Handmade Cacio è Pepe Ravioli with Fresh Tomato Sauce
Cacio e pepe is a classic from Rome, and literally means “cheese and pepper”. This dish is inspired by it’s uncomplicated nature: handmade ravioli filled with ricotta, parmesan and pepper, finished with the world’s simplest fresh tomato sauce.
For the fresh pasta
500g 00 flour
For the filling
3 tablespoons of black peppercorns
100g finely grated parmesan
1 egg, whisked
Another egg, whisked separately
For the tomato sauce
1kg ripe tomatoes, any variety
1 bunch of fresh oregano
A little olive oil
What you need to do
Making the ravioli filling
Crush the peppercorns with a mortar and pestle.
Run the crushed peppercorns through a sifter. This will remove the shell of the peppercorns from the strong, fine pepper.
In a large bowl add the ricotta, parmesan, egg and pepper. Stir until the mixture is smooth.
Place in the fridge until ready to use.
Making the fresh pasta
Add the flour to a bowl and make a well in the centre. Crack the eggs into the well and fold in the flour with a spoon until the eggs have been fully absorbed.
Knead the dough a little in the bowl until a ball starts to form. When it does, take the ball out and knead it on a floured surface for 5-10 minutes, or until the ball is soft and smooth.
Wrap the dough ball tightly in cling wrap and let is sit for 20 minutes.
Cut the ball into four pieces, wrapping each tightly in cling wrap. This will keep it fresh until you’re ready to roll it.
Making the ravioli
Take one of the pasta balls and roll it into a fine sheet as if you were making fresh pasta. (Keep rolling until your reach the finest setting on your machine)
On a floured chopping board, cut the end of your pasta sheet to make a straight edge.
Take one corner and fold it over to touch the opposite side of the sheet. Cut your pasta sheet where the corner meets the opposite edge, forming a shape square.
Add your ricotta mixture to a piping bag, and pipe a dollop into the centre.
Brush egg lightly onto two edges.
Take the edges with the egg and fold them over to the opposite side, turning the square pasta into a triangle ravioli shape.
Place your finished ravioli onto a floured board or dish. Repeat until you have completed all of the ravioli. Place your finished ravioli in the fridge until you’re ready to boil them.
Making the sauce
Using the finest edge of a cheese grater, grate the tomatoes.
One they have all been grated down to a fine pup, add chopped oregano and a splash of olive oil.
Add salt to taste.
Bringing it together
Boil a pot of water with a tablespoon of salt. When it is boiling, add a generous dash of olive oil. This will stop the ravioli from sticking together.
Gently drop each ravioli into the water. Meanwhile, heat the sauce. It doesn’t need to cook for long, just long enough to be heated through.
The ravioli will be done after 5 minutes, or when they all float to the top of the pot.
Remove each ravioli individually with a straining spoon.
Add as many ladles of the fresh tomato sauce as you like and top with parmesan.
Perfect as an entree or a light pasta main.