Ravioli Dolci di Ricotta

Fried Ravioli with Sweet Ricotta Filling

Though these are a Sicilian version of this sweet, there are many other versions in other regions of Italy, usually served at Christmastime. Make sure the filled ravioli have an opportunity to rest for a couple of hours after they are filled to minimize the chances of their opening or bursting during frying.

Ingredients

    Dough

  • cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ cup water

    Ricotta Filling

  • 1 cup well-drained whole-milk ricotta, commercial or homemade
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 ounce semisweet chocolate, coarsely grated
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten, for sealing
  • quarts light or pure olive oil or vegetable oil, for finishing

Method

For the dough, combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a mixing bowl and stir to mix. Rub the butter in finely so that the mixture remains dry and powdery and does not become pasty. Whisk the eggs and water together and stir into the flour mixture with a folk. Continue stirring until the dough masses together in the bowl. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and fold the dough over on itself several times. Wrap in plastic and chill for 1 hour (or up to 2 days).

For the ricotta filling, press the ricotta through a sieve or fine strainer into a bowl. Whisk in the remaining filling ingredients.

To form the ravioli, flour the dough and roll it out to a ¼-inch thickness. Pass the dough through a pasta machine until the third setting. Divide the dough into 4 pieces and pass each piece of dough through the machine’s settings, ending with the next-to-last setting.

Arrange the 4 strips of dough on a work surface and drop teaspoonfuls of the filling onto the dough at 4-inch intervals, about inches from the edge. Paint the dough around the filling very lightly with the beaten egg white on one strip at a time, then fold over the top half of the dough to enclose the filling, as in the illustration. Press well with your fingertips around the filling, then cut the dough into 3-inch squares around the filling to form the ravioli, as in the illustration.

Arrange the ravioli on lightly floured pans and allow to rest at room temperature about 2 hours. Heat the oil to 350 degrees and fry the ravioli about 6 at a time until they are a deep golden color, about 5 minutes, stirring them gently with a slotted spoon while they are frying.

Drain the ravioli on paper towels and cool.

Before serving, dust lightly with the confectioners’ sugar.

Confectioners’ sugar for finishing

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