Recipe: Sunchoke Raviolis with Prosciutto, Peas, and Sesame Seeds

Serves 2, with about a dozen leftover raviolis to freeze and 8 ounces of leftover filling for a side dish, spread or soup base.

    • 19 ounces of sunchokes, vigorously brushed, rinsed, and otherwise cajoled into cleanliness
    • 8 ounces of whole milk ricotta cheese, wrapped tightly in cheesecloth and drained for a half hour
    • 2 teaspoons of high-quality tahini
    • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    • Salt, pepper
    • A batch of French Laundry Pasta Dough

    • 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter
    • ½ cup of peas
    • 2 slices of prosciutto, torn in tiny bits
    • 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds, dry roasted on stove top for a minute or two
    • Pepper
    • Parmigiano Reggiano for grating

1) Fill huge pot with water and place on high flame. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Quarter sunchokes and slice into bite-size pieces. Spread out on a baking sheet, drizzle with oil, salt and pepper, toss with hands and set on the middle rack of the oven. Cook for 20 minutes, tossing once or twice to ensure even roasting.

2) Follow directions for the yolk-packed pasta dough from Thomas Keller. It really is the best for stuffed pastas. Wrap resulting ball of dough in plastic for 30 minutes, enough time to finish filling.

3) Remove sunchokes and let cool slightly. Dump into food processor with tahini and a tablespoon of water. Begin to pulse. If mixture begins to form a ball, add water tablespoon by tablespoon until it turns into a smooth, loose paste. All sunchoke chunks should be gone by now. Transfer to a bowl and fold in ricotta. Insert mixture into large, thick plastic bag or large piping bag with a large tip, if you have one. (Turn a plastic bag into a piping device by slashing a corner with a quarter-inch hole).

4) Roll out dough as directed until it is thin enough to see through (on my Kitchen Aid mixer fitted with the pasta-rolling attachment, level 6 usually does the job). Lay pasta sheets on work surface and begin piping about a tablespoon of filling every inch or so. Fold sheet over filling, and make the two long edges meet. Press them together, then begin pressing from one side to the other, pressing sheets together and evacuating as much air as possible. Cut with a pasta cutter for lovely crinkled edges.

5) Salt pot of water, which should be boiling. Drop in enough ravioli for two.

6) Begin sauce in clean sauté pan on a medium flame. Add a splash of water and then the butter in several pats. Stir to emulsify but not color. Add frozen peas, and black pepper to taste. After a few minutes, raviolis will be ready. Fish them out of the pot with a hand-held strainer (or just strain them in the sink) and toss them into the pan holding the sauce. Shake the pan, coating raviolis but not battering them.

6) Transfer ravioli to warmed plates and kindly ask the most aesthetic eye in the house to garnish the dish with sesame seeds and prosciutto. Serve with chunk of Parmigiano and a grater.