Bitter Ravioli are a tipical dish of a small island in the south of Sicily called Pantelleria. They are served either as a first course or as a dessert, as a matter of fact, it is a tradition to serve them with honey every time a big step is accomplished while building a new house, for example when the roof is finished or when the floor is layed.
This time I made them to be eaten as a first course, I made 2 different shapes to tell them appart as the half moon shaped ones were made with fresh ricotta and fresh mint, and the tortellini shaped ones were made with fresh ricotta and dry mint . . . both versions were delicious !!
Ingredients for 4 people:
For the pasta: 4 eggs, 400g of durum flour
For the filling: 400 g fresh ricotta, 2 o 3 leaves of fresh mint
To make the pasta, set the flour in a crater on the work surface ( or if you wish to avoid a mess you can mix it in a bowl), add the eggs and work together untill all flour has been absorbed and the dough is smooth and elastic (a good 10 minutes of hard work!) . Cover with plastic paper and let rest in refrigerator for 15/20 minutes.
In the meantime prepare the filling: chop the mint leaves very finely and add them to the ricotta, mix well so that the mint is spread right through the cheese.
Then take the pasta out of the refrigerator and cut in 4, you will use 1/4 of the pasta at a time and keep what you are not using covered with plastic wrap.
Start rolling the pasta out with the pasta machine ( or by hand if you wish . . .). In order to reach the right consistency, I suggest that you fold the pasta and let it go through the pasta machine a couple of times before you start making it thinner.
When you reach the thinnest step on your pasta machine, you will cut out circles ( or other shapes as you prefer) with the pasta cutter, any pasta that is left over will be rolled out again and used.
On each circle of pasta you will set a small dollop of ricotta, using your finger you will slightly wet the perimeter of the circe ( this will work as a glue for the ravioli).
Now you can close the ravioli shaping them like a half moon, or like tortellini, or you can simply put an other circle of pasta on top and press the sides together.
The only thing that you should be careful is to take out as much air as possible while closing the ravioli, otherwise they might explode while cooking as the air will expand with the heat.
When the ravioli are ready you should dust with flour to avoid them sticking to the surface or to eachother.
Ravioli must be cooked in a large pot of salted boiling water, a few seconds after they come to surface you can take them out of the water with a slotted spoon and dress them with melted butter ( or honey if you are building a new house !)