Vegetarian cuisine doesn’t have to be mung beans and brown rice. How about some lovely and light lemon basil ravioli with some sautéed vegetables? This is a great summer dish, using whatever you have in your garden or find at the farmer’s market.
Overall this is an incredibly easy dish. Having said that, I did make my own pasta for the ravioli. If you have made your own pasta dough and used a pasta machine in the past, then this will be a piece of cake. If you haven’t tried making your own pasta and ravioli, then this is a perfect recipe to get you started.
Lemon Basil Ravioli
For the pasta:
- 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour (plus extra for working the dough)
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- 1-1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil (lemon infused oil optional)
In a large bowl whisk the flour and salt. Mound the flour and make a well in the center. Crack the eggs into the well and add the olive oil. I used a really tasty lemon infused olive oil. It adds a great flavor to the pasta. Of course you can always use plain olive oil. Just make sure it is the best quality you can find. Working from the inside out, beat the eggs gently with a fork and incorporate the flour from the inside of the well.
When the liquid has been incorporated into the flour, turn the dough out on to a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough for at least 5 minutes until the dough is smooth. Consider this a great arm workout! Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and let it rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
While the pasta dough is resting, make up the ricotta filling.
Lemon Basil Filling
- 3/4 cup ricotta cheese
- 1 egg
- 2 TBSP fresh basil, chopped fine
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- Salt and pepper to taste
In a bowl, whisk all ingredients together. Refrigerate until ready to use. Easy!
Assembling the ravioli:
Divide the dough into three equal pieces. Starting at the widest setting on the pasta maker, run the dough through the machine. With each pass reduce the setting by one until you are at the thinnest setting. Place the strip of dough on a floured surface and cover with a damp paper towel while you roll out the two remaining pieces of dough.
Place teaspoons of the ricotta filling on the dough, equally spaced apart. Place another strip of pasta on the top and gently press the dough around the filling. If you have a ravioli cutter, cut the ravioli out. If you don’t have a cutter, then cut the ravioli into squares with a knife. Place the filled ravioli on a parchment covered cookie sheet. Collect the scraps of dough and re-roll. Fill with ricotta filling as outlined above. Place the ravioli in the freezer until ready to use.
Assembling the Primavera:
Saute your favorite vegetables in a heavy skillet. Here is what I used.
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 1 carrot, sliced very thin
- 3 TBSP olive oil
- 2 TBSP butter
- 1/2 cup white wine, I used a unoaked Chardonnay
- Salt and pepper to taste
Heat a heavy skillet over medium high heat and add the olive oil and butter. When the butter melts, toss in the vegetables. When they begin to soften, add the wine. Cover and keep warm while you cook the pasta.
Boil salted water and add the ravioli. Cook until the ravioli floats – about 5 minutes. Plate the pasta and cover with the sauteed vegetables. Garnish with grated parmesan cheese.