This recipe uses a fresh ricotta and ham filling, with just a touch of nutmeg to add a woody sweetness. If you’re short on time, you can use ready-made fresh lasagne sheets instead of making the pasta by hand.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 brown onion, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 800 g (1 lb 12 oz) tinned crushed tomatoes
- large handful flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped, plus extra to serve
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- fine semolina, for dusting
- 2 eggs, beaten with 1 tsp water
- coarsely grated parmesan, to serve
Ricotta and ham filling
- 300 g (10½ oz) fresh ricotta
- 200 g (7 oz) sliced ham, finely chopped
- ¼ tsp finely grated nutmeg
- 2 tbsp finely grated parmesan
- 600 g (1 lb 5 oz) 00 flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 6 eggs, beaten
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
1. To make the pasta, place the flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Add the egg and process for about 10 seconds, until the dough just comes together. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for about 10 minutes, until you have a smooth dough ball. Flatten the ball into a disc about the size of a dinner plate, then wrap in plastic wrap and set aside for 1 hour.
2. Meanwhile, to make the ricotta and ham filling, combine the ricotta, ham, nutmeg and parmesan in a bowl. Refrigerate until needed.
3. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium–high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 4–5 minutes, until softened. Stir through the garlic and cook for a few seconds until aromatic (don’t allow the garlic to burn), then stir through the tomatoes and parsley. Bring the mixture to the boil, then reduce the heat to a low simmer, season with salt and pepper and cook for 30 minutes, or until thickened. Allow to cool, then transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until needed. The sauce will keep in the fridge for 3–4 days.
4. Cut the dough into four equal-sized portions and lightly dust each portion with flour.
5. Set a pasta machine to its widest setting. Working with one piece of dough at a time, roughly flatten the dough on a lightly floured work surface and feed it through the machine. Fold the dough into thirds and feed through the machine two more times. Adjust the pasta machine to the next setting and repeat this process until you have a long sheet of dough 1–2 mm thick. Dust generously with flour, then set aside and cover with a clean tea towel while you roll the remaining dough.
6. Using an 8 cm (3¼ in) crimped cookie cutter, cut out 72 circles of dough, re-rolling and using up any off-cuts as you go. Place half the dough circles on a work surface lightly dusted with fine semolina. Place 2 level teaspoons of the ricotta and ham filling in the centre of each circle and brush the edges with the egg wash. Top with another circle of dough and press firmly to seal. Transfer the prepared sorrentinos to a baking tray lightly dusted with fine semolina. At this stage, the sorrentinos can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours.
7. Gently reheat the sauce in a saucepan over low heat.
8. Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil. Working in batches, add the sorrentinos and cook for 2–3 minutes, until they rise to the top, then immediately remove with a slotted spoon and divide among serving plates. Spoon the warm sauce over the pasta and sprinkle with extra parsley. Serve with grated parmesan.
Recipe from The Food of Argentina by Ross Dobson and Rachel Tolosa Paz, Smith Street Books, RRP $44.99