Bring 6 litres of water to a boil and salt it. In a separate large pan over a low heat melt the butter and add the black pepper and sage leaves to infuse. Drop 6–8 ravioli per person into the water. (‘Butta la pasta’.)
Some authorities say that ravioli are ready when they float. This is nonsense, my home-made ones always contain pockets of air and bob engagingly immediately on hitting the water. The ravioli will take about 5 minutes but after 4 remove one and snip off a corner (where the pasta is double thickness and therefore taking longest to cook) to taste and check.
As soon as it is cooked, remove from the pan with a spider and transfer, still dripping, to the butter pan. Turn the heat up under the butter pan and add the Parmesan. Stir and toss gently until the butter, Parmesan and residual water amalgamate to form a coating sauce. Serve immediately. Any ravioli not served can be frozen.
© 1996 Alastair Little. All rights reserved.