A Recipe Perfect for Spring: Wild Herb Ravioli
Forager Tama Matsuoka Wong and chef at New York’s Daniel restaurant, Eddy Leroux, share their recipe for ravioli emboldened by the flavors of wild, foraged plants.
Wild Herb Ravioli
You can taste wild spring in this dish: the fusion of herbal flavors of the deadnettle and its slight sourness, the fresh mild chickweed, and the bite of the wild garlic. If you don’t feel like making homemade pasta, use a 16-ounce package of egg roll wrappers.
For the wild herb filling:
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for serving
- 1 1/2 ounces (2 cups firmly packed) chickweed or spinach, stiff stems removed
- 1 ounce (1 1/2 cups firmly packed) deadnettle or henbit tops, including flowers
- 1 ounce (3/4 cup) wild garlic greens or chives, snipped into 1/2- to 1-inch lengths
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 ounces (1/4 cup) ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
For the pasta dough:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Make the filling: In a medium skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter and add the chickweed, deadnettle, and wild garlic greens. Cook for about 2 minutes over medium heat, or until bright green and soft.
Transfer the cooked herb mixture to a food processor and chop for less than a minute. Season with a pinch each of salt and pepper. With a spoon, transfer to a medium bowl and mix in the ricotta cheese and Parmesan. Set aside to cool.
Make the dough: In a medium bowl, using your hands, mix together the flour, one of the eggs, the yolk of the remaining egg (reserve the white), 1 1/2 teaspoons of the oil, and the salt. Transfer to a floured work surface and knead the dough for 4 to 5 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Divide in half, wrap in plastic, and let rest in the refrigerator (preferably overnight but for at least 30 minutes).
Roll out the dough into two very thin sheets, using either a rolling pin or a pasta machine at one notch from the thinnest setting. Drop teaspoonfuls of filling an inch apart over one sheet of the dough. Dip your finger in water or use the remaining egg white and trace a circle around each teaspoon of filling. Then place the other sheet of dough on top, making sure to force out any air, and press to seal. Using a 2-inch ring cutter, ravioli cutter, inverted glass, or a knife, cut out each ravioli. Check each one to make sure it is sealed. The ravioli can be made hours ahead of time, covered, and refrigerated, or frozen on a baking sheet and then stored in a zipper-top freezer bag.
To cook the pasta, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Cook the ravioli in batches for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the pasta is translucent and you can see the herbs inside. Drain well. Serve topped with the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and a sprinkling of Parmesan.
(Reprinted from “Foraged Flavor: Finding Fabulous Ingredients In Your Backyard or Farmer’s Market” by Tama Matsuoka Wong with Eddy Leroux. Published by Clarkson Potter.)