This is Chef Fortunato Nicotra's signature pasta on the menu at Felidia, and a personal favorite of mine.
To Dress the Pasta
3-4 Bartlett pears, peeled and cored
3 tablespoons mascarpone
1 pound grated fresh Pecorino Romano cheese, for stuffing of ravioli
2 tablespoons grated Pecorino Romano , to finish pasta
4 ounces aged grated Pecorino Romano
6 ounces butter
Black peppercorn to taste
For Fresh Egg Pasta
3 cups unbleached all purpose flour, or as needed 4 large eggs
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
warm water as needed
4 large eggs
For the Fresh Egg Pasta:
Spoon 2 2/3 cups of the flour into the work bowl of a large capacity food processor fitted with the metal blade. Beat the eggs, olive oil and salt together in a small bowl until blended. With the motor running, pour the egg mixture into the feed tube. Process until the ingredients form a rough and slightly sticky dough. If the mixture is too dry, drizzle a very small amount of warm water into the feed tube and continue processing. Scrape the dough out of the work bowl onto a lightly floured wood or marble surface.
Knead the dough by gathering it into a compact ball, then pushing the ball away from you with the heels of your hands. Repeat the gathering and pushing motion several times, then press into the dough, first with the knuckles of one hand, then with the other, several times. Alternate between kneading and “knuckling” the dough until it is smooth, silky and elastic—it pulls back into shape when you stretch it. The process will take 5 to 10 minutes of constant kneading, slightly longer if you prepared the dough by hand. (Mixing the dough in a food processor gives the kneading process a little head start). Flour the work surface and your hands lightly any time the dough begins to stick while you are kneading.
Roll the dough into a smooth all and place in a small bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rest at least one hour at room temperature, or up to 1 day in the refrigerator before rolling and shaping the pasta. If the dough has been refrigerated, let it stand at room temperature for about an hour before rolling and shaping.
For Ravioli: Divide the dough into three equal pieces and cover them with a clean kitchen towel. Working with one piece at a time, roll the pasta out on a lightly floured surface to a rectangle approximately 10 x 20 inches. Dust the work surface lightly with flour just often enough to keep the dough from sticking; too much flour will make the dough difficult to roll. If the dough springs back as you try to roll it, recover with the kitchen towel and let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Start rolling another piece of dough and come back to the first one once it has had a chance to rest. Let the pasta sheets rest, separated by kitchen towels, at least 15 minutes before cutting them. Roll each piece out to sheets about 30 inches long by 11 inches wide. Keep two of the pasta sheets covered with kitchen towels and place the third on the work surface in front of you with one of the long edges toward you. Arrange twenty of the filling mounds in two rows of ten over the top half of the dough, starting them about 1 ½ inches in from the sides of the dough rectangle and arranging them about 2 ½ inches from each other. Pat the fillings into rough rectangles that measure about 2 x 1 inch. Dip the tip of your finger into cool water and moisten the edges of the top half of the dough and in between the mounds of filling. Fold the bottom of the dough over the mounds of filling, lining up dough to the bottom firmly, squeezing out any air pockets as you work. With a pastry wheel or knife, cut between the filling into rectangles approximately 2 ½ x 2 inches. Pat lightly the tops of the ravioli to even out the filling. Pinch the edges of the ravioli to seal in the filling. Repeat with the remaining two pieces of dough.
For Dressing the Pasta:
On a cutting board grate the pears and the fresh pecorino cheese in two different mounds, using the side of the grater with the larger blades. In a bowl, mix this together with the mascarpone and remaining Pecorino Romano. This is your stuffing for the ravioli.
Prepare the pasta (see below) pulling it very thin and into a form of a rectangle and continue with the ravioli as described.
In a sauté pan, melt the butter with 8 ounces of water. Cook the ravioli in boiling water for 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and then toss the ravioli together with the melted butter in the saute’ pan for a few seconds. Remove from heat and finish with the aged Pecorino cheese and peppercorn flakes.