Spring Pea Ravioli with Pea Shoots & Prosciutto
Happy Friday friends! I'm back at the counter in my mom's pretty kitchen, sipping coffee and enjoying the beautiful morning light. I have to say, I'm kind of digging the suburban life for a few days. Grocery shopping with a car (!!), going for hikes at Radnor Lake, cooking with friends in their huge kitchens. Living in NYC kind of feels like living on another planet by comparison.
As promised, I have a special treat for you: a recipe for spring pea ravioli, with pea shoots and prosciutto. I created this recipe for Saveur, and it recently ran in my latest dinner party column. Each month, I'm creating a new dinner party menu for them, with recipes and a how-to-guide, so you can hopefully recreate the same menu at home!
Spring Pea Ravioli with Pea Shoots and Prosciutto (Opener photos by Olivia Funk)
I confess: I had never made homemade ravioli until I was in Sicily in January. I took a cooking class at Monaci delle Terre Nere with chef Francesco Troina. We prepared a multi-course meal, but I was most fascinated to learn how to make ravioli. He showed me how to make Swiss chard ravioli (with chard picked from the garden that morning) in a simple sage brown butter sauce. Words cannot describe how perfect these ravioli were. They were so delicate, and so flavorful, and he made them so quickly. I swear, Chef Francesco could have probably made them in his sleep.
Cooking with Chef Francesco Troina at Monaci Terre delle Nere in Sicily (photo by Brandon Carl)
There's no getting around it: ravioli-making is a project. As a novice, you'll need to carve out 3-4 hours. BUT the end result is so delicious and so satisfying, that it's totally worth the time. The key – if you're making these for a dinner party – is to either make them ahead and freeze them, or just to keep the rest of the menu extremely simple.
The project can be broken into 6 main steps: making the dough, making the filling, rolling the dough, stuffing the ravioli, and then sealing and cutting them. And then either freezing them, or cooking them and finishing them with a sauce. Ideally, you'll want to use a pasta maker to get the dough thin enough, but it's possible to use a rolling pin as well. (NOTE: This takes a long time and really gives your forearms a workout. Your ravioli may turn out a little thicker and heavier if you don't use a pasta maker, but they'll still taste great.)
Chef Francesco's perfect Swiss chard ravioli (photo by Brandon Carl)
In the recipe below, I stuffed the ravioli with pureed spring peas, ricotta, mint, and Parmesan, and then, after boiling them, made a lemony butter sauce with crispy prosciutto and pea shoots. It's the perfect starter to a spring meal – just be sure to keep the rest of the menu simple!! Check out the full story on Saveur to get the full menu and step-by-step guide!
Have a great weekend everybody, and hope this inspires you to dust off that pasta-maker and make some ravioli!
SPRING PEA RAVIOLI WITH PROSCIUTTO & PEA SHOOTS
2 cups all-purpose or 00 flour, plus more for flouring surface
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups frozen (or fresh) peas, blanched
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 garlic clove, minced
½ cups fresh ricotta
½ cup grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
¼ cup salted butter
2 slices prosciutto, chopped
½ cup blanched peas
¾ cup pea shoots
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
Freshly grated Parmesan
1) Make the pasta dough. Combine the flour, salt, and eggs in a food processor. Process until the dough comes together in a rough ball. (If you don’t have a food processor, mound the flour in the middle of a clean work surface. Make a hole in the middle and add the salt and eggs. Slowly beat the eggs with a fork, incorporating flour gradually until you have a sticky ball of dough.) Sprinkle additional flour on a clean work surface and knead the dough for 2-3 minutes, sprinkling flour onto the dough if it’s too sticky, until a smooth ball forms. Wrap the ball in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator at least 30 minutes.
2) Make the pea-ricotta filling. Pulse the peas, lemon zest, garlic, ricotta, Parmesan, and mint in a food processor or blender. Add in the olive oil and pulse until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl and place in the refrigerator until ready to use.
3) Roll the pasta dough. Set up a pasta machine on a large work surface. Remove the pasta dough from the refrigerator and divide into 4 pieces. (If you’re really comfortable using a pasta maker, you can just divide it into 2 pieces.) Line a sheet tray with parchment paper, and go ahead and tear off a few more sheets of parchment.
Run the first piece of dough through the widest setting on the machine a few times, lightly flouring as needed. Move the rollers to the next thinnest setting and run the dough through, gradually working down to the thinnest setting. Ultimately the dough should be thin enough to see your hand through it. Trim the sheet so it makes a large rectangle (a pizza wheel is great for this!) and place it on the parchment-lined baking sheet). Repeat the process with the remaining dough balls, laying the pasta rectangles between sheets of parchment paper.
4) Make the ravioli. Lay one sheet of pasta on a lightly floured work surface. Spoon the filling by heaping teaspoonful, about 1 inch apart. (If you have a pastry bag, this works wonders here, as you can keep the filling much more uniform.) You should be able to fit about 14-18 dollops of filling.
Take another pasta sheet and gently lay it on top of the first sheet and the dollops of pea-ricotta filling. Using your fingers, gently press around each mount of filling to release any air that might be trapped, then gently press on the edges to seal. Using a pizza wheel or a knife, make vertical and horizontal cuts between the fillings, to create square ravioli. Carefully transfer the ravioli in a single layer onto a parchment lined baking sheet, dusted with flour. Repeat with the remaining pasta sheets and filling, and place on another parchment lined baking sheet.
Let the ravioli dry for an hour in a cool, dry place. If you’re not planning to use the ravioli immediately, place the trays in the freezer for an hour, and then transfer to a Ziploc bag to freeze until ready to use.
5) Cook and serve the ravioli. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook the ravioli in batches, so as not to crowd the pot – about 5 minutes per batch.
Melt the butter in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the prosciutto and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until beginning to crisp. Add the peas and the pea shoots, and cook for another 1-2 minutes, or until the pea shoots have wilted. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice and zest.
Add the ravioli to the pan and toss a few times to combine.
Divide the ravioli, peas, and prosciutto among 4 plates and garnish with chopped mint and freshly grated Parmesan.