Parcels of spinach pasta packed with sweet white crab meat and soft cheese
For the pasta:
2 egg yolks
200g pasta flour
40g fresh spinach
For the filling:
170g white crab meat
½ shallot, finely chopped and softened in butter
½ tbsp brandy
1 tbsp chives, chopped
4 tbsp parmesan, grated
In a blender, place the raw spinach and flour and blitz until a homogeneous green. Add the egg yolks and blitz to a rough dough. Remove from the blender and work on a floured surface until the mix become elastic and bouncy. Wrap in cling film and rest for 30 mins in a cool place.
To make the beurre noisette, place the butter in a heavy based pan and allow it to sizzle until the butter turns ‘silent’ and foams up in the pan. This should take around 3 mins maximum. Make sure not to overcook the butter—the debris at the bottom of the pan should be of a light brown colour and smell of hazelnut. This will be used to dress the ravioli with the grated parmesan and chopped chives as garnish.
To make the filling, in a large bowl mix all the filling ingredients, mix well and check seasoning. If the mix is too wet, add some breadcrumbs (but make sure the mix remains nice and soft). Roll into portions of about 18g and keep them in a tray while you pull the pasta.
To pull by hand, take half the dough and form a regular ball. Flatten this with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface. Starting from the centre, pull with the rolling pin in all directions, consistently rotating the dough by 90 degrees, keeping it as round as possible until you get the desired thickness (usually not more than 2mm). Use only a scanty amount of flour on the surface in order not to dry the pasta and work swiftly for the same reason. Repeat with the other half of the dough.
To pull by machine, take half the dough and form a regular ball. Flatten this with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface. Pass the dough on the lowest dial of the machine. Repeat, then fold the dough in two and pass it though the machine again until the dough is perfectly smooth. At this point start to tighten the dial (from 1 to 6), pulling the pasta until you achieve the desired thickness. Repeat with the other half of the dough.
When you have pulled the pasta, cut 16 rounds of 10cm diameter. With a pastry brush, wet the pasta with water then apply in the centre of each round the 18g filling and fold it. In a large pan of boiling water, plunge the ravioli and cook not more than 4 mins.
With a slotted spoon carefully collect the ravioli from the cooking water, place them in a large plate, and dress with the beurre noisette, dress with some chopped chives and a sprinkle of parmesan. Serve at once.
Recipe: Sara Danesin