Monday, May 24, 2010

Live Fire Roasted Naked Ravioli

Yeah I know. "Fire roasted" and "naked" are two terms that are usually never a good thing when used together.

But these little babies are a definite exception to the rule.

I have been wanting to try these for about a year but just got around to making them tonight after Alexis scored some great spinach from the Market Square Farmer's Market on Saturday. I based the recipe on Naked Ravioli from Johnny Carrabba's book Ciao Tuscony, was influenced by Fabio Viviani's technique, and then improvised as things went awry & I brought live fire into the mix.

Live Fire Roasted Naked Ravioli

source: Nibble Me This (with cited influences & distractions)

1 lb spinach
8 oz ricotta cheese
1 cup parmigiano reggiano, shredded
2 ea eggs, lightly beaten
1/8 tsp nutmeg, fresh grated
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
5 Tbsp all purpose flour
3/4 cup panko bread crumbs

Okay, first things first, I have no idea if it was one pound of spinach. It was one very full salad spinner of spinach that we triple rinsed to get all that grit off. My best guess is it was about 1 lb.

Mix Ricotta, parmigiano reggiano, eggs, nutmeg, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper together.

Cook the spinach in a large saute pan over medium high heat until wilted, using only the water the was left after rinsing. Remove and press out water.

Chop the spinach and mix into the cheese mixture. Add in the flour. Then add in the panko in 1/4 cup increments until the mixture is thick enough to form into balls. (One recipe had no flour and neither had the bread crumbs but it just wasn't coming together for me and it worked out in my favor!)

Get flour on your hands to prevent sticking and scoop out an ice cream scoop sized amount. Work into a ball. Repeat like a million times until it's all gone. I might be exaggerating on the "million" part. Maybe it was more like 2 dozen.

Preheat a pizza stone on a grill at about 450-500f. On a Big Green Egg, that is plate setter in, "legs down" with the pizza stone on top. But you could do the same thing on any grill or even in your 'gasp' oven.

Sprinkle some flour on the stone to prevent sticking and put the naked ravioli on the stone. Cook until they firm up. Carrabba's recipe called for boiling them in chicken broth for 2-3 minutes which spelled disaster to me and Fabio said bake them 5 minutes at 500f. I ended up going 10 minutes at about 450f.

Note, you will get a little bit of browning but you are going more for texture, not a "golden brown" that you might with baking. You are going for a firm enough texture to pick them up. Just imagine a ravioli that has been cooked and then have the pasta shell striped off.

While they cool, melt a stick of butter and saute 2-3 leaves of sage until crisped. Drizzle sage butter over the ravioli (who doesn't like hot grease poured over them when they are naked, right?).

I was going to plate them with the crisped sage and shavings of parmigiano reggiano but the sage was butt ugly so I went with fresh sage and red pepper flakes for a garnish.

About halfway through merging (and straying away from) these two recipes and adding my own reckless modifications I thought this was going to be a throwaway result. Instead, I have a definite repeat.

Try this one the next time you are looking for a spectacular appetizer course. Or if you just want to "get naked".

What is your favorite "grilled" appetizer?


  1. Thanks for using "butt ugly" in a recipe. A first for me.

  2. YUM! YUM YUM! What a great recipe and dish!

    Hmmm, my favorite is yet to be made- have a few ideas I may try and post...

  3. Those look pretty good, and I'm proud of you altering the recipe...that's a real guy cooking!
    Favorite grilled appetizer? I have a first place ribbon in vegetables from a State BB-Q cook-off- zuccini boats, filled with meat sauce and dusted with Parmesan cheese!

  4. I'm not a fan of cooked spinach, but these look incredible!

  5. Grilled Shrimp wrapped in bacon with a pickled jalapeno slice tucked in the crook of the shrimp...and it's special dipping sauce. So good that I've blogged about it twice. Chris, these look fantastic and I'll definitely give them a try.

  6. Ok, this post was hilarious. In many ways. Love the innuendos. I'm just that kind of girl. But the recipe itself is delightful too! My favorite grilled appetizer? It's not really an appetizer, but I love to grill slices of angel food cake before eating them. I love that scorched sugar flavor.

  7. Love all the ingredients.Yum! This sounds heavenly! I will definitely try to make this soon

  8. Printed and on the top of the pile - naked ravioli, who knew?!? And naked ravioli drizzled in sage butter - it's only 7-something AM and I'm already trying to think of how I can make these for dinner when my day is crammed! Thanks!!!

  9. This is quite a fun recipe. I love your process. If you had poached them in chicken broth and then browned them they would be very close to gnocchi. GREG

  10. Wow Chris. What lovely ravioli. Sage butter had to make it even better. See you soon.

  11. Wow, great looking ravioli like objects there Chris.

  12. Cute name for these. You are way awesome for making everything on the grill. Yummmmmm.

  13. Great blend of ingredients and sounds delish! And I love my gasp oven. They are all the rage ya know? ;)

  14. Looks like you've eaten well while I was away and the BBQ class sounds excellent. After training from Mike Davis and Chris Lily, I believe you're ready for the BBQ circuit.

  15. These are sooo cool! They sound delicious...and ya gotta love both naked and fire-roasted...oh yeah ;) YUM.

  16. I love this unique recipe and its combination of flavors! Something different, very nice!!

  17. What a hot post! :) I'd never heard of naked ravs but after reading this, I want badly to try them. My favorite grilled appetizer? My husband makes a shrimp app with lime zest and a wrap of bacon, or grilled oysters on the shell are
    Really great post, Chris!

  18. Wow... what a great idea. I am going to put this to use (in the oven) in an upcoming cooking class. I am always looking for something a bit out of the ordinary and these definitely qualify. Thanks for sharing!

  19. What a creative and tasty recipe - they look so good! I bet the butter sage sauce was awesome on top.

  20. You're right these 2 terms aren’t usual to find in a recipe. After reading I understand why, they are glorious! and normally I don't grill appetizers, only provolone cheese but not naked LOL!



  21. Yeah nakedness + fire should generally be avoided. I feel like all you get when you combine the two are trips to the emergency room. Not that I know anything about that...

    These ravioli look delicious. This is why I need a grill. Or a blow torch.

  22. You said naked.
    You also said butt ugly.
    I'll make these when I stop smiling.

  23. Now these sound like a carb avoiders heaven. I'll be trying these soon.


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