We started with our egg yolk pasta dough. We substituted 50% whole wheat flour. It adds a great nutty flavor to the pasta and by limiting the quantity of whole wheat flour, the dough retains its elasticity. For the filling we blended ricotta and queijo flamengo limiano, a Portuguese cheese. I had never had this cheese before. It is soft and slightly tangy, with a nice creaminess. It is sort of like a marriage between American processed cheese and the Flemish Edam. We blended 3 parts ricotta with 1 part of the queijo flamengo limiano and 0.5% salt based on the weight of only the ricotta--the Portuguese cheese was well seasoned on its own. We put large dollops of the cheese mixture into the center of the thin disks of pasta dough. We folded and and then pinched the dough together, making large tortellini. We boiled the tortellini and dressed them in brown butter seasoned with a pinch of smoked paprika. The queijo flamengo limiano melted into the ricotta creating a molten smooth ricotta filling. They seemed to explode in my mouth, oozing rich creamy flavor, balanced by the slightly earthy pasta casing. We built the dish based on the flavor of the cheese rather than focusing on its origins and that made all the difference. And begs the question, is an American cheese based ravioli too far of a stretch?
January 9, 2005