Swiss Chard Ravioli
From the tortelli family, anzelottos are rectangles often with ridged edges. “They’re made with a thicker, bright white dough of plain semola flour and hot water, which penetrates the proteins in the rustic flour more easily,” chef Evan Funke of Felix in Los Angeles says. “The filling is similarly meager—classically sheep’s milk ricotta and dandelion, borage, or whatever greens you could find.” And the typical sauce is a humble lightly cooked tomato purée. But the homemade dough and quality ingredients still add up to tons of flavor. Top them with plenty of Pecorino Fiore Sardo, a nutty, lightly smoky, aged sheep’s milk cheese from Sardinia.
What You Will Need
- Small Pot
- Bench Knife or Bowl Scraper
- Plastic Wrap
- Large Skillet
- Fine Sieve
- Rolling Pin
- Bicycle Cutter or Knife and Ruler
- Medium Saucepan
- Large Pot
- Spider Skimmer or Slotted Spoon
- Large Serving Bowl
For the dough and filling:
- 2 3⁄4 cups plus 1 Tbsp. (370 g.) semola flour
- 1 1⁄2 tsp. (5 g.) olive oil
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- 5 packed cups (255 g.) Swiss chard or beet greens, rinsed, stems removed
- Kosher Salt
- 2 tbsp. dry white wine
- 2 cups sheep’s milk ricotta
- 1⁄2 cup (50 g.) grated Pecorino Fiore Sardo
- 1 large egg
For the sauce:
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, smashed
- 5 large basil leaves
- 1 sprig fresh marjoram (optional)
- 4 cups coarsely puréed whole peeled tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
- Kosher salt
- 2 tbsp. finely grated Pecorino Fiore Sardo, plus more as needed
- Make the dough: In a small pot, heat ¾ cup (175 g.) water until nearly simmering (about 140°). On a clean work surface, mound the flour. Create a deep well in the center and add the oil and water. Using a fork and starting from the interior wall of the well, gradually incorporate the flour into the wet ingredients as if scrambling eggs, until a thick batter-like consistency forms. Use a bench knife or bowl scraper to cut and fold the remaining flour into the center until a shaggy mass forms; press it to form a dough.
- With clean dry hands, move the dough and any remaining scraps and flour to a clean work surface. Sift some flour lightly over the board, then knead the dough until semi-smooth, about 3 minutes. Scrape the work surface of any dried flakes and continue to knead dough gently until it is smooth and supple and springs back when poked, and most or all of the flour is incorporated, about 15 minutes more. (If the dough is dry and tight, wrap in plastic and let rest for 5–10 minutes before continuing to knead.) Wrap the ball tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour or ideally 1 day before shaping.
- Make the filling: In a large skillet set over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil until it shimmers. Add the Swiss chard and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring frequently, until the greens soften and wilt, 5 minutes. Add the white wine and 2 tablespoons water and continue cooking until the greens are tender and the liquid is fully reduced, about 7 minutes. Let rest until cool enough to touch. Transfer the greens to several layers of thick paper towels or cheesecloth, wrap them up, and squeeze to extract any additional moisture.
- Finely chop the greens; transfer to a medium bowl. Set a fine sieve over the bowl and add the ricotta; press with a spatula to pass the cheese through. Stir in the pecorino and egg. Season the mixture with salt as needed, then pack into a piping bag fitted with a round tip. Refrigerate until ready to use, up to 3 days.
- Prepare the pasta: Using a mattarello or rolling pin, roll out the dough as thinly as possible into a large circle at least 22 inches in diameter (see pg. 99). Using a bicycle cutter or sharp knife and ruler, trim the dough into seven 3¼-inch-wide strips. Starting 1¼ inches in from the end, pipe 1 scant teaspoon of filling into the center of one strip of dough. Continue to pipe balls of filling every 2½ inches down the strip. Holding on to one of the long sides of the dough, carefully pull the dough over the filling to cover, then, using the pads of your fingers and sides of your thumbs, press the dough tightly around the filling to seal and push out any air bubbles. Using a taglia ravioli (festooned pasta wheel), trim and divide the anzelottos on the three sides with seams to form 1½x2½-inch rectangles. Repeat with the remaining strips of dough and filling.
- Make the sauce: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the oil. Once hot, add the garlic, basil, and marjoram if using. Cook until the basil is wilted and the garlic is aromatic, 1–2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and season with salt; bring to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer. Let cook until slightly reduced, 12–15 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary.
- Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, add the anzelottos and stir immediately; cook until the pasta floats to the top and is al dente, 1½–2 minutes.
- Using a spider or slotted spoon, remove the pasta to a large serving bowl or platter, reserving the cooking water. Add 2 tablespoons of grated cheese and a few spoonfuls of the pomodoro sauce to taste; toss, adding 1 or more tablespoons of the pasta water as needed to loosen the sauce. Garnish with more pecorino; serve.