Requires: Pasta machine, 7cm round cutter
To make the filling, heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over low heat. Add the red onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes or until the onion is very soft and lightly golden. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool completely.
Place the smoked salmon on a chopping board and finely chop. Transfer to a bowl. Crumble the drained ricotta over the smoked salmon. Add the capers, cooled red onion and parsley. Gently stir until well combined. Refrigerate until ready to use.
To make the creamy Italian tomato sauce, place the olive oil in a heavy-based stockpot over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for a few minutes, making sure the garlic does not burn. Add the Italian passata and water. Bring to the boil, then add the basil, a pinch of salt and the sugar. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for approximately 1 hour or until the sauce has reduced to your required consistency, stirring occasionally so that the sauce does not stick to the pot and burn, then remove from the heat. Add additional water, where required. Stir in the cream and cook for a further 2 minutes then remove from the heat.
Meanwhile to make the pasta for the ravioloni, mix the 00 and semolina flours in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre. Place the egg yolks, whole eggs and salt in the well and use a fork to lightly whisk the eggs. Gradually flick the flour into the egg mixture. When it becomes too hard to stir, use your hands to combine the eggs and flour.
Turn pasta dough out onto a clean, lightly floured work surface. Use the heel of your hand to knead for 5-10 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Alternatively, use an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. The dough should not stick to your fingers when pressed in the middle. If it does stick, add a little more flour and continue to knead the pasta dough.
Cover the fresh egg pasta dough with plastic wrap (cling film) and refrigerate for 30 minutes (it can be left for up to 4 hours in the fridge). Set up your pasta machine on the edge of a clean workbench. Adjust the pasta machine to the widest setting. Sprinkle semolina flour over the pasta machine rollers and workbench.
Note: Pasta must be used the same day. Alternatively, it can be frozen.
Remove the pasta dough from the fridge. Divide the pasta into 6 portions. Remove 1 portion of the pasta dough, then cover the remaining portions with cling film. Use the palm of your hand to flatten the pasta into a rough rectangle shape. Sprinkle semolina flour over the portion of pasta dough. Feed the pasta through the pasta machine rollers on the widest setting. Fold the flattened pasta in half or thirds and feed through the pasta machine several times, folding each time to laminate the pasta. Once the pasta looks and feels silky and smooth, adjust the setting on the pasta machine each time you feed the pasta through the machine until it reaches a thickness of 1-2mm. Spread the pasta onto a semolina floured workbench and repeat with the remaining portions of pasta.
Mix together the egg and milk to make an egg wash. Remove the smoked salmon filling from the fridge. Place 1 tablespoon of smoked salmon filling at approximately 10cm intervals along the length of one of the pasta sheets. Brush the pasta sheet with egg wash around the smoked salmon filling. Place the other sheet of pasta on top. Use your hands to press the pasta down around the filling and remove any air pockets. Cut the ravioloni using a 7cm round cutter. Seal the edges by pressing your fingertips down around the edges of the ravioloni. Place the ravioloni, well-spaced out, on a tray dusted with semolina. Repeat with the remaining portions of pasta.
Place the stockpot with creamy Italian tomato sauce back onto low heat.
Place a large pot with salted water on high heat and bring to the boil. Cook the ravioloni in batches until ‘al dente’ (approximately 4 minutes). Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a large bowl. Spoon half of the creamy Italian tomato sauce into the bowl with cooked ravioloni.
To serve, gently transfer the ravioloni of smoked salmon into serving bowls. Pour over the remaining creamy Italian tomato sauce on top – Buon appetito.