Ravioli di Carciofi
Prepare a regular batch of Fresh Pasta Sheets according to the recipe on page xx.
To prepare the fresh artichokes, squeeze the juice of a lemon into a large bowl of cold water. Rub your hands with the lemon skins to prevent your skin from being stained. Pull back and snap off the first 5 layers of tough outer leaves. Turn the artichoke upside down holding it by the leaves like you would an ice cream cone. Using a sharp paring knife and a circular motion cut away the dark green peel from the stem area as you would the skin from an apple.
To remove the thorny leaves, plunge the tip of a large chef’s knife through the leaves, about 2 - 2 ½ inches from the bottom of the artichoke. This will help in cutting the hard leaves. Then use the chef’s knife to slice the thorny leaves off at the cut mark. Cut the artichoke in quarters.
Again using your paring knife, place a quartered artichoke on a cutting board. Place the point of the knife behind the last row of purplish leaves that encase the hairy “choke”. With a slow and steady motion, cut out the “choke.” Be careful not to slice off the tender heart of the artichoke. You should have a fully trimmed quarter of artichoke with no tough leaves or coarse center. Place the pieces in the bowl of lemon water until you are ready to use.
In a wide saucepan or a 12-inch skillet, add the olive oil, onion, garlic, parsley, red pepper flakes and the thyme. Cook for 10-12 minutes over medium heat, stirring every few minutes until the onion and the garlic are tender and golden brown. Increase the heat to high, add the artichokes and cook, stirring well for 2-3 minutes, until the artichokes start to brown slightly. (Be careful not to burn the onions.) Add the wine and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring well to dislodge the flavorful brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the chicken stock, salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Stir and reduce the heat to simmer. Cover the pan, leaving the lid slightly ajar. Simmer until the artichokes are tender, 20-25 minutes.
Strain, pressing the solids gently to release as many juices as possible. Return the liquids to the pan. Puree the remaining artichoke pieces and onion mixture with the Parmesan cheese and whole egg in a food processor or blender to a thick paste.
Add the cream to the cooking liquids and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer to a sauce consistency, 8-10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, set aside.
Place a large pot of salted water on to boil.
To make the ravioli, lay one sheet of pasta flat onto a well-floured work surface. Spoon 1 teaspoon of the artichoke filling in intervals of 2 inches. (Each spoonful of filling will be a ravioli so make sure there is enough room to form and seal the pasta.) Using a small brush, brush the egg yolk and water mixture lightly around the spoonful's of filling. Place another pasta sheet on top of everything and gently press down with your fingers. Try to eliminate excess air in the ravioli or they may burst during cooking. Press more firmly to seal the layers, then cut the pasta with a wheel to make the desired shape. Pull the pieces apart and dust generously with flour to prevent the pieces from sticking together. Place the finished ravioli on a baking sheet or tray. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
Chill the ravioli until ready to cook.
Boil the ravioli in the water until the filling is heated through and the pasta is al dente, 3-4 minutes. Drain well and divide onto warm plates. Drizzle the ravioli with the sauce and garnish with remaining Parmesan cheese and plenty of black pepper.