How to make ravioli 'incaciati'

How to make ravioli 'incaciati'

These ravioli are a speciality of Ascoli Piceno; they're traditionally served at Carnevale but these days cooks will also make them for other special occasions too. Maria doesn't use an exact recipe, so this is my approximation of what she does intuitively through experience. First make the broth: Simmer a 1.8kg free range chicken and .5kg of pork loin, with a pinch of salt and a small stick (3cms) of cinnamon. Once the meat is cooked, reserve the stock and shred the meat.

Make the pasta dough: Use 1kg OO flour and 10 eggs. Mix and knead the dough for a good 10 minutes. It's ready when small holes start forming in the dough. Leave it to rest, covered, for about 30 minutes, enough time to make the filling.

To make the filling: Take the crusts off a loaf of bread (about a kilo) It doesn't need to be sourdough, but it should have a  decent crumb. Slice it. Place the bread in a  bowl and sprinkle over ground nutmeg and cinnamon (a teaspoon in total). Ladle over the stock. Don't drown the bread, but make sure it's properly moistened and soft.

Blitz the meat, add the bread, plus 200g grated aged pecorino. Blitz some more. Rita used bantam eggs, but start with 3 large beaten eggs and mix this in. You're aiming for a thick paste you can move a wooden spoon through. The dialect name for these is ravioli di pappa and pappa means mushy.

Make the ravioli. Use a rolling pin or machine to create long strips of dough about 12cms in width. Cut the strips into manageable lengths - around 60 cms.

Place apricot size amounts of chicken mixture at 10 centimetre intervals along the dough. Fold it over length wise, and tap down around each mound as Maria demonstrates in the video.

Use a fluted pastry cutter to make half moon shape ravioli. Place them seam side up and crimp them. Park the completed ravioli on trays while you complete the rest. These quantities make a lot of ravioli and it's helpful to have a team of helpers!

Boil them for 3 or 4 minutes in salted water in a capacious saucepan. They are ready when the bob to the surface of the water. Arrange them on a platter and dress with generous quantities of grated pecorino cheese (hence the name ravioli incaciati - which means full of cheese) mixed with a little ground cinnamon and a little butter.

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