Tom Colicchio's Spring Pasta

Tom Colicchio

Craft - NYC

At the 2011 James Beard Foundation Awards, multiple JBF Award winner Tom Colicchio was the evening’s co-host, along with Traci Des Jardins and Ming Tsai. Here, TV’s toughest judge shares his recipe for an unfussy spring pasta dish. “Don’t try to make the ravioli into neat squares,” he says. “They are meant to be loosely formed—just an easy fold of the pasta, and that’s it.”


Pasta Dough:
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt
Spring Vegetable Ragoût:
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cut into pieces
  • 1/2 pound morels, cleaned and halved (quartered if large)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 pound ramps, cleaned and cut into 2- to 3-inch pieces
  • 1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2- to 3-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chervil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
Ravioli Filling:
  • 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, divided
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chervil
  • 1/4 cup chopped mixed fresh herbs (such as chervil, chives, basil, flat-leaf parsley, and tarragon)


To make the pasta dough, combine the egg, water, and olive oil in a small bowl and mix well. Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the egg mixture. Gradually work the flour mixture into the egg mixture until the dough holds together. Transfer the dough to a clean work surface and knead until it is smooth and elastic. Wrap the dough in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour but not longer than 2 days.

To make the spring vegetable ragoût, bring about a half inch of water to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce the heat to medium-low and whisk in the butter one piece at a time. Add the morels a few at a time, then reduce the heat to low. Add salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the morels begin to soften, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add the ramps and continue to simmer gently until the morels are soft and the ramps tender, about 5 minutes more.

Meanwhile, cook the asparagus in a pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 3 to 5 minutes. Drain the asparagus, then add it to the ragoût. Add the chervil and chives.

Use a pasta machine to roll out the dough. Work from the largest setting to the smallest, rolling the dough through each setting twice, and stopping short of the final setting. Lay out the rolled sheet of dough on a clean work surface. Cut the dough into eight large squares. Place the pasta squares on a cookie sheet or cutting board dusted with cornmeal. Allow them to dry for about 5 minutes, then turn them and dry 5 minutes more.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta squares to the boiling water one by one. Cook the squares just until they float to the surface, about 2 minutes, then drain, rinse under cold water, and pat dry. Set the pasta aside in a single layer on a cookie sheet lined with plastic wrap.

Heat the oven to 350ºF. Mix the ricotta, 3/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, and olive oil together in a medium saucepan. Add salt and pepper and warm the cheese mixture, stirring occasionally, over low heat. Mix in the chervil.

Place a heaping spoonful of the cheese mixture in the center of a pasta square, then fold the pasta around the cheese, creating a little packet. Gently place the ravioli, folded side down, in an oiled baking dish. Repeat filling, folding, and transferring, in a single layer, until you have filled all the squares.

Sprinkle the tops of the ravioli with the remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano, and bake until the pasta is golden and slightly puffed, about 20 minutes.

Gently reheat the vegetable ragoût over low heat. Divide the ragoût among shallow bowls, top each with 2 ravioli, and serve garnished with mixed fresh herbs.


4 servings