Recipe by Aaron Vandemark, chef and owner of Panciuto in Hillsborough, NC
This recipe is unconventional only in the sense that it isn’t quantified. Allow yourself the freedom to taste, using your palate to make quantifiable decisions during the cooking process. You must taste as you go. If you like making pasta and have an abundance of radishes and a mandolin, give this a try.
Cut your radish greens at the base and wash them and the radishes.
Shave the radishes very thinly, almost translucent and put them aside.
Lightly dress the greens in olive or garlic oil and salt them ever so lightly.
Toss them on a hot grill until they lightly char in places but remain mostly green (usually in the 15-20 second range).
Remove them from the grill and chop them very fi nely.
Your ricotta quantity should be nearly twice that of your grilled greens. The idea is to get that grilled greens fl avor to permeate the milky ricotta, so add more or less as you like.
Slice and then chop a few scallions and add to the ricotta and the greens.
Finally, add a wiggle of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon. Stir it up well and season to taste with salt and pepper.
This is the time to make adjustments to your quantities as you see fit. When it tastes good, your filling is done.
Roll your pasta ball to the lowest setting so you have an even number of pasta sheets.
Place dollops of filling on your first sheet of pasta spacing them the same distance apart as the dollop is wide. I prefer a smaller ravioli for this filling.
Drag a watered finger between the filling and lay your second sheet of pasta on top.
Starting at one end, seal the ravioli, pressing between and around each filling pushing the air out as you go until you reach the other end of the pasta sheet.
Cut them up.
They’ll cook for about a minute or two at most, but before you do that, put together the sauce. Add a few tablespoons of water and a single tablespoon of cream to a large sautee pan.
Then add a stick or two of butter. Over low heat, melt this mixture down stirring most of the time to emulsify the butter. Once it’s melted, keep your heat low and add more water or butter as needed to create a slightly viscous buttery emulsion.
Add your shaved radishes. Add some chopped Italian parsley and more sliced scallions.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Add your cooked ravioli, toss well and continue to warm it for another minute or two allowing the two parts to meld and then serve with a few breadcrumbs on top.
About the Chef: Aaron Vandemark, chef and owner of Panciuto, grew up in Durham and Chapel Hill, NC. After graduating from Emory University with an economics degree and moonlighting in the restaurant underbelly, he made the decision to pursue a career in the restaurant business. Johnson and Wales culinary school followed along with restaurant jobs from North Carolina to Atlanta and back again. In 2006, Aaron opened Panciuto in Historic Downtown Hillsborough. The restaurant focuses on cooking with products raised in our area by great farmers that keep the land and their animals healthy and happy. He shared this recipe with us in 2009.