Up for a little challenge? Have a pasta maker (or a neighbor with a stash of unused gadgets begging to move into your kitchen)? This recipe came to us as we were working through Thomas McNaughton’s Flour + Water book last summer. We happened upon the celery root filling recipe in the book and went for it; replacing walnuts with hazelnuts, tweaking the dough a bit and taking some liberties with the shape of the filled pasta.
1-1/4cupsAll purpose flour
3ouncesFreshly shaved parmesan.
Salt and pepperto taste
Celery Root Filling
2tspFresh thyme leaves
1/2cupFreshly grated parmesan
Salt and pepperto taste
Place the flour in a medium sized bowl and arm yourself with a fork. Dig a well in the center of the flour.
Pour your yolks and oil in the center of the well. Using your fork, beat the eggs slowly, gathering a bit of flour every time. Keep adding flour until you have gathered all you can. Everyone's flour and eggs are different, so add as much or as little flour as you need to get a firm ball of dough together. If it's too sticky, add flour. Too dry; add more oil. You'll find that it is a lot easier to add more flour than oil, so don't use more flour than what you need. You will also appreciate a dryer dough late in this process.
All right. You've got a ball of dough. Now lightly (very lightly) flour your counter or cutting board and begin kneading the dough. To do this, push the dough forward with the heel of your hand, then fold it over towards you, turn the dough a 1/4 turn and repeat. For about 5 minutes. Your dough will be ready when it resists you. Hands a mess? Wash them, dry them and return to your lovely dough. Cover and rest on the counter for at least one hour (or cheat by wrapping it and placing it in the freezer for 20 minutes).
Prepare your filling. Once the filling is finished and cooled, return your attention to the dough.
Whether you're using a hand-crank machine or KitchenAid attachment, you want to start this process off by setting it to the widest setting (the rollers should be as far apart as they can). Dust your table with flour- we prefer semolina, but all purpose will do the trick.
Working with 1/4 of the dough at a time, flatten each (keeping the others covered while you work to keep them from drying out) and begin rolling one on the widest setting. If it goes through without a hitch (tearing), you're all set. Otherwise, fold the dough in half and repeat on this first setting until the dough is wide and smooth. Run the dough through the machine, one setting at a time, until you reach the second thinnest setting. always flouring if the dough is sticky at all.
Have you filling ready. You can pipe the filling in using a pastry bag or spoon. Using this same dough, move on to the next level. You want to go to the second to last level when making filled pastas. Once a thin sheet is ready, pipe or spoon the filling in the center of the sheet in domes about 1-1/2" apart from each other. Fold the dough over (using a touch of water if it's too dry to let it stick). Press around the filling first, then between the ravioli. Trim between each or use a cookie cutter to cut them out individually. Continue with remaining pasta, placing each ravioli on a floured plate or cookie sheet to prevent sticking.
Prepare a large skillet for the sauce. Melt the butter on medium low until it browns. Turn the heat down to low and add the balsamic vinegar. Add the salt and keep warm until pasta is done.
Bring a large pot filled 3/4 of the way with water. Add loads of salt. As in at least 3 Tbsps. Forget the oil; a roiling boil is more effective at keeping the pasta from sticking. Place the ravioli in a slotted spoon or strainer and lower into the water. Cover and cook for 2-3 minutes, depending on their size.
Pick up the ravioli with a slotted spoon or strainer and place into the brown butter sauce. Toss for a moment, adding hazelnuts as well. Serve immediately with shaved parmesan on top.
Celery Root Filling
Peel the celery root and wash them. Dice these and your onions.
Place the oil in a large skillet or pan and turn to medium heat. Add the celery root and cook these for about 5 minutes; they will soften but should not brown. Add the onions and the thyme, season well with salt and pepper and cook for another 4-5 minutes. Add the cream, turn the heat down and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring. Taste, adjust seasoning and add cheese. Puree in a blender and set aside to cool (chilling is smart here).
Our classic pasta recipe calls for 10 yolks for every 1-1/4 cups of flour. It will make more pasta than you’ll need (unless you’re feeding an army or a staff of hungry kitchen assistants), but the ravioli are quite freezable and make a wonderful I-forgot-to-shop-for-dinner-wait!-there’s-pasta-in-the-freezer moment. We love adding whole grains to nearly everything, especially when pairing with nuts, so feel free to sub out half of your all purpose flour with whole wheat flour, but add three whole eggs to the recipe to compensate for the bran in the whole wheat flour’s thirst.