29.9.13

Saffron Mezzelune With Lemon Ricotta Filling




I don't whip out the pasta maker too often, but when I do it is to make filled pasta. No store bought ravioli, mezzelune or tortellini can compare with what you can make yourself. Today I made a saffron mezzelune filled with a lemon ricotta, to try and squeeze out a little bit of summer before it is time for more autumnal fare.

Ingredients
Makes enough for 5 people

Pasta
  • 250 grams of flour ( I used semola rimacinata but all purpose works as well)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons of olive oil
  • pinch of saffron
  • pinch of salt
Filling
  • 250 grams of ricotta
  • grated peel of at least 1 lemon
  • handful of parmigiana
  • squeeze of lemon juice

Sauce

  • knob of butter
  • squeeze of lemon juice
  • some more lemon peel


Dough


Pour a little bit of hot water over the saffron and let that infuse for a minute. Meanwhile make a volcano like structure with flour. Then add the eggs, saffron water, olive oil and salt to the indentation. Slowly bring the ingredients together and knead until you have a smooth dough. Put away in a bowl covered with clingfilm and let it rest for 30 minutes. 


Filling

While the dough rests you can prepare the filling. Stir in a generous hand of grated parmigiana into the ricotta. Add the zest and a small squeeze of juice from 1 lemon. Keep tasting until you are happy with the flavour. Add pepper and a bit of salt if you need it. 



Pasta Machine


I like to feed the dough through the machine in small portions. Start at 7 (the widest on my machine). I found the dough breaking the first couple of times but just keep folding and feeding it and it quickly becomes silky and strong. Then take it through all the paces down to the thinnest. Keep under a slightly damp towel to prevent it from drying out. 

Shaping



Cut out circles from the dough, I used a glass. Use a damp finger to moisten the edges. Then add a teaspoon of filling in the middle, fold in halve and press together trying not to trap any air. I used a ravioli wheel to scallop the edges. 


Cook

The mezzelune only take moments to cook in boiling salted water. They will rise to the surface once they are ready, though I give them a minute more. 

The filling is moist so you don't need a lot of sauce. Simply melt some butter add lemon peel and juice and salt and pepper. Spoon this on the finished mezzelune and add some more grated parmigiana. I served it with some grilled courgette and basil leafs.





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