Saffron ravioli with heart of palm & chilli recipe


The pasta dough in this recipe uses aquafaba, or chickpea water, as an alternative to eggs. To reduce wastage, I often use just the centre part of heart of palm for this dish and save the outer part for making crispy calamari-style rings. This makes a great Italian-inspired dinner, and will pleasantly surprise your seafood-loving friends.

  • Yield: 12 large ravioli


For the Pasta Dough
  • 1 cup (250 ml) plus 1 tablespoon aquafaba
  • generous pinch of saffron threads
  • 2¼ cups (300 g) ‘00’ flour, plus extra for dusting
For the Filling
  • 14½-oz (½ x 410-g) can heart of palm, drained and chopped or use palm centres only using 1 can
  • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley
  • 1 small garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons vegan cream cheese
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
To Serve
  • 2–3 tablespoons good-quality olive oil
  • 2 small garlic cloves, crushed but with skin left on
  • 1–2 teaspoons dried chilli flakes/hot red pepper flakes
  • ½–1 teaspoon fine sea salt, to taste
How to Make It
  1. To make the dough, pour the aquafaba into a small pan, put over a high heat and bring to the boil. Add the saffron and simmer for 8–10 minutes until the liquid is reduced by at least a third. Set aside to cool. In a large bowl, add the flour and about 100 ml/⅓ cup plus 1 tablespoon of the aquafaba. Add up to another 50 ml/3½ tablespoons of the aquafaba. Using your hands, bring the dough together to make a firm but pliable dough. Knead for 5–10 minutes, and then cover with a damp cloth or clingfilm/plastic wrap and leave to rest for an hour or so at room temperature.
  2. In a small bowl, add the heart of palm. Squeeze out any excess water and then mix in the parsley, garlic and the vegan cream cheese. Mix well and season with the salt. Set aside.
  3. Divide the dough into 3 pieces. Roll out one piece to about 2–3 mm/⅛ inch thick (leave the other pieces covered so they don’t dry out). Roll the dough out to approximately 40.5 x 25 cm/16 x 9¾ inches and slice in half lengthways, to make two large strips approximately 12.5 cm/5 inches wide.
  4. Lay the pasta sheets on a lightly floured surface. Place 4 or 5 generous tablespoonfuls of the filling mixture in a line along each of the sheets. Brush the pasta around the filling with a little of the aquafaba, then lay another pasta sheet over the top and, using your hand, gently push out any air before sealing. Use a cookie cutter to cut out 4 or 5 circular pieces. Cover the pieces with a kitchen towel while you finish the remaining ravioli making 12–15 large pieces. The ravioli can be frozen at this stage (if you are not cooking them all) for up to 3 months, or they can be kept in the fridge for 2–3 days.
  5. To cook the ravioli, put a large, deep pan over a high heat and half-fill with water. Bring to a rolling boil and then gently place the ravioli into the water. Bring back to the boil and reduce to a simmer, cooking for 5 minutes until the ravioli floats. Cook in batches, taking care not to overcrowd the pan. Carefully lift the ravioli out using a slotted spoon, and lay in a wide sieve/strainer on paper towels to drain.
  6. In a small frying pan/skillet, add the olive oil and crushed garlic cloves. Fry over a medium-high heat for a minute or two, then add the chilli flakes/hot red pepper flakes and salt. Sauté for a further 2–3 minutes, then remove from the heat and discard the garlic. Put the ravioli pieces on a plate, drizzle over the chilli/chile oil and serve immediately.

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