"Making fresh filled pasta is an art form, so don't be discouraged if at first the ravioli are not perfect. It usually takes a few practice runs to get this dish right, but it's well worth the effort." Nino Zoccali, Pendolino, Sydney, NSW
- 1½ tbsp olive oil
- 6 pork cheeks, trimmed (about 220gm each)
- 1 litre chicken stock (4 cups)
- 330 gm firm ricotta, drained
- 120 gm parmesan, finely grated, plus extra to serve
- 50 gm prosciutto, finely chopped
- 6 thin slices round pancetta
- 12 asparagus spears, halved
- 200 gm plain flour
- 2 eggs
- For dusting: fine semolina
- 1Preheat oven to 150C. Heat oil in a frying pan, season pork cheeks to taste and fry in batches, turning occasionally, until golden (3-5 minutes). Transfer to a casserole, add stock, cover, bake until tender (1½-2 hours). Remove half the pork, shred with forks (discard excess fat). Combine shredded pork, ricotta, parmesan and prosciutto in a bowl, season, set aside. Set aside remaining pork and stock.
- 2For pasta dough, combine flour and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Form a well, add eggs, stir to incorporate and form a dough, adding a little water if dough is too dry. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth (8-10 minutes). Cover in plastic wrap and set aside to rest (1 hour).
- 3Divide dough in half. Working with one piece at a time, feed dough through pasta machine, starting at widest setting and lightly flouring dough as you fold and feed it through, reducing settings notch by notch until pasta sheets are 2mm thick. Cut out 24 10cm-diameter rounds with a pastry cutter. Place 2 tsp pork mixture in the centre of each round, brush edges with water and fold to form a half-moon shape, pressing edges to seal. Set aside on a tray dusted with semolina.
- 4Meanwhile, preheat oven to 200C. Place pancetta on an oven tray, bake until crisp (4-5 minutes), set aside.
- 5Gently warm reserved stock and remaining pork cheeks in a saucepan over low heat.
- 6Meanwhile, cook mezzalune in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until al dente (4-5 minutes), adding asparagus during the last minute of cooking.
- 7Thinly slice warmed pork cheeks, arrange in serving bowls with mezzalune and asparagus, spoon over braising liquid, scatter with crisp pancetta and parmesan and serve hot.
This recipe is from the May 2011 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.