I have been dying to make squid ink pasta and to try out my new pasta machine, and this recipe presented the perfect opportunity to do both. I wanted to make a filling based around the ultra lip-smackingly delicious broccoli and anchovy pasta dish I published a while ago, and to capture the essence of that. I added ricotta to give the filling some structure and I have to say I’m thrilled with the results.
Woolworths who are one of the main sponsors of the new MasterChef Celebrity series, asked me create a recipe using broccoli. Its their magic ingredient on their stunning website this week. They have created some amazing ideas using broccoli as inspiration. You simply have to see this amazing little food film turning broccoli into radical food porn. Nothing excites me more than taking a humble vegetable and turning it into something spectacular. Each week they will be posting delicious ideas to inspire you to cook like a master chef.
I opted to use tenderstem broccoli because I love the firmer texture and the superior flavour. The garlic is subtle as is the chilli, but you could easily ramp these up if you prefer. I wanted to make sure that the filing was essentially broccoli in flavour. The anchovies work beautifully and sort of semi dissolve in the hot oil.
I finished my dish with butter which I had melted to a golden brown but not burned, I skimmed off the milk solids and drizzled it generously over the pasta. I good grating of fresh Parmesan cheese is essential and a pinch of vibrant micro leaves add freshness and raw crunch.
The pasta dough comes from Emma Freddi from the last pasta course I did at her Enrica Rocca cooking school in Cape Town last year. I simply added the squid ink.
Squid ink ravioli with broccoli anchovies and ricotta serves 4 – 6 people
- 400g flour
- 4 large free-range eggs weighing 50 – 55g each
- 4 sachets squid ink / 5g each
- 1T water
- 1T oil
- pinch of salt
- 500g tenderstem broccoli
- 6 – 8 anchovies
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 – 2 garlic cloves crushed
- one small red chilli finely chopped or pinch of dried chilli flakes
- 200g ricotta
- Grated Parmesan cheese to serve
- micro greens to garnich (optional)
- butter to melt – aprox 200g
Put all the dry ingredients into a large bowl or onto a work surface and make a well in the center for the liquid. Using a fork work the flour into the eggs and other liquids until it is incorporated. It is fairly dry to start. Knead it until its starts becoming elastic and springy to the touch. Wrap in cling film and allow to rest a room temperature for about an hour.
While the pasta is resting, bring a large pot of salt water to the boil. Cut the florets off the broccoli and then add the stems to the boiling water and cook for 3 minutes. Add the florets and cook for a further 2 – 3 minutes, drain. Heat the olive oil in a large pan and add the anchovies. Mix these in and allow them to sort of dissolve in the oil as it heats up. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and chilli and immediately take it off the heat. You do not want the garlic to burn. Mix these in and allow them to sizzle in the hot oil. Add the cooked broccoli and toss to coat in the flavoured oil.
You could now chop this up finely, but I found it easier to just pulse it briefly in the food processor. You don’t want to make a paste, but you do want it to be more or less evenly chopped.
Remove and scrape it all in a bowl with the ricotta and stir to mix it together to form a firm filling.
Divide your dough into quarters and run each piece through your pasta machine as per your preference until you have put it through the lowest setting. lay your thin sheets of pasta out on a floured surface and cut out rounds or squares using a cutter. I used a 4 inch / 100mm cutter which gives a nice size ravioli. Scoop a generous dessert spoon of filling in the middle, brush the edges with beaten egg and seal with another cut out round piece on top. Using your fingers press down to release any excess air. Press the edges down with a fork to seal.
Heat the butter in a pan until its starts to brown. Take it off the heat.
To cook, bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Reduce the heat to medium and gently drop the ravioli into the water – around 3 – 4 at a time and cook for a few minutes until they float to the surface. Lift them out and drain with a slotted spoon.
Serve with melted butter, Parmesan cheese and a pinch of micro greens.
*Discalimer ~ this post has been sponsored by Woolworths SA.