Merry Christmas! (well I was supposed to publish this around Christmas day, but somehow I got sidetracked until now….)
For Christmas I cooked this roll of pasta with radicchio and ricotta, super yummy and not as complicated as it might sound.
for the pasta dough:
- 1 1/2 cup flour
- 2 eggs
- pinch of salt
for the filling:
- 2-3 heads of radicchio
- 1-2 shallots
- 1/2 lb. ricotta
- 1/2 cup taleggio
- 2 egg yolks
For the pasta dough:
- First I started by making pasta: put 1 and 1/2 cups of flour in a mixing bowl, create a shallow well in the middle and break 2 eggs in it. Add a pinch of salt and start mixing with a fork, mixing in flour slowly. Basically you start by beating the egg and slowly widen the beating motion to add a bit of the flour at the margin of the well. Keep doing it until you have a rather solid ball of dough and you cannot add any more flour using the fork, at that point get dirty and start kneading the dough with your hands. You should get a pretty tough, smooth and elastic dough. At this point, cover the dough and let it rest for about 30 min (I usually place it under the bowl I was using to knead).
For the filling:
- While the dough rests prepare the filling. Cut into stripes 2 or 3 heads of radicchio (bitter red salad). Brown one or two diced shallots in oil and once they are soft add the radicchio. Salt and let it cook down until the radicchio is soft (about 5 minutes), turn the fire out and add a pint of ricotta, half a cup of diced taleggio and a couple of spoons of grated parmesan, salt and pepper to taste, mix everything and let cool down.
- Now you have to roll the dough out into thin (when you lift them you should be able to almost see through them, it is much easier if you have the little machine for making pasta) rectangular sheets of pasta. If the sheets are too small don't worry too much, you can create a bigger sheet of pasta by joining different sheets (for best results tough, is better if you don't need to join more than 3-4 sheets). Cook the sheets of pasta in boiling water for about 2 minutes, drain them and place them on large sheets of parchment paper. Arrange the sheets of pasta so that you have 2 rectangles each one that about as big as the oven dish you want to use to serve your roll.
- Mix 2 egg yolks in the filling. Put the filling onto the pasta sheets in a not too thick layer roll everything up, using the parchment paper to help you. Wrap the roll tightly in parchment paper and aluminum foil. Boil the rolls for about 5 minutes in boiling water.
- Once the rolls are cold, cut them into 1 inch thick slices and place in an oven dish. Sprinkle liberally with grated parmesan and butter a bake it in the oven for 20-30 minutes, until it is nice and warm and it has developed a nice, crispy, golden crust. You can even use the broil function for the last couple of minutes.
- This recipe can be prepared ahead: you can prepare the filling (minus the two yolks) up to 2 days ahead of time, and you can store the boiled rolls for up to 2 days in the fridge before cutting them, so it makes a nice recipe for Christmas or Thanksgiving, when you want to spend time with your guests rather than in the kitchen.
- With this quantities you are going to get a lot of food, enough for at least 8 people, and you will be probably left with leftover pasta. In case you do have leftover dough, roll it out, cut it into your favorite shape (easiest are fetuccine) and let it air dry. You can use it for your next pasta dish!
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