I planted my very first vegetable garden this year and it turned out to be somewhat of a disaster. I went a little crazy on the seeds and overcrowded it, resulting in 8-feet high peppers and peas (and weeds). But thanks to their monstrous size, I got a ton of peas. I don’t cook with peas often so I really had no clue what to do with them.

On a recent trip to Chicago, I had lunch with my sister at La Pizza & La Pasta inside of Eataly. I had the most light and airy ravioli stuffed with spring peas, ricotta, pecorino and mint. All slathered in butter. It was amazing, and the perfect solution to my pea conundrum. My version adds fresh lemon zest to brighten the peas and lighten the richness of the butter.

Note: I make my ravioli with the KitchenAid ravioli attachment (it’s great, I highly recommend it!), but I’ve included the handmade version below.

fresh pea and ricotta ravioli in a lemon butter sauce

Fresh Pea and Ricotta Ravioli with Lemon Butter Sauce

For the Ravioli:
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 T extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 eggs
For the Filling:
  • 1.5 cups of fresh peas, shelled
  • 1/2 cup low-fat ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
For the Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  1. In an electric mixing bowl with the dough hook attachment, mix flour and salt until combined. Add eggs one at a time. Drizzle olive oil into the mix, and stir until dough becomes a large ball and clings to the hook.
  2. Remove dough and place on surface sprinkled with flour. Knead until soft and pliable, about 2 minutes (video tutorial here). Wrap ball of dough in plastic wrap or a damp towel and let rest for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, blanch peas until soft (about 3-4 minutes) and place in a food processor with ricotta, parmesan, lemon zest, garlic, salt and pepper. Blend until smooth. (Note: I had to add about a tablespoon of water to get the consistency I needed). Set aside.
    fresh pea and ricotta ravioli in a meyer lemon butter sauce
  4. Once pasta dough has rested, cut the ball of dough in half and cover the rest you are not using. Dust the counter with flour, form the dough into a rectangle, and flatten. Roll through your pasta roller several times, decreasing the size settings with every turn. The dough should be paper-thin, or as thin as you can get it without producing holes.
  5. If you’re making your ravioli by hand: lay your pasta sheet on the counter and place 2 tsp. mounds of filling along middle of dough, spacing the mounds around 1″ apart. Brush dough with water. Take another sheet of pasta and lay it over the other sheet of pasta and mounds of filling; press dough to seal, squeezing out air pockets around filling. Using a pastry cutter or knife, cut out ravioli. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.
  6. Bring large pot of water to boil. In a separate pot, melt butter on low-medium setting and add garlic and lemon zest. Once water is ready, add ravioli and cook until the pockets float to the surface of the water. Drain pasta and transfer to butter mixture and toss until coated.
  7. Garnish with parmesan, fresh grated lemon, and freshly ground black pepper.

 

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