Borage and walnut ravioli

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As promised, here’s the recipe for my version of ravioli that I bought a few weeks ago on the Italian food stall in Clermont-l’Hérault market. As with all foraged food, the amount of borage is approximate and can be varied according to what you have.

ingredients for 18 ravioli – serves 2-3:

for the pasta: 200 grams very fine flour (I was unable to find the special pasta flour, so I used patisserie flour which seemed fine enough); a pinch of salt; 2 eggs.

for the filling: a large bunch of borage leaves and flowers too if you like (enough to half-fill a large saucepan – they reduce a lot when cooked, like spinach); 75 grams shelled walnuts; 1 tablespoon olive oil; salt and black pepper.

First make the pasta by mixing the beaten eggs and salt into the flour. Knead it well, or use a pasta machine, as we did. Passing pieces of the pasta dough through gradually narrowing rollers until it is fine and thin – but not too thin, we found the finest setting made the sheets of past too delicate and apt to split. It takes about six rollings at least.

Cook the borage leaves in a little water until wilted and the stems soft. Borage leaves MUST be cooked – when you pick them you’ll know why, because they’re very prickly when raw. The flowers can be added raw to salads and drinks, though.

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Put the walnuts in a food processor and whizz until finely chopped. Add the cooked borage leaves, olive oil, salt and pepper and whizz again until you have a fairly fine, green purée.

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Some pasta machines have ravioli makers attached. Mine doesn’t, but I have a useful cutter that makes rounds about 3 cm across and closes them when the filling has been added to make half-moons. Or you can make squares, triangles of half-moons by hand.

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Once you have made and filled each shape, brush half of the edge with water so that the two edges close and stick together.

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When the ravioli are all ready, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, add the ravioli and cook for 6 to 7 minutes. Drain and serve with olive oil and shaved parmesan cheese. You can add chopped parsley and garlic too.

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We ate them for lunch today and were very pleased with the result. Apart from the delicious flavours of borage and walnut, fresh pasta always tastes so much better than dried so it definitely seemed worth the work!

Ravioli

The membrillo I posted the other day is fairly simple to make but it does involve spending a long time in the kitchen while it bubbles away, reducing and thickening and having to be stirred occasionally to make sure it doesn’t burn. While this was happening I used the time to make ravioli, encouraged by my empanadilla success with my new cutter, and getting the pasta machine out of the cupboard for the first time for a couple of years.

For 24 large ravioli, enough to serve 4, I mixed 100 grams of fresh sheep’s cheese (brousse du Larzac because it’s easily available here but you could use ricotta) with 100 grams chopped artichoke hearts (from a jar of artichokes in oil), some salt and pepper.

For the pasta use 200 grams of the finest flour you can find – 00 special pasta flour if you can get it – add a pinch of salt and mix it slowly with two beaten eggs.

 

When the dough is ready to roll out it’s much easier if you have a pasta machine but you could, if you have the energy, roll it with a rolling pin on the table. It needs to be rolled several times to smooth out the dough and when using a pasta machine you can adjust the gap between the rollers so that after putting the same piece of dough through the machine about eight times you have a thin piece to cut the shapes from.

 

I was lucky because as well as having the pasta machine I also had Lo Jardinièr to turn the handle while I took some photos!

Once all the dough was rolled, in four pieces, I cut out the round shapes with the cutter

 

I filled each one and sealed them before cooking them for about 10 minutes in a large pan of boiling salted water.

 

There were too many for the two of us to eat all at once so we ate half of them for supper with olive oil, chopped garlic and shaved parmesan cheese.

 

And the ‘leftovers’ next day for lunch: I put them in a terracotta dish and covered them with tomato sauce (made with onion, garlic, our own tomato purée, white wine and a bay leaf) and some grated cheese and heated them in the oven for about 20 minutes. I think they were even better this way than they had been the night before – the tomato sauce, as it often does, seemed to bring out the flavour of the artichokes.

 

Definitely a good way to spend the time waiting for the membrillo to cook!