serves: makes filling of about 20 ravioli
This is a simple, pure version of cheese ravioli, without the eggs that are usually added to firm up the filling. Use fresh whole milk ricotta with large curds and drain it thoroughly to get the best consistency. With creamy fillings such as this one, I feel that a slightly thicker dough provides more texture and is preferable to a very thin dough. If you roll your dough strips to get 18 or 20 ravioli-following the guidelines below-that's better than trying to stretch them to get 24. Do not over-sauce ravioli. The stuffing will render them rich and all you need is enough sauce to coat them lightly. So all those one cup and half-a-cup of sauces you have saved in the freezer might be just enough to dress a batch of ravioli.
12 ounces ricotta, well drained
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut in 1/4-inch cubes
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon white pepper, coarsely ground
½ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, freshly grated
Roll dough strips for filling. For each raviolo, scoop a scant tablespoon of ricotta, shape it round and drop in place. Press a shallow well in the soft top of the round and fill with drops of olive oil-barely a 1/4 teaspoon on each portion. (Instead of trying to pour the oil, dip the broad end of a fork or spoon into a cup of oil and let the drops roll into the well.)
Press two or three cubes of mozzarella into the ricotta round, covering the oil. Sprinkle a good pinch of sea salt on and around the ricotta; do the same with a pinch of white pepper. Cover and cut the ravioli.
Cook and sauce ravioli. Remove pan from heat and sprinkle over the freshly grated cheese and serve.