Piconi Ascolani: baked ravioli from Le Marche
These delicious baked ravioli are a typical Easter recipe from Central Italy. Piconi ascolani are not difficult to make and so delicious you will always wish you had made more. Traditionally eaten for Easter breakfast but are great as finger food or antipasto.
For the dough
- 400 g '00' flour (14oz) or '0' flour (all purpose)
- 4 eggs
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or 30g (1oz) softened butter or lard
- 1 pinch salt
For the filling
- 150 g pecorino (5oz) aged/mature
- 100 g pecorino (3.5oz) semi-mature
- 50 g Parmigiano (2oz) grated or in total half pecorino and half Parmigiano
- 4 eggs
- 1 pinch salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 egg beaten to brush ravioli
Make the filling
Beat the eggs for at least 5 minutes with the help of a whisk to incorporate air. Grate all the cheese into a separate bowl and then gradually add to the beaten eggs. Add a pinch of salt and a little black pepper plus the lemon zest.
Mix everything together well until you have a soft dough-like mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest. Some people recommend up to 8 hours in the fridge. Others say for 30 minutes!
Make the dough
Place the flour in the center of a pastry board or in a bowl, add the 4 eggs to the center and with the help of a fork begin to beat the eggs whilst incorporating the flour. Add the extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt and continue to mix with your hands until you have a ‘dough’.
If you started in a bowl finish kneading on a floured pasta/pastry board. Continue to knead until you have a homogeneous and elastic dough. (alternatively you can use a dough mixer to make the pasta dough)
Roll the dough into a ball and cover with plastic wrap and let it rest for at least 30 minutes to one hour.
Make the piconi ascolani
Divide the dough into 4-6 pieces. Using a rolling pin or pasta machine roll out a thin sheets of pasta dough (about 1mm thick). Do one piece of dough at a time leaving the rest wrapped in cling film or in a freezer bag so it won’t dry out.
With a pastry cutter, bowl or glass, cut out discs of about 7-9 centimeters in diameter from the dough. Place some egg and cheese filling in the center of each disc. Then fold the disc into a half moon. Cut around the edge of the filled ravioli using a pasta wheel. This will help to seal the edges of the ravioli.
Place the ravioli on an oil sprayed baking paper sheet in an flat oven dish. Brush the surface of the piconi with the lightly beaten egg and using the tip of a pair of scissors cut a small cross into the centre of the surface.
Bake at 160 ° - 170 ° C in a preheated oven for about 25 minutes, or at least until golden. Once cooked, leave the baked ravioli to cool on a wire rack for a few minutes.
Serve as finger food or as part of an antipasto or breakfast spread.
This recipe will make about 35 baked ravioli (depending on the size). If you want to make less just reduce the quantity of ingredients. For example 300g flour and 3 eggs for the dough and 300 g and 3 eggs for the filling. However, you may regret that as these baked ravioli from Le Marche are so tasty and moreish, you will probably wish you made more!
You can use just one type of pecorino and Parmigiano for the filling. In which case use half pecorino and half Parmigiano. (200g each)