This ravioli was part of the vernal equinox dinner I did as part of the foraged menu in celebration of the shifting seasons. It's made with mustard garlic and henbit greens, both tough greens that survive the later winter frosts, so they're a good cooking option for early spring. If you have trouble finding them or you're not quite ready to dive in to the foraging quite yet, feel free to substitute spinach for a more tame option.
The foraged greens offer a nice spicy bite and subtle taste palate that doesn't come with spinach. When venturing out to forage your greens, choose a place that isn't sprayed with pesticides and doesn't have too much foot traffic. Henbit and mustard garlic both grow in fairly sunny spots in the brush. Take a look at this article about henbit and this article about garlic mustard, both written by Leda Meredith, who was the foraging consultant on my dinner series. There are a lot of resources out there for foraging, which I highly recommend that you take advantage of, because few things in this world are as magical or wild as being out in the woods, looking for your own food as sustenance. It's also been said that the human brain is more hard wired to memorize plant identification than it is to memorize mathematical facts or some of the other things we learn in school.
Both henbit and garlic mustard are, again, hearty enough to survive the winter frosts, so they will keep fairly well, but you'll want to keep them cool and dry while storing them. I kept mine in an airtight glass jar in the fridge for the couple days before I made my dough, and it's always better to use them while they're fresh.
Ingredients for skins
- 4 oz garlic mustard & henbit greens (if you don't have enough from foraging, sub spinach for remaining amounts of greens)
- 1 egg + 1 egg yolk
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 garlic cloves
- sprinkle of salt
Ingredients for filling
- 15 oz ricotta (try making your own)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 egg + 1 egg yolk
- salt & pepper
- zest from 1 lemon
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 2 oz parmesan, grated
Ingredients for plating
- 1 stick of butter
- zest from 1 lemon
- 4 oz grated parmesan or pecorino romano cheese
- 1 handful mustard garlic leaves
1. Clean & wash your greens, add them to a heavy pot with a lid. Add 1/4 cup of water and steam them, with the lid on, for 2 minutes, until the greens are vibrant and wilted. Remove from heat and strain greens from the water.
2. Add the wilted greens to a vitamix or food processor, and pulse until pureed. add the egg, egg yolk, flour, garlic, and salt, and pulse until it forms into a big, sticky ball.
3. Add enough flour so that it doesn't stick to your hands while you either transfer it to a kitchenaid stand mixer with the dough hook, or knead it with your hands - in both instances you'll want to knead it for 8-10 minutes. When you’re done, form the dough into a ball, dusted with flour.
4. Wrap the ball of dough tightly so that it's airtight and refrigerate overnight.
5. Meanwhile, prepare your filling. Combine all of the filling ingredients in a separate bowl and mix well.
6. With a pasta roller on the thickness setting of 4, roll out the dough into sheets.
7. On your rolled out pasta sheets, place a dollop of filling every few inches, and carefully cover dollops by draping another sheet of dough over them.
8. Press area around each mound tightly, making sure to keep out air bubbles. Cut out each piece of ravioli with a circular cutter. Pinch ends to keep ravioli airtight.
9. Place each raviolo on a baking sheet sprinkled in flour. Line with sheets of linen and stack some on top of others, using flour to prevent the pieces from sticking to each other. Freeze ravioli until use.
10. To cook ravioli, bring a pot of water to a tame boil. Drop in 20-30 frozen ravioli and cook for 2-3 minutes after they float to the top.
11. Meanwhile, in a separate skillet, melt butter until it begins to brown. Remove from heat.
12. To serve, plate 5-6 ravioli and cover with about a tablespoon of brown butter. Add a touch of extra virgin olive oil, microplaned parmesan cheese and lemon zest. Add salt & pepper to taste. Plate with garlic mustard leaves.