Jono hasn’t made fresh pasta since he broke his hand and we’ve missed the lightness and texture it has. Now he’s better we had to make this minty Spring Ravioli. Needless to say we made masses, but despite the quantity they just slipped down so easily and disappeared in a flash. Fresh pasta is a bit of a labour of love but if you give yourself plenty of time it’s not that difficult and you feel very smug and clever afterwards.
Ravioli of pecorino, potato and mint – serves 6
- pasta dough (see below)
- 500g floury potatoes
- 100g butter, plus a bit more
- 1-2 handfuls of grated pecorino, plus a bit extra
- nutmeg for grating
- zest of 1 lemon
- a bunch of fresh mint
For the pasta dough
- 600g tipo 00 flour
- 6 large eggs
First make the pasta:
Throw the flour and eggs into a food processor and whiz until it looks like breadcrumbs, then tip out and bring together with your hands.
Knead the pasta dough until it feels smooth and silky (your hands should be aching!). Wrap it in clingfilm and rest in the fridge for at least half an hour.
For the filling:
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas 6. Prick the potatoes with a fork, then roll them in some sea salt and bake for about an hour. Cool, cut them in half, and scoop the potato into a bowl, discarding the skins.
Pick your mint leaves and finely chop half. Add the butter, pecorino, nutmeg, lemon zest and the chopped mint and mash well with the potato. Taste and add more seasoning if it doesn’t taste absolutely delicious.
For the ravioli:
Dust the work surface with flour. Take a quarter of the pasta dough (keep the rest wrapped well in the fridge) and press out flat with your fingers. Set your pasta machine to the widest setting – and roll the pasta dough through. Lightly dust with flour if it sticks. Click the machine down a setting and roll through again. Fold the pasta in half, click the machine back to the widest setting and roll through again. Repeat this process 5 or 6 times. The pasta will eventually become smooth and silky.
Now roll the dough through all the settings on the machine, from the widest to the narrowest. Keep lightly dusting both sides with flour as you go. When you’ve got down to the narrowest setting, fold the pasta in half lengthways and then in half again, then in half once more until you have a kind of square. Turn it 90 degrees and feed through the machine again at the widest setting. Roll the pasta through each setting for the last time. For ravioli you need to keep going until you can clearly see your hand through the pasta.
Now you need to work quickly to make your ravioli before your pasta dries out. You can cover with a damp tea towel to protect it if necessary.
Cut the pasta into a 5 x 15 cm strips.
Place 4 tsp of filling along the strip and lightly brush the pasta with water.
Put another strip over and mould carefully around the filling on the bottom sheet, pushing out any air bubbles.
Cut into squares with a crinkle cutter or into circles with a pastry cutter.
To cook the ravioli:
Bring a pot of salted water to the boil and cook the ravioli for about 3½ minutes.
While it is cooking, put a couple of knobs of butter in a frying pan and heat gently. Drain the ravioli with a slotted spoon, reserving a little bit of pasta water. Add the ravioli to the melted butter with a little of the cooking water and lightly simmer until you have a sauce that coats the pasta lightly. Serve on a platter and sprinkle with mint, some pepper and shavings of pecorino.
Aren’t you clever!
Wine Suggestion: We went with the suggestion in the recipe book which was the Italian white, Arneis. Ours was by a producer called Ascheri from Alba and was very nice indeed.
(Original recipe from Jamie Oliver’s Cook with Jamie, Penguin Books, 2006.)