Saffron and Ricotta Ravioli
This is a very special ravioli that is guaranteed to impress your friends. It was inspired by something similar that we had at the enchanting Venetian wedding of Jemima’s sister, Quentin; it really blew our minds. The burst of saffron oozing out of the middle followed by the creamy ricotta was so delicious. A year later, sitting in our kitchen making homemade ravioli, this little number came to mind.
|For the filling:|
|1 clove||garlic, crushed|
|small bunch of||fresh herbs, leaves chopped (chives, basil and tarragon)|
|salt and pepper|
|For the saffron butter:|
|large pinch of||saffron threads|
|2 tsp||hot water|
|1||shallot, finely chopped|
|1 tsp||chilli flakes|
|For the pasta dough:|
|400g||tipo ‘00’ flour, plus extra for dusting|
1. Mix all the filling ingredients together in a bowl and season to taste.
2. Put the saffron threads into a small bowl and try to break them up as much as you can with your fingers, then add the hot water and leave to infuse for a few minutes.
3. Blitz the butter with the shallot, chilli flakes and saffron-infused water in a food processor (or you could do by hand, but make sure you chop the shallot really finely first). Turn onto a big piece of cling film and wrap it up, making a long sausage about 4cm in diameter. Put into the fridge to set.
4. While your butter is setting, make the pasta dough. You can either do this all by hand, or using a food processor or KitchenAid (fitted with the dough hook). If you are working by hand, tip the flour and salt onto a clean surface and make a well in the middle, then crack the eggs into the well. Using a fork, beat the eggs and then gradually incorporate some of the flour from around the sides of the well, continuing until it has come together into one piece. Tip onto a floured surface.
5. Knead for approximately 10 minutes, until the dough becomes smooth and glossy. Roll into a ball and cover with cling film, then set aside for 30 minutes.
6. Alternatively, whizz everything together in a food processor or KitchenAid fitted with a dough hook until you have a smooth dough, then cover and set aside as above.
7. To make the pasta, cut the dough into four pieces and work each piece through a pasta machine on its widest setting, repeating a few times and occasionally folding in half. Then take the machine down to the second widest setting and repeat the rolling process. Continue adjusting the machine until you have rolled the dough through its narrowest setting. Cut in half, as it will be too long to manage by now.
8. Repeat the rolling process with the remaining pieces. Now the pasta is ready to use
9. With your long pasta sheet in front of you, cut out rounds using a ravioli cutter or a 6cm biscuit cutter. Place 1 teaspoon of the ricotta mixture into the centre, and top with a slice of the set butter from the fridge (about 1cm thick).
10. Dampen the edges of the pasta around the filling with water, then sandwich another round on top. Use your fingertips to seal the edges, trying to expel all the air as you go. Keep going until you have used up all the filling.
11. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Carefully lower the ravioli into the water, in batches, and cook for 4–5 minutes; they are cooked when they float to the surface of the water. Drain and serve with a little olive oil, Parmesan and torn rocket.