"The pastas at San Domenico simply shock the competition," wrote William Grimes of chef Odette Fada's work in 2003. "They are incomparable. Some seem almost unfair, like the giant dome-shaped ravioli stuffed with a soft egg yolk and drowned in truffle butter. The waiter might as well hand you a crisp hundred-dollar bill."
The hundred-dollar dish in question, uovo in raviolo, was first brought to San Domenico as the signature dish of chef Valentino Marcattilii, Fada's predecessor. But she and restaurateur Tony May have kept it on the menu—first at San Domenico itself, then at its downtown incarnation, SD26 on Madison Square Park.
It's nearly impossible to imagine a more decadent pasta dish. You could sprinkle gold leaf on top and still hardly up the indulgence factor. Each enormous raviolo, the size of a tennis ball, houses a whole, soft egg yolk along with a ricotta-spinach filling; cut it open, just like sliding your fork into a perfectly poached egg, and the yolk oozes out—joining the pool of browned truffle butter, Parmigiano, and shaved truffles in a single marbled sea of deliciousness.
But how does it work? How does Chef Fada suspend the yolk so precisely? How is it cooked so perfectly? We had to know—and so we present you, without further ado, the making of uovo in raviolo. How the magic happens, after the jump.