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Recipe of the week: Masa pasta ravioli with cured egg yolks and Gulf bottarga

23 April 2020
Recipe of the week: Masa pasta ravioli with cured egg yolks and Gulf bottarga

Taken from Cooking in Marfa, by Virginia Lebermann and Rocky Barnette

Serves 6

  • 283g plain flour
  • 283g Maseca or masa harina, plus more for dusting
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 18 egg yolks
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2tbs avocado oil
  • 80g tiny green amaranth florets, blanched and shocked
  • 1tbs gochugaru (Korean red chilli flakes)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

For serving

  • 240ml squash leaf pesto (see below)
  • 60ml extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cured egg yolks (see below)
  • Bottarga, preferably Gulf Coast Caviar brand
  • 4tbs thyme leaves
  • 4tbs desert willow flowers

In a food processor, pulse together the flour and Maseca. With the machine running, add the whole eggs and, if needed to form a dough, up to 60ml water. When it combines and forms a ball, remove and knead by hand for 5-7 minutes to develop the gluten structure. Cover with cling film and let rest in the refrigerator for at least one hour.

Divide the pasta dough into four portions. Progressively run each portion through a pasta machine ending with sheets at the number 2 setting.

Lay a sheet on a work surface that has been dusted with Maseca. Place half of the egg yolks 7.5cm apart in a line down the centre of one of the pasta sheets. Using the egg whites, brush a circle 5cm in diameter around each egg yolk. Top with another sheet of pasta and use the dull (unfluted) side of a 6.5cm fluted ring cutter to press the pasta down around the egg yolk sealing it in. Use your fingers to press around the sealed egg yolk sealing the sheets of pasta together. Cut out the ravioli with the fluted side of the cutter and place them on a sheet pan dusted with Maseca and allow to air-dry for 15 minutes. Cover and refrigerate.

Meanwhile, in a frying pan, heat the avocado oil over high heat. Quickly sauté the amaranth and season with the gochugaru and salt and pepper to taste. Drain on paper towels. Reserve.

To serve

Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil.

Using a Microplane, carpet six individual plates with a layer of Parmigiano-Reggiano. Place two spoons of squash leaf pesto in the centre of each plate.

Add the ravioli to the boiling water and cook for exactly two minutes. Drain and dress with olive oil, salt and pepper.

Place three ravioli on each plate and scatter the amaranth florets around. Garnish with microplaned cured egg yolks and bottarga, the thyme leaves, and desert willow flowers.

Squash leaf, radish top or beet green pesto

Makes 1 litre

  • 195g hulled pumpkin seeds
  • 2 litres firmly packed greens, stemmed and washed
  • 1tsp citric acid
  • 475ml extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

On a hot comal or in a dry frying pan, toast 130g of the pumpkin seeds until lightly toasted and fragrant. Let cool, then transfer to a food processor. Add the remaining 65g pumpkin seeds, the greens, and citric acid and purée. With the machine running, slowly add the olive oil to emulsify. Season to taste.

We freeze the mixture in Pacojet beakers and Pacotize two times before serving. This gives the pesto a smooth texture while maintaining the vibrant green color. You can also purée this in a high-powered blender, skipping the freezing part and serve immediately, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for three days.

Cured egg yolks

Makes 12 cured egg yolks

  • 270g sea salt
  • 200g sugar
  • 12 egg yolks, preferably from eggs from your own chickens

In a small bowl, stir together the salt and sugar. Layer half of the mixture in a nonreactive container (we use a two-litre plastic container with a lid that is 5cm deep) and arrange the egg yolks on the curing mixture at least 2.5cm apart. Cover them with the other half of the curing mix. Cover the container, place in the refrigerator, and let cure for seven days.

Remove the yolks and rinse under cool water and place on paper towels to dry. We then tie them in individual sachets of cheesecloth and hang them in a cool breezy place for 3-5 days. We do this to make them very dry so that when we grate them on the Microplane the end result is fluffy, like aged Parmesan cheese. This step is optional. Store in an airtight container.

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