I have been wanting to make this dish for years. The idea of sandwiching herbs between pasta sheets to make ‘stained glass’ or ‘cathedral’ pasta came from somewhere else, but I thought it could only work with dill. I thought dill would look the prettiest too, with all those tiny little leaves. I was right. It looks beautiful. I knew I wanted to make ravioli so you could see the full effect of the cathedral pasta. Deciding this had to be done with dill meant I had to stuff the ravioli with salmon. From there, the only sauce I could put with it would be cream rich with zesty lemon.This is a dish you make when you want to impress, but don’t have a great deal of money. I bought salmon belly from my local fish shop at $7.90 a kilo, bargain basement prices for salmon. The belly is particularly fatty part of the salmon, so it made a beautiful rich mousse filling. This recipe certainly takes time though. Fiddling with the dill takes time, and I feel I’ve pulled out half my kitchen gadgets. I went shopping for a ravioli cutter and came home with a ravioli press, which is actually fantastic. My partner bought home his parents old pasta maker a few months back and I was stoked to finally give it a go. You will need a food processor for the filling, but it’s a snap to make.
This dish was well worth the effort, but save it for a special occasion. It has a spring zestiness, is beautifully balanced and tastes sensational.
|1 1/2||cups||pasta/bakers flour|
* substitute pink peppercorns, white pepper or black pepper (in that order of preference)
|1||teaspoon||olive oil (I used lemon infused)|
|fresh ground black pepper|
|1/2||cup||pure runny cream|
|2||lemons, zest only|
To make the pasta, tip the flour onto a large board or clean work surface. Make a well in the centre and add one egg, two yolks (reserve the whites for the filling) and the water. Using your fingertips gently mix the eggs and water with a little flour from around the well. Gradually incorporate the remaining flour to make a dough and knead till it becomes smooth. Divide the dough into four pieces. Cover three of the dough with a damp tea towel and leave to rest for at least 15 minutes.
Take one portion of pasta, roll the dough through the pasta machine on its thickest setting, and then gradually on lower and lower settings, reshaping it between each rolling so you have a very smooth dough. When the dough reaches this standard, roll it through on the lowest setting into a long thin sheet. Lay the sheet on your work board. Remove small florets of dill from the sprigs and arrange them very flat across half the length of the sheet so there is only one layer of dill, pressing the leaves down to secure. Layer the other half of pasta across the top of the dill and gently roll through the pasta machine on the second lowest setting. Assemble the ravioli in 4 batches so the pasta doesn’t dry out.
To make the filling, separate two of the eggs. Using a filleting knife, remove the skin and any fins from the salmon belly, cut into cubes and place in the food processor with two egg whites. Blend to a fine mousse.
Assemble the ravioli according to the directions for your ravioli press. If you only have a cutter, scoop small spoonfuls of filling at 10cm intervals on your pasta sheet, then lay a second sheet over the top, pressing the two sheets together between the filling. Cut the ravioli with a knife or a zigzag pastry/ravioli cutter.
Bring a pot of salted water to the boil and cook the ravioli till they rise to the surface. Drain in a colander and set aside.
To make the sauce, heat the oil in a small pan. Slice the shallot and cook gently. Season with salt and pepper and add the cream. Bring to a gentle simmer and add the grated zest of two lemons. Simmer till the sauce is thickened. Add the ravioli to the pan and heat through. Serve immediately garnished with dill.