200 g Tipo 00 flour, plus extra for dusting
100 g wholewheat flour
3 free-range eggs
For the filling
20 courgette flowers
250 g good quality ricotta
A few sprigs of fresh mint, leaves picked and finely chopped
1 small red chilli, finely chopped
For the sauce
600 g ripe tomatoes
A small bunch of fresh basil, leaves picked, stalked removed
Extra virgin olive oil
Young pecorino, grated, to serve
Recipe by Pete Begg
1. In a bowl, mix the flours and eggs and work it into a soft dough with your hands. When it comes together, roll the pasta out thinly and evenly and place on a surface well-floured with Tipo 00 flour. Set aside.
2. Pick the soft yellow parts of the courgette flower and chop them up small, being careful not to crush them. Add to a bowl with the ricotta, mint and chilli. Season, mix well and spoon into a piping bag with a 1cm nozzle. Pipe teaspoon-sized blobs in a line on the bottom half of the pasta sheet, 3–4cm apart.
3. Brush the edges around the filling with a little water, then fold the top half of the pasta down onto the half with the filling. Squeeze out any air, and press down to seal the edges. With a crinkly pasta cutter, trim into separate ravioli and place on a tray well-floured with Tipo 00 flour.
4. To make the sauce, slice the tomatoes in half and squeeze the seeds into a sieve over a bowl. Place the empty tomato halves cut-side down in a wide saucepan and add the juice from the seeds. Discard the seeds themselves.
5. Add enough water to the pan to come half way up the sides of the tomatoes, and season well with salt and a little pepper. Add the whole basil stalks, cover with a lid and place over a high heat. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and cook for 1–2 minutes. Remove the lid and pinch the skins from the tomatoes with a pair of tongs. Discard the skins, then mash the soft tomatoes with a potato masher. Cook, stirring occasionally, until it reduces to a lovely fresh tomato sauce. Fish out the basil stalks and discard. Tear up most of the basil leaves and add to the pan with a good splash of olive oil.
6. Cook the ravioli in plenty of boiling salted water for 5 minutes, until all risen to the top, then use a slotted spoon to transfer them to the pan of tomato sauce. Gently turn the pasta to be coated in the sauce and leave for a minute for the pasta to absorb some of it. Spoon the ravioli onto 4 plates and top with some basil leaves and grated pecorino.
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This fancy pasta dish is even more delicious than it sounds. It’s well worth the extra effort for someone special
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