This is one of the simplest and most delicious of all the filled pasta recipes from Emilia-Romagna. Like a lot of classic Italian dishes, it relies on the absolute freshness and quality of ingredients, in this case, ricotta.
400g/14oz/1¾cupsricotta cheese pinch of grated nutmeg
175g/6oz/2cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
200g/7oz/generous 1cup fine semolina
5fresh sage leaves, rubbed gently between your palms to release their flavour
sea salt and ground black pepper
Put the ricotta cheese in a bowl and mix in the nutmeg, half the Parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper. Add an egg and blend the mixture together. Set aside.
Put the flour and semolina on to the worktop and make a hollow in the middle using your fist. Break the remaining 5 eggs into the hole. Stir the eggs into the dry ingredients, then begin to knead together.
Add the olive oil and knead until you have a smooth, elastic dough. Rest the dough under a clean cloth or wrap in clear film or plastic wrap for 20 minutes.
Roll out the dough thinly using a rolling pin or pasta machine until fine, silky and cool. Divide it lengthways into 6cm/2½in-wide strips. Work on one strip at a time, covering the other with a slightly damp cloth.
Drop 5ml/1tsp of the ricotta cheese mixture in heaps along one half of each strip, leaving a gap of two fingers between each one.
Fold the strip in half, over the filling, encasing the filling at one side. Using a pastry or cookie cutter or an upturned glass, cut around each section of filled pasta to make a crescent with a straight edge. Seal the curved edge of each crescent with the prongs of a fork. Continue in this way until all the dough has been cut.
Bring a large pan of salted water to a rolling boil. Drop the ravioli into the water and boil until they float on the surface and are tender. Remove the ravioli with a slotted spoon, and arrange in a warmed serving dish.
Meanwhile, melt the butter with the sage leaves in a small pan until warm and golden, but not browned.
When all the pasta is in the serving dish, pour over the melted butter and mix carefully to distribute without breaking up the ravioli. Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.