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RECIPE | Jennifer Williams' Pear and Prosciutto Ravioli with Pear Sauce | Community Spirit

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RECIPE | Jennifer Williams' Pear and Prosciutto Ravioli with Pear Sauce
RECIPE | Jennifer Williams' Pear and Prosciutto Ravioli with Pear Sauce

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. -- Jennifer Williams, a student in the Culinary Arts program at Gwinnett Technical College, recently won first place in the 2012 USA Pears Culinary Student Competition at Le Cordon Bleu in Portland, Ore.

Her Pear and Prosciutto Ravioli with Pear Sauce netted Williams a $1,000 scholarship.

Learn how to make Williams' award-winning recipe here.

Pasta
9.5 oz. all-purpose flour
3 large eggs

Pear Sauce
5 oz. Bosc pears, peeled, seeded and rough-chopped
4 oz. Bartlett pears, peeled, seeded and rough-chopped
4 oz. Comice pears, peeled, seeded and rough-chopped
1 tbsp. butter
18 oz. sparkling pear juice
1 tbsp. freshly ground cardamom
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 oz. heavy cream

Filling
8 oz. Neufchatel cheese, room temperature
1 oz. grated gruyere cheese
1 oz. gorgonzola cheese crumbles
1 oz. ricotta cheese
3.5 oz. Forelle pears, peeled, seeded and small-diced
2 oz. prosciutto chunks, small-diced
1 tbsp. Italian parsley, minced
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. freshly ground allspice
1/4 tsp. granulated onion
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. dried orange peel
1/4 tsp. mace
1/4 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg

Put the flour in a bowl, lightly beat the eggs and pour the eggs into the center of the flour.

Use a fork to mix the flour into the eggs. When the mixture becomes too stiff to work with a fork, turn it out onto a work surface and continue to form the dough by hand. The dough will form a soft ball; if it is too wet, add more flour.

Knead the dough with the heels of your hands for about 10 minutes, or until it is elastic and even. Wrap the dough in plastic or cover it with an inverted bowl for at least 15 minutes.

While the dough rests, make the pear sauce and ravioli filling.

To make the sauce: Sauté the Bosc, Bartlett and Comice pears in butter until they are golden brown. Remove the pears from heat and puree them in a food processor. Pour the puree into a saucepan and stir in the sparkling pear juice, salt, pepper and cardamom. Cook the sauce on medium heat for eight to 10 minutes, until it thickens slightly. Stir in the cream, cover the sauce and remove it from heat.

To make the filling: Use a mixer with a paddle attachment to beat the Neufchatel cheese until it is smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the gruyere, gorgonzola and ricotta cheeses, then mix them on low until all the cheese are incorporated. Combine the black pepper, allspice, granulated onion, garlic powder, orange peel, mace and nutmeg in a small container. Add the Forelle pears, prosciutto, parsley and seasoning blend to the cheese mixture, then mix all the ingredients on low. Set the mixture aside.

Cut the dough into six pieces. Shape one piece of dough into a flattened square and roll it through a pasta machine at the widest setting; keep the rest of the dough covered.

Lightly dust the cut dough with flour, fold it into thirds and roll it through the pasta machine. Repeat this twice.

Set the pasta machine roller to the next notch, dust the dough again and roll it through the machine, gently gathering the other end as it comes through.

Continue feeding the dough through the roller once at each setting until reaching the second to last notch. By this time, the dough should be long and wide enough to fit over a ravioli mold.

Place a pasta sheet over a well-floured and/or sprayed ravioli mold and pipe the filling into the mold's indentations; you may also use a small scoop to fill the mold.

Roll another piece of dough as before. Lightly brush the edges and center sections of the mold with water and place the pasta sheet on top of the filling to form the bottom of the ravioli.

Using a rolling pin, roll over the pasta sheet to seal the sheets of pasta together. Turn the mold over and cut along the indentations of the ravioli with a fluted pastry cutter.

Let the ravioli dry for 15 minutes before adding it to boiling water and cooking it for three to four minutes.

Drain the ravioli and serve it immediately with the pear sauce.

This recipe makes 34 servings of 2'x2' ravioli.