Cauliflower Ravioli with Pancetta

Once I discovered how delicious cauliflower can be, I entered an obsessive phase. Since September my mouth has been watering over this recipe featured in Bon Appetit, and I finally got around to making it. This is a great special occasion dish, and I made it after my husband and I finished decorating our apartment for Christmas. If Guanciale – cured pork jowl and cheek – isn’t available at your market, just use pancetta. On second thought, even if it is available, you still might want to use pancetta. In case you’d like to make your own pasta, I’ve included the original recipe (also online here), but you can also take my shortcut and use wonton wrappers instead.


For wonton wrappers, brush the edges with water and spoon a tablespoon amount of filling in the center. Place a second brushed wrapper on top of the filling and press the edges together to ensure the air has been released and they stick together. If making ahead, place the ravioli on a foil lined baking sheet and freeze. Place frozen ravioli in a plastic bag until ready for use.


Cauliflower Ravioli with Guanciale

Recipe by Acero ~ Bon Appetit
September 2008



1 1/2 cups semolina flour (pasta flour)*
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
All purpose flour


1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 cups 1-inch cauliflower florets
1/2 cup water
6 tablespoons ricotta cheese
6 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese plus more for serving
1/3 cup mascarpone cheese**


8 oz thinly sliced guanciale or pancetta (Italian bacon), cut crosswise into thin strips
3 cups low-salt chicken broth
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter



Mix semolina flour and salt in large bowl. Whisk eggs and yolks in small bowl. Gradually stir egg mixture into flour. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (dough will be sticky). Wrap in plastic wrap; chill 1 day.


Melt butter with oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add cauliflower; sprinkle with salt and pepper and sauté until golden, about 7 minutes. Add 1/2 cup water. Cover and simmer until cauliflower is tender, about 5 minutes. Uncover and cook until dry, about 3 minutes. Cool completely.

Blend ricotta, 6 tablespoons Parmesan, and mascarpone in processor until smooth. Add cauliflower and blend until filling is smooth. Season with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Transfer to bowl, cover, and chill.


Sauté guanciale in large deep skillet over medium-high heat until golden and crisp. Add broth and butter. Boil until sauce thickens and is reduced to 1 1/2 cups, about 12 minutes. Chill up to 4 hours.

Line large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper; dust with all purpose flour. Divide dough into 3 pieces; cover with plastic wrap to prevent drying. Set pasta machine to widest setting. Flatten 1 dough piece into rectangle; run though machine. Fold in half, end to end, and run through machine again. Continue, adjusting to next-narrower setting after every 4 or 5 passes and dusting with flour as needed to keep from sticking, until sheet is about 24 inches long and about 1/16 inch thick. Cut sheet in half crosswise.

Drop filling onto 1 dough strip by heaping teaspoonfuls, spacing 1 1/2 inches apart. Brush dough with water around each mound. Top with second dough strip; press around each mound to seal. Cut each ravioli into 2-inch square. Arrange on prepared sheet; cover with kitchen towel. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. DO AHEAD Can be made 3 hours ahead; chill.

Cook ravioli in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, stirring occasionally. Drain well. Rewarm sauce. Add ravioli and toss over medium-high heat until sauce coats ravioli, about 2 minutes. Transfer to shallow bowl. Serve, passing grated Parmesan.

*Available at some supermarkets and at specialty foods stores and Italian markets.

**An Italian cream cheese; sold at many supermarkets and at Italian markets.