This light pasta dish has a nice balance of creamy flavours (fresh pasta, pine nuts, caramelised leeks), with peppery verdant greens and some tangy lemon and sorrel.
I bought a bunch of nettle at the markets last weekend. Usually I default to making nettle soup because it’s so green and nutty and good. But as winter has just ended and having just about hit soup capacity, I decided to try something new. I made a batch of gnudi, but have recently bought a new pasta maker so wanted to give some fresh pasta a go.
My original plan was to dye the pasta dough with the nettle chlorophyl, but I had a kitchen chemistry fail when I turned it brown by adding lemon juice (acid + base). So I decided to keep it plain and fill it with a fresh and creamy filling.
You could add a little parmesan or lemon zest to the filling for some extra saltiness/ zing, but I like the subtleness/ gentleness of the dish. Sage butter sauce work and brown butter raisin lemon myrtle sauce.
Nettle and Ricotta Ravioli with Leek and lemon sauce
Could work well as an entree for 6-8, or main for 4.
For the ravioli
- 1 bunch nettle – 200g after blanched (1 1/3 cup), finely chopped
- 250g ricotta
- salt and pepper
- Pasta – either make your own or use fresh lasagne sheets or wonton wrappers.
Prepare a chopping board, bench or plates with some baking paper, and bring a large pot of water to the boil.
Mix together nettle and ricotta. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Roll the pasta out to 2mm thick. Cut into large squares and place a teaspoon or two of mixture in the centre. Wet the edges around the filling and top with another square. Press edges together and set aside on the baking paper. Repeat with remaining mixture.
Once the ravioli float, cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
Sauteed leek, nettle water & lemon sauce
- 1 cup leeks, finely sliced
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 teaspoons butter
- 1/2 cup nettle juice reduction
- salt and pepper
- 1-1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice, or a little more to taste
Combine leeks, oil and butter in a saucepan over a medium-low heat. Cook for about 15 minutes to caramlise a little. Add nettle water, increase heat to medium and cook for a further few minutes. Add lemon juice, cook for a further minute, the season to taste.
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts, lightly toasted
- Handful baby sorrel (or lemon balm, lovage, chives)
Serve up the ravioli squares with the leek sauced drizzled over. Sprinkle with pine nuts, sorrel and freshly ground black pepper.