves 5

Fresh pasta:

500g of high grade 00 flour

5 eggs

1 pinch of salt

Stuffing:

300g potatoes chopped and cooked in salted water

1 egg

1 pinch of salt

1 pinch of nutmeg

1 spoon of Parmigiano (Parmesan) cheese

Parsley and garlic

Pasta

  1. Place flour in a mound on a clean work surface and make a well in the centre.
  2. Crack the eggs into the well and add salt.
  3. Whisk eggs together inside the well using a fork, then gradually fold in the flour from the outside for at least 10 minutes until the flour is smooth and elastic. Use your hands to mix until the dough is soft.
  4. If the dough seems too hard, add 2 tablespoons of warm water.
  5. Wrap up the dough in cling wrap and allow to stand for 1 hour.

Stuffing

  1. Cool the potatoes, then peel and mash finely.
  2. Sauté garlic and parsley with oil in a pan.
  3. Add in the potatoes, Parmesan cheese, salt, nutmeg and egg.
  4. Mix well and the stuffing is ready.

Method

  1. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough using a rolling pin.
  2. Roll the dough through a pasta machine to paper thin (most machines will have a recommended setting for ravioli). Dust with a little flour between each roll if needed.
  3. With a cutter, make circles with a diameter of 15cm.
  4. Insert stuffing in the centre of each circle. Fold and close in a crescent shape pressing the edges to seal. With a fork, mark the outside border.
  5. Place the ravioli on a tray with lots of flour. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the pasta for 3-4 minutes.

Serve with your favourite pasta sauce or ragu and cover with lashings of fresh parmesan. Enjoy.

If you’re looking to sample real Italian fare, book Trafalgar’s Rome and Tuscan Highlights package.

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