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Scarpinocc With Ricotta And Balsamic Vinegar

This dish is from the Lombardy region of northern Italy. It reminds me of visiting the Acetaia San Giacomo near Modena, where I met Andrea, who showed me the different stages of making balsamico. I tried twelve, twenty and twenty-five-year-old vinegars, all delicious, and was lucky enough to bring home a bottle of the twenty-year vintage. Use the best quality balsamic you can, as it really does make a difference to the flavour of the finished dish.


For the dough:

  • 260g/9oz of Italian 00 flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 whole eggs + 3 egg yolks

For the filling:

  • 250g/9oz ricotta
  • 50g/2oz Parmesan, grated, plus extra to serve
  • zest of 2 lemon
  • ½ nutmeg, grated

For the sauce:

  • 100g/4oz butter
  • balsamic vinegar, to serve
  • Parmesan, to serve

First make your rich egg dough pasta and leave it to rest for at least 30 min.

Next make the filling. Spoon the ricotta into a medium bowl, add the grated Parmesan, lemon zest and nutmeg and mix everything together with a wooden spoon. Season well with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Mix once again and leave in the fridge for 30 minutes to let the filling become a little firmer. If you plan to use a piping bag to fill your scarpinocc, it’s best to scoop the ricotta mixture into it before resting in the fridge.

Now roll and shape your scarpinocc.

To make the sauce, place a small saucepan on a medium heat and add the butter. Swirl the pan from time to time to make sure the butter is melting evenly. Cook until the butter browns and you start to smell its lovely, nutty flavour, then take off the heat and strain into a large saucepan (straining it avoids any dark brown bits spoiling the texture of the sauce).

Bring a large pot of water to the boil before seasoning it well with table salt, then drop the pasta into the water and boil for 2–3 minutes.

Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked pasta into the butter sauce, swirl a couple of times to make sure the butter coats the pasta really well. Share in between four plates, with a grating of Parmesan and a swirl of balsamic vinegar.