Ricotta and Chive Flower Ravioli
Photos and recipe by Carmela Sereno Hayes
The simplicity of pasta for speed, urgency, and the tummy rumbling need can never be looked down upon. From a simple bowl of pasta with butter and black pepper to little Pugliese ears of orecchiette with broccoli and fava beans or the baked perfection of a Sunday lasagne, for every day we are thankful for pasta.
I wanted to share with you my seasonal love of pasta using humble ingredients that have been heightened with a simple flourish of chive flower blossoms. Chive petals have a prominent sweet onion aroma yet, in disguise, they also offer sweetness along with beauty and absolute diversity.
For my oval ravioli, I have chosen to laminate the pasta sheets with chive flowers, fill and serve them with browned butter, and a final scattering of fresh petals purely for aroma.
Ricotta and Chive Flower Ravioli
Pasta machine (I use Marcato Atlas 150)
Large wooden board, with a lip to secure (optional, but helpful)
Pasta wheel, for cutting
Pasta stamp of your choice (I used an oval stamp from Marcato)
For the pasta dough:
150 grams (about 1¼ cup) 00 flour
50 grams (about ⅓ cup) semola di grano duro rimacinata
100 milliliters tepid water
2-3 chive blossom flower heads, depending on size
For the filling & sauce:
400 grams (14 ounces) ricotta
60 grams (2 ounces) Parmigiano Reggiano, grated, plus extra to serve
Freshly grated nutmeg, as needed
Salt & pepper, to season
150 grams (11 tablespoons) butter
2 chive blossom heads
To make the chive flower pasta dough:
Soft edible herbs and petals can be softly pressed into pasta dough, creating a beautifully pressed sheet. I prefer to use the season’s abundance so a few suggestions could be springtime wild garlic flowers, chive flower petals, violas, borage flowers, daisies, and rose petals to name a few. Plus, any soft herbs with no stems. Flat-leaf parsley, thyme, sage, and basil are my favorites, just stay away from any woody herbs such as rosemary.
- Pour both the 00 and semola flour onto a wooden board. Form a well and slowly add the water, working the flour as you go until a dough has been formed.
- Knead the dough until it is smooth and pliable. Cover and rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Prepare your soft herbs or petals by making sure they are stem-free and clean.
- Roll your pasta dough out as you would a standard dough with a pasta machine and stop at number 4 on your pasta machine setting, (For reference I use a Marcato Atlas 150.)
- Lay your herbs or petals over one-half of the pasta sheet in any format and design you would like. Fold the other half of the pasta sheet over the petals and press down with your palms and knuckles to secure.
- Set the pasta machine on to setting 3. Roll the sheet through the pasta machine once on setting 3, 4, 5, and number 6 (no folding).
To make the filling & shape the pasta:
- Combine the ricotta with the Parmigiano Reggiano, nutmeg, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Stir and check for seasoning, adjust as required.
- Take your pasta sheet and place large teaspoon amounts of the filling along one side, lengthwise.
- Fold the pasta sheet onto itself (hotdog style) and press down around the filling to secure each mound, making sure you have removed any trapped air.
- Press out each ravioli with your stamp or use a pasta wheel to make simple hand-cut ravioli.
- Allow the ravioli to air dry on a bed of semola (coarse semolina) for 20 minutes.
To assemble the dish:
- Cook the ravioli in a large pan of salted boiling water until al dente, around 3 minutes or so.
- Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan, melt the butter with a pinch of salt and pepper, until light and nutty in color.
- Using a slotted spoon, gently add the ravioli into the butter.
- Serve with an extra drizzle of butter, a sprinkle of Parmigiano Reggiano, and a final flourish of the edible chive blossom petals.
Carmela Sereno Hayes is an Italian pasta specialist, consultant, tutor, and food writer. Her love of food and her family are paramount while she continues to seek inspiration from her Italian roots and of course pasta. Carmela’s next book Pasta Fresca will be released October 2021 and sits proudly alongside her other four publications.