Photo Credit: Elizabeth Newman
We daydreamed about the delicious pear and cheese fiocchetti from Trattoria 4Leoni in Florence so much, we decided it was time to try our hand at making it ourselves – and it didn’t disappoint! A delicious cheese and pear filling with Giada’s signature pasta dough, all enrobed in a creamy béchamel with asparagus? It’s as dreamy and delicious as it sounds.
PS – you can assemble the fiocchetti ahead of time! Simply put them on a floured baking sheet, and set them in the fridge uncovered for up to a day before boiling.
Pear And Cheese Fiocchetti
For The Filling:
- 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese, drained
- 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
- 1 large ripe pear, peeled and cut into small ¼ inch dices
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
For The Sauce:
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 cups whole milk, at room temperature
- Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 bunch thin asparagus, about 25 spears, ends trimmed, and cut into 1-inch slices
- Fresh basil, chopped, for topping
- Freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano, for topping, if desired
- For the filling, in a medium bowl mix together the ricotta, Pecorino, Parmigiano Reggiano, diced pear, egg and salt.
- For the pasta dough, prepare a sheet tray by dusting it with ¼ cup semolina flour. This is where the assembled ravioli will go before cooking. Prepare a small bowl with water for your work station.
- Following the instructions for Giada’s fresh pasta dough, roll the dough out into thin sheets using your preferred method.
- Cut the first rolled-out dough sheet in half – they should be about 1 foot long each. Using a small round cookie cutter around 2 ½ inches, or the rim of a glass, cut out circles from the sheet of dough. Set aside on the sheet tray with semolina flour. Repeat with all of the dough, using the scraps as well.
- Dipping your fingertips into the water in your small bowl, very lightly dab around the circles of dough. Place a heaping teaspoon of filling in the middle of the circle. Gather the edges of the circle up to form a pouch, trying to not have too much empty air in the filling, and pinch together to seal. Set your assembled fiocchetti on the sheet tray.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season with salt.
- For the sauce, in a large skillet or braiser, melt 5 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. When the butter has completely melted, add the flour and whisk until smooth, about 2 minutes. Gradually add the milk, whisking constantly to prevent any lumps from forming. Continue to simmer and whisk over medium heat until the sauce is thick, smooth and creamy, about 5 minutes. Set the heat to low and add the pieces of asparagus, stirring occasionally to cook through. Taste the sauce and add more salt if necessary.
- While the sauce simmers, cook the fiocchetti in the boiling water. In batches, add them to the boiling water and simmer until they float and are cooked through, about 3 minutes. Remove with a spider or slotted spoon and place directly into the sauce. Gently stir to coat, ladeling in any pasta water if needed to thin the sauce. Serve with fresh basil and more Parmesan, if desired.