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My grandmother made fresh ravioli for us almost every week. When she would make them, the whole kitchen used to smell like flour, fried sage and browned butter. That's why ravioli has a special place in my heart, because it reminds me of my grandmother Bruna.
This lemon ricotta ravioli is inspired by her and let me tell you that it's a real treat. The flavor of the lemon combines perfectly with that of the ricotta. To make the dish even more delicious, they're topped with browned butter, fried sage and roasted walnuts.
The result is a sensational dish that everyone will love!
Before you jump into the kitchen to make this Lemon Ricotta Ravioli, be sure to read this blog post carefully. The recipe is simple, but there are some important steps to follow.
Let's start with the ingredients. For this ravioli with ricotta and lemon, you only need the following 7 ingredients (most of which I'm sure you already have in your kitchen):
- plant-based ricotta ( you can find the recipe here).
- organic lemons
- all-purpose flour (preferably with at least 13% protein)
- vegetable butter
- saffron powder
Vegan brown butter
For this recipe we need vegan butter that can be browned. For those who don't know: Traditional butter is browned by a chemical reaction called the Maillard reaction.
Butter contains water and milk solids in the form of casein and whey proteins. The browning of butter is the result of the Maillard reaction that milk proteins and sugar undergo when heated. This process gives butter its delicious nutty-caramel flavour when browned.
I won't go into detail here, but to achieve a similar effect with vegan butter, we need to use a plant butter that contains nuts.
I know it sounds like asking the impossible, but these days many butter substitutes are made from almond paste, cashew milk, etc., so it shouldn't be too difficult to find one. The butter I use contains 1% almond paste and browns well. If you live in the US I recommend using the Myoko's cultured vegan butter.
If you can't find vegan butter with nuts in the ingredients, I recommend using olive oil (it won't brown, but it will still be delicious!).
Ravioli dough without egg
When making ravioli, we start with the dough. Before I explain the process I want to point out that this ravioli recipe is vegan and therefore has no egg in it.
In traditional dough, the egg is used to ensure that the ravioli is cooked al dente. You can achieve the same effect by using a flour with a high protein content (at least 13%) and letting the ravioli dry on a cloth for an hour before cooking.
If you can't find a flour with this protein content, don't be discouraged, just dry the ravioli a little longer and the result will be the same!
To make the ravioli dough, we first put the flour on a clean working surface, make a well in the flour and add the lemon zest and the saffron dissolved in 150 ml of water. Then with a fork we beat the dough, gradually incorporating the flour and forming a dough.
When the dough takes shape and no longer sticks, we knead it vigorously with our hands. After we have kneaded the dough for at least 5 minutes, it should have a smooth and soft consistency. We form a ball, wrap it in plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes. In the meantime we can prepare the filling.
Roll out ravioli dough
You can roll out the dough in several ways. I prefer the pasta machine you see in the photo below because it makes this process easier. But you can also use a rolling pin.
How to roll out ravioli dough with pasta machine
We take the dough out of the refrigerator, unwrap it and cut it into 2 pieces. We wrap one in the cling film and set aside. We shape the other dough into a rectangle (the shape does not have to be perfect) and set the rollers of the pasta machine to the widest opening.
We turn the pasta dough through the rollers and repeat the process 2-3 times. If needed, we can dust the dough with a little flour (rice flour is best). Once the dough is nice and smooth, we can turn the rollers 1 step tighter and repeat the process. On my machine, level 4 has the perfect thickness (about 2 mm) for the ravioli dough.
Once the dough is smooth and 2 mm thick, we can place it on a clean work surface dusted with flour (preferably rice flour) and repeat the process with the second half of the dough.
Roll out ravioli dough with rolling pin
If you don't have a pasta machine, you can also roll out the dough with a rolling pin. To do this, take the dough out of the refrigerator, remove the plastic wrap, and divide it in half. Wrap one half with plastic wrap and set aside.
Flour a clean working surface (rice flour works best). Shape the dough into a rectangle about 15 cm wide and roll it out with a rolling pin to a thickness of 2 mm. Then repeat the process with the second dough.
Lemon Ricotta Filling
Once the dough sheets are ready, we can make the ricotta and lemon filling. First, we add the ricotta to a large bowl. I used almond ricotta (you can find the recipe here), but you can use any plant-based ricotta you find on the market.
To the ricotta we then add lemon zest, lemon juice and a generous pinch of pepper. We mix it all together and our filling is ready. The filling should be compact, if it's too liquid you can add 2 tablespoons of breadcrumbs.
How to form ravioli
To form the ravioli, we take one of the two sheets of dough and draw the shape of the ravioli with a knife (see photo below), being careful not to press too hard (we do not want to cut the dough). Seeing the shape of the ravioli will help us place the filling correctly and form ravioli of similar size and shape.
Once we have the shape of the ravioli, we put the filling in a piping bag and pipe about half a tablespoon of filling on each raviolo.
Then we take the second dough sheet and carefully lay it onto the first one covering the filling (see photo below). Next, we press the dough sheets together using our fingers (see photo below). It's important to enclose as little air as possible. Then we cut out the individual ravioli with a ravioli wheel.
Drying the ravioli
Once the ravioli are formed, we let them dry on a towel for an hour. In this way they can be cooked until firm to the bite.
How to freeze homemade ravioli
If you want to freeze the ravioli, you can do it after they have dried and are no longer sticky. Put them in a freezer bag and freeze them. If they are still slightly sticky, let them dry a little longer. When you want to cook them, throw them into boiling water while still frozen and cook them for a few minutes until they are al dente.
How to cook ravioli
Cooking homemade ravioli is very simple: you just have to cook them in boiling water for a few minutes until they rise to the surface. It's difficult to give an exact cooking time because it depends on how dry the ravioli are. The drier they are, the longer they need to cook. To be on the safe side, I always recommend tasting a raviolo and seeing if it's cooked properly or not.
Vegan brown butter with sage and walnuts
To make this lemon ricotta ravioli even tastier, I combined them with vegan brown butter in which I sautéed fresh sage and walnuts.
To make the brown butter, we put the butter in a hot pan and cook it until it starts to turn brown. Then we add the sage and walnuts and sauté them for a few minutes. Then we add the ravioli, sprinkle them with black pepper and voilá we can serve our ravioli.
More recipes you may like
- Pasta with creamy lemon sauce & fried sage
- How to make homemade spinach pasta
- Homemade pesto-cheese ravioli with fried sage topping
- No knead super soft focaccia with onions and olives
If you try this recipe...
If you tried these lemon ricotta ravioli let me know! Leave a comment, rate it and don't forget to tag a photo with #carlocao or #vegaliciously on Instagram & Tiktok. Cheers, friends!
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