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Spring Ravioli: Stinging Nettle and Ricotta Filling with Spring Peas, Fava Beans & Asparagus
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Spring Ravioli: Stinging Nettle and Ricotta Filling with Spring Peas, Fava Beans & Asparagus

Stinging nettle is abundant and great to forage. If you can't find it use spinach instead.
There's a magic moment in springtime when there’s an abundance of newly harvested fava beans and spring peas, and wild asparagus. It’s wonderful to be able to put these things together in a dish, especially as the best part of their season lasts just short of a month.
Course First Course, Pasta, Vegetable
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 822kcal

Ingredients

For the dough:

  • 400 g all purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs

For the ravioli filling:

  • 150 g Stinging Nettle cooked and squeeze to dry
  • 160 g fresh ricotta cheese
  • 80 g Parmesan cheese

For the pasta sauce:

  • 100 g asparagus
  • 150 g fava beans
  • 220 g spring peas
  • 90 g grated Parmesan cheese
  • 40 g grated Parmesan cheese to garnish
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup water

Instructions

For the dough:

  • Follow the procedure in the Homemade Pasta Recipe.

For the filling:

  • Rinse the stinging nettle and discard any tough stems.
  • Cook the stinging nettle until wilted using only the water that clung to the leaves when rinsed.
  • Squeeze any excess liquid from the stinging nettle.
  • Finely mince the stinging nettle.
  • Place in a bowl with the ricotta cheese and mix together with a fork.
  • Add the Parmesan cheese.

For the sauce:

  • Steam the asparagus until just tender.
  • Remove the asparagus from the cooking water with a slotted spoon and keep the cooking water.
  • Cut the top third of the asparagus off and set the tips aside to use as a garnish.
  • Remove the peas and fava beans from their pods.
  • Cook the fava beans for a minute in the reserved asparagus cooking water.
  • Remove the fava beans with a slotted spoon and place in ice water, but keep the cooking water.
  • Cook the peas for two minutes in the cooking water.
  • Pinch off the tip of each fava bean and squeeze gently on the other end so that the bean slips out of its skin.
  • Discard the skins.
  • Reserve enough peas and fava beans to use as a garnish.
  • Place the rest of the fava beans and peas, along with the base of the asparagus, in a sauce pan along with 3/4 cup of the cooking water.
  • Simmer several minutes.
  • Turn off the heat, and use an immersion blender to purée until the sauce is smooth and creamy.
  • Add the Parmesan cheese and salt to the sauce, then set aside.

To assemble the ravioli

  • Cut the dough into thirds and work with one piece at a time, keeping the remainder of the dough wrapped in plastic wrap.
  • Roll out the dough into one long thin strip.
  • Use a small coffee spoon to place small mounds of filling in the center of the dough strips leaving an inch or two in between (depending on the size of your ravioli cutter.
  • Only add the filling halfway up the strip because you’ll use the second half of the strip to drape atop the filling.
  • if you are using a pasta machine roll the dough out to the second thinnest setting, usually number eight on your pasta machine.
  • If you are rolling the dough out by hand you want it to be thin enough that you can see the shadow of your hand on the other side of the dough as you hold it up tp the light.
  • When you seal the dough around the filling make sure that there are no air pockets trapped in.
  • I use my fingertips to gently press from one side of the filling around to the other end so that I force out any trapped air.
  • Press the dough in between the mounds of filling to ensure that the dough is firmly sealed.
  • At this point you can cut your ravioli.
  • You can either use a very sharp knife to cut the ravioli freeform, or use a ravioli cutter of your choice.
  • Place the ravioli on a pasta drying rack, or on a lightly floured dish towel. Any remaining excess dough from in between the raviolis can be used to make soup.
  • I usually run these extra bits through the pasta machine using the spaghetti cutter.
  • Place all the pasta bits on the drying rack or dish towel to dry.

Back to assembling the ravioli:

  • If your dough is too dry to seal the layers together then use a pastry brush to very lightly moisten all around the dollops of filling.
  • Just the very slightest bit of moisture is sufficient as you don’t want to over-moisten the dough.
  • Continue making ravioli with the remaining pieces of dough until you have used up all the filling.
  • The filling is enough to make approximately 32 ravioli.

Cooking and serving the ravioli:

  • Cook the ravioli until al dente.
  • While the ravioli are cooking ladle the sauce on the bottom of each serve serving bowl. Use a slotted spoon to remove the ravioli from the pasta water and place some in each serving bowl on top of the sauce.
  • Arrange the asparagus tips, and reserved peas and fava beans atop the ravioli.
  • Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan cheese and serve.

Nutrition

Serving: 120g | Calories: 822kcal | Carbohydrates: 99g | Protein: 47g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 226mg | Sodium: 1506mg | Potassium: 679mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 2217IU | Vitamin C: 23mg | Calcium: 933mg | Iron: 9mg