Ravioli with Ricotta, Fennel Pollen and Lemon

(serves 4-6)


Think Outside the Square
When making your own ravioli, you can use store-bought sheets of pasta and turn them into several giant triangles instead of many little squares, to get dinner on the table much more quickly.  Using fennel pollen to flavor this dish, and shifting from a typical ravioli size and shape can also be a welcome surprise.

1 pound ricotta cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese       
1 tsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp fennel pollen
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper     
2 eggs, lightly beaten

 3/4 lb fresh pasta sheets (each approx. 12 in. x 12 in.)
2 cups heavy cream
1 Tbsp minced shallot
1 tsp fennel pollen
2 tsp lemon zest
2 Tbsp lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

Place the ricotta in a large bowl and work it with a spatula until fluffy. Fold in the Parmesan, lemon zest, fennel pollen, salt and pepper until thoroughly combined.  Fold in the eggs just until combined.  Cover and refrigerate while you prepare the pasta dough.

Place one sheet of pasta dough onto a cutting board at a time.  Cut into 4 equal squares.  Spoon a scant 1/4 cup of filling onto the center of each square and gently spread it, leaving a generous border.  With your fingertips, spread a bit of water on the border around the filling.  Fold the square in half to form a triangle.  Using the back of a fork, gently press down along the border to seal the edges all the way around.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Salt the water generously.  Depending on the size of your pot, consider cooking the ravioli in several batches to avoid crowding which can cause the ravioli stick to one another.  Carefully lower ravioli into the pot.  Cook until the pasta is al dente.  Using a slotted spoon, carefully lift the ravioli out of the pot one at a time, letting the excess water drip off.  Place the ravioli on a plate, without them overlapping and cover lightly with foil to keep warm.

Combine the sauce ingredients in a large skillet.  Over low heat, bring to a low simmer.  Continue to simmer until the cream is thickened and reduced by half.  Adjust seasoning if necessary.  Gently add the ravioli to the skillet.  Using a spatula, fold the sauce over the ravioli to coat them.  

Plate the ravioli on individual plates (2-3 per serving).  Using a spatula,  scrape any remaining sauce out of the pan, drizzling onto the ravioli.  Garnish with additional grated Parmesan and fennel pollen.  (Our photo also includes fresh pollen flowers and kale sprouts as garnish.)

view related blog post:  Fennel Pollen