Ravioli with Asparagus, Ricotta, Sage & Brown Butter

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Serves

    6

    or more

Appears in

Limoncello and Linen Water

Limoncello and Linen Water

By Tessa Kiros

Published 2012

  • About

This is beautiful. And see how easy it is to make a batch of home-made pasta? It’s only 2 eggs and 200 g of flour, so you don’t need everyone in the family and neighbourhood to help roll it out and your house won’t be crammed full of drying pasta.

Ingredients

Pasta

  • 200 g (7 oz/1⅓ cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 400 g (14 oz) asparagus
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 80 g ( oz) spring onions (scallions) with some green part, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan, plus extra, for serving
  • 250 g (9 oz) fresh ricotta
  • 120 g (4 oz) butter
  • about 20 sage leaves

Method

To make the pasta, mix the flour, eggs, olive oil and salt in a bowl until the mixture comes together. Turn out and knead well until you have a lovely soft dough. Cover with a tea towel and leave at room temperature to rest for about half an hour or so.

Meanwhile, make the filling as it will need time to cool down. Snap off and discard the woody ends of the asparagus. Cut off the tips (about 4 cm/ inches) and keep them aside for now. Roughly chop up the rest. Heat the oil in a frying pan and sauté the spring onions until pale gold and softened. Add the chopped asparagus. Sauté, adding a little salt, until tender. Remove to a bowl to cool. When completely cool, add the parmesan and ricotta and mix through well. Taste, adding salt and pepper if needed.

Roll out about one-fifth of the dough, keeping the rest covered with a tea towel so it doesn’t dry out. Feed the rolled dough through the highest setting on a pasta machine. Fold it up again like a book to neaten it and pass it through this setting again. Now pass it through the next setting twice, and so on until you are 3 notches from the finest setting. You can now cut the dough in half to make it more manageable if you like. You want the finished sheet of pasta straight-edged so fold the ends in to straighten, if necessary. Pass it through this setting twice, then continue like this until you have used the finest setting and the length of pasta is as wide as the machine allows, with smooth straight edges all around. Proceed with the rest of the dough, keeping the rolled sheets covered with a tea towel so they don’t dry out.

Put a pasta sheet on a wooden board. Dollop teaspoons of filling in a row about 3 cm (1¼ inches) in from one long side and with about 3 cm between each. If the pasta is drying out a bit, you may need to brush around the filling with a little water so the two layers of pasta will stick together. Carefully fold the other side over to cover the hills of filling. Press between each one to seal. Cut with a sharp knife between the hills and press firmly with the tines of a fork on the 3 sides that aren’t folded. The ravioli should be about 7 x 5 cm (2¾ x 2 inches) but they don’t have to be exact. Put them on a lightly floured tray while you make the rest.

Bring a low-sided wide pot of salted water to the boil. Cook the ravioli, in batches, over not-too-high heat for about 5 minutes or until tender. Remove with a slotted spoon to a warm dish while you cook the rest.

While the ravioli are cooking, heat three-quarters of the butter in a pan with the sage leaves and asparagus tips and sauté until the asparagus are a bit golden, the sage is crisp and the butter is golden brown. When the butter starts to brown add the rest to the pan to slow down the process so the sage has time to crisp up. Divide the ravioli among warm plates — 5 per person is a good amount. Divide the asparagus and sage among the plates and spoon some warm butter over each. Scatter parmesan over, give a grind of black pepper and serve at once.

These can be frozen, uncooked, in individual layers on a tray so they don’t all stick together. Once frozen, snap them off and store in the freezer in plastic bags.