For Bon Appetit, by Alex Delany.
Have you ever thought, “What the hell would happen if I put an entire egg yolk in a ravioli?” If you don’t possess that culinary curiosity, turn back now, before it’s too late. These super-sized ravioli provide a home large enough for an entire yolk to rest comfortably on a bed of corn and cheese. With only two on a plate, the serving size on these is a bit smaller, but don’t let that stop you.
Roll That Dough
To start, dust a large rimmed baking sheet with cornmeal and set your pasta maker to the thickest setting; dust lightly with cornmeal. Divide your dough into 4 pieces and flatten each into a narrow rectangle (no wider than mouth of machine); pass through rollers. Fold your dough as needed to fit and roll again. Repeat this process without folding, adjusting machine to thinner settings after every pass, until pasta is 1/16″ thick (setting 8 on most machines). If you don’t have a machine, you can roll out sheets lengthwise with a rolling pin until 1/16″ thick. To know you’ve got your dough thin enough, hold it up to the light and pass your hand behind it. If you can see the shadow of your hand, you’re good to go.
Make a Home for Your Yolks
Make sure to lightly dust your work surface with cornmeal to avoid sticky dough. Working with one length at a time, cut the dough in half crosswise. Starting three inches from the short edge, spoon two tablespoons of your previously made corn mixture onto one strip. Spoon the second mound 4″ away from the first. Using the back of a tablespoon, create a divot in both mounds.
Get That Egg in There
It’s time to carefully slip an egg yolk into each depression. Be sure that you don’t puncture the yolk. An intact yolk is key to keeping your ravioli sealed.
Top each egg yolk with a basil leaf and lightly brush your egg wash around each mound. The egg wash will help bind the top layer of dough you are about to lay over your filling to the bottom layer.
Seal Them Up and Get That Air Out
Top your base dough, filling, and egg yolk with second the dough strip. Use your fingertips to press dough around each mound to seal and firmly press outward toward edges to push out any air pockets. Making sure the air is pushed out of your ravioli will ensure that they cook properly.
Cut out each raviolo with a circular cookie cutter that measures about three inches across. If you don’t have a cutter, you can use an appropriately sized glass or bowl. Transfer to your prepared sheet and dust with cornmeal. You should cover loosely with plastic wrap. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. To preserve the integrity of the yolk, these should be cooked within 20 minutes of sealing.
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