Well, we basically have the best of summer in one recipe right here. Sweet Corn Basil Ravioli is it. Plan for it to be on repeat for oh – now until the unspeakable happens.
It’s hard to talk about this time of year because while, yes, there’s nothing more I love talking about than fresh summer produce, it means the end is right around the corner. That soon enough the leaves will fall, and then the snow will too. This is the best of the end of summer produce after all.
But the glass is half full! Because what fun would it be if it wasn’t?
Let’s talk about the fresh sweet corn, that here in the Midwest, is like no other. The juicy tomatoes that have been growing all summer long, now plump and ready to be savored. The fresh basil, overgrowing and looking for a home that’s something other than pesto (because let’s be honest, you already have so. much. of it in your fridge).
Yes, my lovely friends, those are our star players here and they have brought their A-game.
Not to mention we have HOMEMADE PASTA. Which most definitely requires caps, don’t you agree? Nothing like Midwest sweet corn at the end of August, and nothing like homemade pasta.
Now, before you might run off because you’re intimidated by homemade pasta, WAIT. It’s not hard. And I promise you, once you learn, you’ll wonder what took you so long. Let’s check it out.
HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE PASTA
But now, let’s get to the low-down of homemade pasta.
- Semolina* and all-purpose flour is my favorite combination. For many years I’d just all semolina, which totally works if you prefer. It creates a more dense pasta, IMO. And all-purpose flour is a lot easier for me to find than any finer ground pasta flours. So AP it is.
- Take a fork and begin to mix in an egg, olive oil, and water.
- Use those (clean) hands to finish mixing it up and knead the dough. The key is to get it to the point of tacky, but not sticky.
- Let it rest.
- Roll it out*.
- Fill your pockets of ravioli.
- Bada bing, bada boom, boil them up and enjoy!
Ok, so, how do I roll out ravioli?
If you check out my how to make ravioli post, you’ll see I use more of a “long sheet and fold it over technique”.
I think I’m forever changed since using a ravioli mold for this sweet corn ravioli recipe! It had a couple of minute learning curve, but once I figured it out, it made the CUTEST little ravioli – that absolutely rivaled the appearance of my homemade ones. Rustic is sometimes cute.
The pasta mold* I have (er, took from my parents. Thanks, mom and dad! ;)) came with a plastic form and with a metal cut-out piece. If you’re also confused by the two pieces, let me try to explain.
- Sprinkle semolina flour along the cutting edges the metal cut-out sheet and then place a sheet of pasta over it, making sure the dough falls over the sides somewhat.
- Place the plastic form (with the divets) on top of the pasta sheet, pressing down gently to stretch the dough, creating the little nests for the ricotta ravioli filling.
- Remove the plastic piece and fill the “pasta nests” with about 2 teaspoons of filling (depending on your molds).
- Lightly rub water along the edges of what will be the pasta. This helps the pasta stick together – just don’t add too much or it will get gummy.
- Take a second sheet of pasta dough and place it on top of the filled ravioli sheet.
- Using a rolling pin, roll it over and the metal piece will “cut out” the ravioli.
- Flip over the mold and out will pop your ravioli (you may need to gently coax them depending on how well you dusted it with semolina).
And then like I said, bada-bing, bada-boom. And don’t forget you don’t need a mold. Really! It’s super easy to just roll out the sheets and make them yourself.
Naturally, I don’t think many ravioli fillings should be without ricotta. Especially living this flexitarian life, ricotta ravioli is my ultimate go-to.
But friends, Sweet Corn Basil Ravioli takes ricotta to an entirely new ravioli level. The filling has – wait, can you guess? – ricotta. 🙂
It also has FRESH sweet corn, roughly chopped so you still get the texture. We’ve also got lots of fresh basil in there (I did mention summer produce!), and some parmesan for extra cheese and saltiness.
It’s creamy and fresh, and slightly salty, and those pillows of ricotta all snuggled between the layers of fresh pasta is basically life-changing.
So many people worry about what sauce to use with ravioli. And here I’m going to give you my go-to for this sweet corn ravioli, because it has, butter and corn as every summer dinner should. But do remember that a little imagination and fresh produce goes a long way.
The sauce for this ravioli recipe is really easy (win!). It’s luxuriously butter, but not overpowering so. It’s also light and fresh, and just enough creamy.
