Fratelli Perata Winery
Burrata stuffed Ravioli with Saffron

We so much enjoy the cheeses from Gioia Cheese Company in S. El Monte, that whenever someone comes north, we ask them to bring us some of their fresh cheeses. When it's not tomato season, Burrata is our favorite. It is a ball of soft mozzarella with a creamy center. Saffron is a flavoring Mama usually reserved for Risotto Milanese. We, the next generation, have added saffron to Mama's ravioli dough, and stuffed them with Burrata, serving it simply with butter and very little fresh parsley. Merlot, Mama and raviolis were always a joyful combination.

Ravioli

1 cup white flour         1 cup semolina         tsp saffron threads, a healthy pinch
2 eggs                       1 T olive oil               3-4 tsp water

Combine flour, semolina and saffron. On a large cutting board, make a bowl shape of the flours, break open the eggs into the center and add olive oil. Use a fork or fingertips to slowly incorporate the flour into the egg, add in water a teaspoon at a time to keep dough pliable. On a humid day, less water is good, on a dry day more water is necessary. You want uniform, kneadable dough.

Knead about 5 to 10 minutes by hand, adding water or flour as required, to form a ball that is as soft as a baby's
bottom. Let rest (you and the dough).

Filling

1 garlic clove, minced                                         1 egg yolk
1 16 ounce Burrata, (this is how Gioia sells it)        cup Parmigiano Reggiano, finely grated
cup dry bread crumbs, not Panko                     teaspoon pepper

Put Burrata in bowl, pull apart with two forks or fingertips. Combine with all rest of ingredients. This is easier with 2 people. Roll out the pasta in 4 batches, keeping the waiting pasta covered with plastic wrap or damp tea towel. Either use a pasta machine, following the directions (start on "1" pass through 2 times, narrow pasta down to "7" if your thinnest setting is "8"), or roll out by hand. The test is if you can read a newspaper when the finished pasta is laid over it.

With 2 similarly shaped rectangles of pasta: lay one rectangle on a floured cutting board. Dollop out about tsp Burrata mixture every inch, matching your ravioli rolling pin. Lay 2nd pasta rectangle over the 1st. Starting at one edge, line up the filling with the rolling pin. Press firmly as you roll to seal. Or, pre-form 2" squares, fill individually, fold, press to seal. Use pastry wheel to make edges neat, cutting off excess pasta. Repeat process until all Burrata is used. Set raviolis on lightly floured parchment paper as they are formed, cover with damp tea towel. Set in refrigerator while water boils (have a glass of wine and take a break). When ready to serve, slide raviolis into boiling water. Don't boil too vigorously, and only about 2 to 3 minutes. If the pasta is thicker, it will take longer, of course, so check their progress after 2 minutes so to see if they are "al dente". Drain well, place in serving bowl with pats of butter. Garnish with small amount of fresh parsley.