It can be hard to source really fresh fish in Canberra from trustworthy sources. My favourite place to get fish is from Narooma Seafood Direct at the Capital Region Farmers Market. Narooma Seafood is a family business. Vicki and Hayley Abbott attend the market every week. They own the boat, catch the fish, and bring it to market for you and I to buy. They have a good variety of seasonal fish and seafood. There are varieties I’d not tried until I bought from them (like butterfish), and some old favourites (like flathead). They also sell fish mince. It’s made from albacore tuna, a sustainable species with a mild flavour. I’d been wanting to give it a go for a while, and realised this dish would be the perfect way.
Making ravioli takes a little time, but it’s nice to do for a special meal. It’s not difficult, and this flavour combination is wonderful and quite uncomplicated. The beautiful colour of this pasta comes from parsley juice. I was lucky enough to have friend with a juicer to make my parsley juice. You’ll need one or two bunches of parsley for this recipe. If you don’t quite get enough juice, just top up the measurement with water. If you don’t have access to a juicer, perhaps you could blend the parsley and water together to a puree. If you’re really keen on this flavour combination you could drop the parsley juice from the pasta (replacing it with water) and add half a bunch of chopped parsley to the sauce at the end. You obviously won’t get the glorious green colour in the pasta though.
To make the pasta, tip the flour onto a clean bench, glass or stone board. Make a well in the centre and add the salt, parsley juice, egg yolks and water. Gradually incorporate the flour into the liquid to form a dough. Knead the dough for five minutes, cover it with a damp tea towel and let it rest for half an hour or so before kneading again. Divide the dough into portions. Cover the dough with a damp tea towel. Set the rollers on your pasta machine to their widest setting. Take a portion of dough and roll it through the machine, fold it over and roll it through again, repeating the process a few times before setting the dough back on the board to rest again. In this way, you’re making the machine do all the work, and you’ll end up with silky smooth pasta. When you’ve rolled all the dough portions like this, cover them with the damp tea towel again and prepare the filling.
To make the filling, place the egg whites, salt and pepper in the food processor and blitz. Add half the fish mince, anchovies and capers and blitz to form a mousse. Add the remaining fish mince and blitz to combine.
To assemble your pasta, roll each sheet of pasta through the machine at gradually narrower intervals, folding it over as needed. You should end up with lovely silky pasta. Roll it as thin as possible. I use a little ravioli press to make my pasta. You can assemble yours according the directions of your press, or by piling a little spoon full of filling at intervals along one sheet. Use a little water to dampen the bottom layer of pasta and affix the top sheet of pasta. Cut the ravioli and lay them on a floured board till you’re ready to cook them.
To cook the pasta, fill a large saucepan with salted water and bring it to a rapid boil. Drop the ravioli into the boiling water. They will be cooked when they rise to the top of the water. Drain the pasta and return to a dry saucepan. Grate over the zest of the lemon, squeeze in the juice of the lemon. Add the cream and heat through, tossing to combine. Serve immediately.