The butter melts, the corn cooks – with a bit of salt and red pepper flakes for depth of flavor – then the wine goes in to deglaze the pan (you can use vegetable stock if you don’t have or want wine). Add some pasta water to loosen it up and help the sauce stick to the ravioli. Then top with fresh basil and some garden fresh tomatoes for extra brightness, and you’re set!
Speaking of, the tomatoes do add a bright acidity to the pasta. While you could leave them out (and they’re not technically cooked in the sauce because they felt lighter when served fresh), I definitely think they add a layer of texture and flavor to the pasta.
Enough now! You’ve got it down how to make homemade pasta, how to use a ravioli mold if you need to, and how to make everything about this sweet corn ravioli, so get to it!
More Ravioli Recipes
Homemade Sweet Corn Basil Ravioli
- 1/2 cup semolina flour*
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp coarse sea salt or kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper optional
- 1 egg
- 2 TBSP water
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 3/4 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
- 1 corn on the cob kernels roughly chopped
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1 1/2 TBSP fresh basil chopped
- 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
- 1/3 cup freshly shredded parmesan cheese
- 3 TBSP butter high quality butter is best
- 1 shallot finely diced
- 2-3 garlic cloves minced
- Dash of red pepper flakes to taste
- Salt to taste
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1 corn on the cob kernels cut off
- 2 TBSP heavy cream
- 1/4 cup reserved pasta water
- 1/2 cup cherry tomoatoes quartered
- Basil for garnish
- PASTA: In a bowl, stir together the flours, salt, and pepper. Make a well in the middle of the flour, and add the egg (you can whisk it before adding it into the well), as well as the water and olive oil. Take a fork and gently run it around the flour where it meets the wet ingredients. You'll gently incorporate all the flour into the wet ingredients. When mostly combined, I recommend using your hands to mix until a ball forms. Then continue kneading for 3-4 minutes until tacky, but no dough should stick to your hands. Adjust adding a bit of flour or water if needed. The dough will slowly break apart when pulled, instead of immediately tearing apart. Place in a reusuable baggie or cover in a bowl and let rest for at least 30 minutes.
- Ravioli Filling: meanwhile, mix the filling by stirring together all the filling ingredients (ricotta, 1 ear of roughly chopped corn kernels, garlic, basil, salt, and parmesan). Set aside.
- Roll out the pasta dough: depending on your method of making the ravioli (mold or no mold), you will still want to have 4 rectangular sheets of pasta in the end. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces. I start with a piece molded into about 4 inches by 1 1/2 inches before putting it into my pasta roller*. Beginning on the largest setting and continuing to roll the pasta dough sheet through each setting until it's at the second to thinnest setting. Continue rolling out each piece of dough, letting the sheets rest on a dusting of semolina flour. Place on top of ravioli mold or lay on a thin dusting of semolina flour. Place the filling inside the pasta mold* (if doing this by hand put the filling on one side of the dough sheet and fold it over). Brush the edges lightly with water, and layer the other pasta sheet on top of the mold; roll over it with a rolling pin to seal and cut the edges of the ravioli. Place cut ravioli on a baking sheet sprinkled with semolina flour.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil (add the leftover corn cobs to flavor the water and reduce waste - remove them before adding the ravioli!).
- As the water comes to a boil, prepare the sauce by heating a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add butter and once bubbling slightly add the chopped shallot. Stir and let cook for 1-2 minutes; add the garlic and let cook for another 1-2 minutes. Make sure you layer in some salt throughout, but be sure to add it at this point. Add the wine to deglaze the pan and let simmer down for about 2-3 minutes. Stir in the corn kernels and let cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the reserved pasta water (by this time you will have boiled some ravioli, see next step) and let the sauce boil to thicken slightly. Stir in the heavy cream before finishing.
- Once you add the corn to the sauce, you should begin boiling some of the ravioli. Don't overcrowd the pan; depending on your pot size, you usually need to do about 2 batches. Let the first round of pasta cook for about 1 - 1 1/2 minutes and transfer to the sauce, where it will continue cooking, It's here that you can take some reserved pasta water. Boil the next batch of ravioli, this time a little bit longer, because they won't sit in the sauce as long (or, just keep them in the sauce longer :)).
- Remove ravioli and top with the fresh tomatoes, and extra parmesan as you wish. Serve with fresh basil and enjoy!
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