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Michael Chiarello’s Gnocchi Ravioli

Related Ingredients
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Tasting Notes

The soft, subtle texture of the potato gnocchi dough gives a luxurious, rich texture to the outside of the ravioli.

The meltingly tender dough makes a perfect foil for the sweet chard and ricotta and is thick enough to encase a decadent surprise – a burst of rich, golden egg yolk in the center of each piece of ravioli.

Tips & Techniques

  1. Warm front. Work the dough while it’s still warm and the steam will keep it light and easy to mix. This helps to minimize the amount of flour added, to further ensure that the finished product isn’t gummy or pasty.
  2. Mixing tip. Making a crater in the middle of the warm potato mixture and adding the eggs to it helps to distribute the eggs more evenly. The end result is smooth dough, with no pockets of egg.

Toolbox

This tool is one we find especially helpful when making this dish.

  1. Food mill or ricer. To get perfect, lump-free dough without overworking your potatoes, simply pass them through an old-fashioned food mill or potato ricer. This tool also makes the perfect mashed potatoes for Michael Mina’s Crab Brandade.

The list below includes all the equipment you’ll want to make this dish.

  • Baking dish or sheet pan
  • Food mill or ricer
  • Large bowl
  • Cutting board or large clean surface like a marble countertop
  • Bench scraper
  • Rolling pin
  • Pasta cutter or ring mold
  • Baking sheet with flour or parchment
  • Small individual containers
  • Small bowl and pastry brush
  • Gloves
  • Microplane
  • Large pot
  • Spider


Ingredients
  • 2 pounds large (about 3 to 4) unpeeled russet potatoes, scrubbed
  • 18 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan (from a 3-ounce chunk)
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (about 10 ounces), plus extra for dusting work surfaces
  • 1 large egg, beaten with 2 tablespoons water
  • Essential equipment: ricer

Yield: makes about 12 (3 1/2-inch) ravioli
Active time: 1 hour
Total time: 3 hours 30 minutes

Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Pierce the potatoes all over with a fork and bake until a knife can easily be inserted and removed from the potatoes, about 70 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool just enough to handle. (The goal is to quickly release the steam that has built up in the potatoes. Rubber gloves are useful when working with hot potatoes.)
  2. Immediately peel the potatoes or scoop out their flesh with a spoon and press the flesh through a ricer. Spread the riced potatoes out onto a large baking sheet to allow the steam to escape and let cool. You should have about 5 cups total. On a work surface, mix the potatoes, cheese, and a big pinch of salt gently to combine and form the mixture into a loose mound. Make a well in the center of the mound.
  3. Add 5 of the egg yolks to the well and break them up using a fork. Work the potato mixture into the eggs, a little at a time, until smooth. The key here is to not overwork the dough or it will become gummy. Add the flour, 1/2 cup at a time, and gently knead just until the dough becomes a large smooth ball, for about 5 minutes. (Note: Cutting the dough in half with a bench scraper and placing it on top of the other and then pressing it down will help to mix the flour in but not overwork the gluten in the flour). The dough should feel firm but yielding. To test, pinch off a piece of dough and roll it on a floured surface into a rope about 1/2-inch in diameter. If the rope holds together, the dough is perfect. If it’s too dry, add another yolk or 2 tablespoons of water to the dough. If the rope seems damp and falls apart, add more flour, knead, and test again. Cover the finished dough with a damp cloth and let it rest for 30 minutes at room temperature.
  4. On a floured surface, divide the dough into two equal balls. Roll one dough half to 1/8 to 3/16-inch thick, flouring the dough and surface as needed so the dough doesn’t stick. With a 3 1/2-inch diameter ring mold or small bowl, cut rounds from the dough. If you need to, push together the dough scraps and re-roll until smooth. Once you have all of the rounds cut, repeat with the other half of the dough. You should end up with about 24 rounds. Sprinkle a baking sheet with flour and hold the circles on the sheet in between layers of parchment paper.
  5. On 12 of the dough rounds, pipe a ring of the spinach filling starting 1/2 inch from the edge. Make sure to leave a 1 1/2 inch circle of dough in the center to hold the egg yolk. Carefully drop an egg yolk in the center of each round. Season the yolk with gray salt and pepper. Brush the egg-water mixture along the edges of all 24 dough rounds. Place an empty dough round over a filled one, gently sealing it all the way around, careful so as not to break the yolk inside. If you choose, crimp the edges as you would a pie. Transfer the ravioli to a floured baking sheet, cover with a damp cloth and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. If storing for longer, up to 8 hours, cover the cloth-covered ravioli with plastic wrap.
  6. Boil a large pot of salted water. Place one or two ravioli in the water at a time. The ravioli is ready 45 seconds after it floats to the top of the water. Take out with a spider and place on a plate.

Here is a great way to turn this dish into a meal

Gnocchi with sautéed greens, brown butter, herbs & parmesan

Roll the dough into gnocchi, boil them in salted water and then toss them with sautéed greens, brown butter, Parmesan cheese and herbs.

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