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Culinary School: Bergamo-Style Ravioli

Video Length: 7:41
Produced by: Sarah Breckenridge. Videography by Gary Junken and Mike Dobsevage. Edited by Mike Dobsevage. Food styling by Safaya Tork.

Bergamo-Style Ravioli These crescent-shaped ravioli in this video, also known as casoncelli, are considered Bergamo-style because they're both sweet and savory. Bergamo is a town in Lombardy and those crumbly amaretti cookies are an important part of the cuisine, so this is what gives the filling that sweet element. They're served in a sauce of pancetta, butter and sage leaves, so you have the sweet-and-salty thing going on. In this episode, you'll learn to make and shape and cook these Bergamo-style ravioli, and when your guests taste them see if they can guess what's in the filling.

We learned these ravioli at Casa Clelia, which is 10 minutes outside the town of Bergamo. The restaurant at the farm was open to the public, unlike a lot of the agritourismi, and the kitchen is a busy one, helmed by a professional chef. Because of that we watched and learned rather than jumping in and working, but luckily these ravioli are pretty simple to make.

You start the filling by sautéing 1 diced yellow onion and a sliced garlic clove in 2 Tbs. of butter until the onion is tender. Next add 12. oz of ground beef and 8 oz. of ground pork, season with salt and pepper, and cook, until the meat is browned. Then add 1-1/2 cups of red wine and cook slowly over medium-low heat until the liquid has evaporated. Next, add 1 oz. of crumbled amaretti cookies and 1 Tbs. grated lemon zest, and stir to combine.

In a separate bowl, combine 1 cup bread crumbs and 2 Tbs. raisins, and stir in 3 Tbs whole milk to moisten the crumbs. Add this to the meat mixture and stir together. Transfer this mixture to a food processor and pulse it until everything is uniformly combined. Stir in 1/4 cup grated Grana Padano or Parmigiano.

For the dough, use our basic fresh pasta recipe. Cut the sheets of fresh dough into 3 inch circles with a cookie cutter. Place a spoonful of filling-about 1/2 tsp.-in the center, and then fold the dough over the filling to make a half moon shape. Be sure to press out any air pockets in the dough or the filling. When the half moon is sealed, press down on the flat side to form a notch in the center.

When the ravioli are shaped, make your sauce: Sauté 4 oz. of cubed pancetta over medium heat, just until it has rendered some its fat, but it hasn't yet started to get crispy. Drain some of the fat, if necessary, so you have 1 Tbs. remaining in the pan, and add 3 Tbs. unsalted butter. As soon as the butter begins to foam, add 1 Tbs. chopped sage.

When you've finished shaping the ravioli and brought your pasta water to a boil, drop the ravioli in the water and cook until they begin to float to the top and are tender, about 2 to 3 minutes. Drain the ravioli and add them to the pan with the pancetta and sage butter. Toss to coat and season with salt and pepper, and you're ready to serve.

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