The appearance of wild garlic in spring brings a promise of good things to come in the kitchen. The vibrant leaf, heavy with garlic flavour is a lovely ingredient for risottos or pestos and turns a pasta dough a wonderful bright green. If used for ravioli, it is best to cook as soon as you can as these don’t last as well as ravioli made with regular pasta – they somehow soften more quickly and become less easy to handle but you could just make fettuccini or tagliatelle. These keeps well in a sealed bag, tossed with a little semolina to ensure it doesn’t clump together. It can also be frozen, or dried and stored in an airtight container.
I have used it to make ricotta stuffed ravioli and served them with a tomato sauce and some pea shoots.
This amount will make enough for four people.
40g washed wild garlic leaves, finely chopped
1 large egg and one egg yolk
200g Italian OO flour
Put the finely chopped garlic leaves and eggs into a food processor and blend until the leaves have disappeared into the eggs. Add the flour, gradually until you have a rough, breadcrumbs dough.
Turn out onto a board, knead it together and it will start to form a dough. Knead for ten minutes and then wrap in clingfilm and rest for an hour.
Roll out using a pasta machine. You may need to use a little flour to help stop it from sticking. Start on the largest setting, cutting the lengths in half if they get too long. Have semolina ready to keep the finished sheets on so they don’t stick. Make into whatever sort of pasta you like. If using for ravioli the sheets will need to be nice and thin.
150g ricotta cheese
Rind of one lemon
30g parmesan cheese, finely grated, plus more for serving
Fresh herbs (mint, tarragon, chives, parsley or basil). About 10 – 15g
Sea salt and black pepper
Mash all the ingredients together. You will need to chop the herbs finely. Use any combination you like. Season.
Use to fill the ravioli. Stamp out rounds of pasta with a biscuit cutter (about 2″) and put a little heap of ricotta mix in the centre. Dampen the edge of the pasta and top with another circle, ensuring all the air is pinched out and the edges well sealed. Keep each ravioli from sticking to each other using semolina.
Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and drop the ravioli in. It will be ready within a couple of minutes when it rises to the top. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a j cloth before serving on top of a tomato sauce and garnishing with basil, pea shoots, olive oil and more parmesan shavings.