There is something so romantic about one single raviolo with a magical runny egg yolk spilling out into a butter sauce. This step by step guide makes it a super achievable dish to make at home, you can do this! Egg yolk ravioli really is an absolute showstopper of a dish and insanely delicious too with a spinach and ricotta filling to die for.
Hello! Just in time for Valentine's Day (I REALLY don't celebrate and this is perfect for any special occasion!). Raviolo al uovo is such a famous dish first made in the 1970's and with a little practice and patience I promise you, you can make this!
A ring of spinach and ricotta filling encases a single egg yolk which then creates a beautiful rich sauce when cut into. To be clear, the egg yolk gets cooked enough to make it safe to eat but still runny. I love to serve it in an easy lemon butter sauce with crisp sage leaves and red onion petals. To make it even easier you can leave those toppings off and just finish with some lemon zest and parmesan.
What you will need
Piping bag - It makes placing the filling SO much easier if you use a piping bag. A snap lock with the corner cut off will also work.
Wooden chopping board - It always works best making pasta on a wooden surface.
Sharp knife or pizza cutter - To cut the edges of the ravioli you need a sharp knife to get good clean cuts, a pizza cutter is great! An optional tool for cutting the edges is a fluted pasta and pastry wheel which is what I have used here.
Pasta dough - You can use my Easy Homemade Pasta Dough for the perfect fresh pasta dough.
Egg yolks - Use room temperature eggs, I tend to separate each whole egg yolk from the white right at the time it goes on top of the filling. You can freeze the leftover egg whites to use at another time.
For the filling
Ricotta - this is the basis for the filling.
Spinach - I use frozen spinach because I just find it easier. I fry it slightly to get rid of all the moisture. You want a sturdy filling to hold the yolk so this is a great trick. I let the frozen spinach defrost overnight in the fridge.
Fresh Lemon Juice - I'm always looking for ways to cut through the richness of a dish and a touch of lemon in the filling is perfect.
Parmesan - To add some flavor and seasoning. Finely grated with a microplane or star side of a box grater.
Nutmeg - A traditional addition to this kind of filling. Totally optional.
For the sauce
Butter - Use unsalted butter or salted just be aware that salted butter can sometimes be too salty. I like to be able to add the salt myself.
Fresh lemon juice - As I say above this is a rich dish and I find a squeeze of lemon in the sauce makes it more balanced.
Pasta Water - This is an emulsified butter sauce (sounds fancy but just means two or more liquids mixed together). Pasta water helps to turn the butter into a slightly thickened sauce as opposed to a brown butter sauce.
Optional toppings - I served this with some crispy sage and roasted red onion.
- Make the filling ahead - I always make a ricotta based filling ahead so it has some time to solidify slightly in the fridge. This makes it so much easier to form the ravioli and a firm ring for the yolk to sit into. Even an hour before you need to use it is good.
- Roll your sheets of pasta thin (but not too thin) - On a marcato I go twice through setting 6. If you roll too thick it will take too long to cook in the water and you run the risk of cooking the egg yolk too much. It should only be in the water for about 4 minutes.
- If the pasta sheets get a little dry - use a pastry brush to brush a little water around the filling to help the top layer stick.
- Make the ravioli close to the time you want to cook - In my recipes I often suggest making filled pasta ahead and freezing but that is a no go with the egg yolk. I wouldn't have them sitting out much longer then 30 mins before cooking.
- Cook in a really large pot of water - they are big so need room in the boiling water, which helps the corners to stay flat. Remove carefully from the water with a spider strainer or slotted spoon.
How to shape the egg yolk raviolo
Full recipe and a tutorial video (which is a must to watch!) is in the recipe card below.
ONE:?Have a nice clean work surface. Roll out your pasta dough and cut into 2 x 15cm squares.
TWO: Pipe an even ring of filling, you can use a cookie cutter to lightly stamp a guide. I used a 6.5cm (2.5 inch round cutter). You can use your fingers to neaten up the ring after if you need.
THREE: Seperate an egg and plop the yolk into the middle of the ring. The piped ring should be small enough that the yolk sits on top rather than touching the bottom layer of pasta.
FOUR: Start to encase the filling with your second sheet (the video below will help here). Press the layers at the centre back together.
FIVE: Keeping the front lifted up work around the filling, pressing the two layers together. You want to work all the air out.
SIX: Always keep a part of the top layer lifted up so you don't trap air in. If you get pleats in the pasta along the way it's no big deal!
SEVEN: Work your way around the other side until you get to the middle. Get that last piece of air out as best as you can. It's quite impossible to get all the air pockets out with a raviolo this big so don't stress.
EIGHT: Press the two layers of pasta together so they are nice and secure and thinned out slightly. Don't press too hard or it will be hard to lift off the board.
NINE: Cut the edges with a fluted wheel, pizza cutter or regular knife.
TEN: Place the finished ravioli (they are quite delicate to pick up) onto a tray lined with baking paper and dusted generously with semolina. Lightly drape some cling film over them.
Optional topping ideas
If you want to keep it simple or its your first time making this you could finish with just the butter sauce as the runny yolk is magic enough. Top it with some black pepper, a sprinkling of freshly grated parmesan cheese and even some grated lemon zest. Or like I have:
Crispy sage leaves - You can check out my 10 minute brown butter for pasta recipe to see how to crisp them up. You won't need to use as much butter as it isn't going to be used for the sauce.
Roasted red onion petals - I love the sweetness these bring to the dish and you can do them ahead. Here is how:
- Cut a red onion into 6 - 8 wedges.
- Toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar and a good pinch of salt and pepper.
- Roast in the oven at 200c (390f) for 15 - 20 minutes until nicely caramelized.
Unfortunately with the egg yolk these pretty much need to be cooked at the time. You definitely can't freeze them and even storing in the fridge you run the risk of the pasta becoming soggy. Loosely cover them on the tray with plastic wrap for no longer than 30 - 40 mins.
With practice BUT there is no big deal if you get a few air bubbles. It's pretty hard to avoid with a filling this tall. Don't stress.
Absolutely! It's just like the yolk in a runny poached egg. It is cooked long enough in the water to make it safe to consume.
Want some other filled pasta dishes to try?
If you have made this egg yolk ravioli, you deserve a break. Go have a lie down and give yourself a big pat on the back! When you are ready to rejoin the pasta world I have lots of filled pasta recipes to try. If you need to get back to basics make sure you check out my Guide to Easy Homemade Ravioli. For a finished dish try my Roast Pumpkin Agnolotti or my Bacon and Ricotta Ravioli in a Creamy Mushroom Sauce.
Made this recipe and loved it?
I would love love LOVE if you could leave me a review down below and let me know what you thought! I love to hear any changes or adaptions you have made too. Also if you put a photo on instagram, please tag me so I can see, it makes my day!Print