It’s a new year, and for me, my new year’s resolution is more of a new year’s realisation. At a time when kale sales are through the roof and once beer-boozers and chocolate-chuggers are banging down the doors of Fitness First (I admire their gusto, but I give them a week), my new year’s realisation is about me, what I like and how I can do more of it. I’ve a better chance of sticking at it that way. #selfish
My passion lies in the kitchen, and try as I might to push myself and my writing in different directions, it’s harder to talk (or more often than not, type) what you don’t know, but probably more importantly, what you don’t love. Be it eating, cooking or blogging about edibles, stalking chefs and foodies and consuming cookbooks and blogs, I bloody heart food. And so I’ve put my other penning pursuits aside (for now, you never do know..) and have dedicated myself to Plates and Places. Do you like the new name? I thought it was more me and as a copywriter by day I have really come to appreciate does-what-it-says-on-the-tin titles. Less faff, more food!
So with all the above blabbing at the front of my brain, I wanted to be a bit more adventurous with my first dish of 2016. The oldies are goodies, but you probably don’t come here for bog standard bites that better-known chefs have written all over the www on, do you? And I’ll never take a bite out of the food blogger apple I so admire myself if I don’t offer something unique, will I? And I am obsessed with making my own pasta, aren’t I? So, without further adieu, I give you Wild Boar Ravioli with Truffle Pesto. You may clap now.
For starters, this isn’t as complicated as it sounds. But it does sound complicated enough to impress, so I implore you to give it a go the next time you eat with others. No stranger to the kitchen with Gordons and Nigellas for friends? Marvel together at the existence of TRUFFLE PESTO! If you’ve never made your own pasta before, it’s totally worth it and I’ve written an easy peasy post on it here. Don’t listen to anyone who tells you that you need wonderful whirring gadgets that’ll set you back a few limbs to do it. As you’ll see in my How To Make Your Own Pasta At Home post, the instrument I use set my dad back a mere £14.99 and is a flour and egg-churning pro.
200g 00 flour
2 medium free range eggs
Wild boar sausages
30g truffle pesto
Handful of pine nuts
Handful of grated Parmesan
A little paprika, fresh coriander, salt and pepper
Once you’ve made the pasta sheets (yes, you will need to stop before the shredding stage otherwise your ravioli will be fit for miniature humans only), lay them out to crust up a bit. In the meantime, squeeze the wild boar meat from its sausage-y skins and break up in a hot wok with a spatula. Depending on your feelings towards strong flavours / game-y meats / paprika, add a small or large amount of paprika. I err on the large side and threw in some fresh coriander, salt and pepper in for good measure. Whatever tickles your spice rack fancy, stick to just that, spices. Anything oily or liquid-like will make its ravioli home soggy later. That being said, I’m experimenting with ricotta and feta, so there may be some leeway with crumbly and melty cheese (isn’t there always?).
Keep breaking up the wild boar meat and turning it over till it’s nice and brown. Turn off the heat and let it cool completely.
Now, back to the pasta. You’ll have to judge for yourself since I can’t see how big your pasta sheets came out (though for a small fee and free food, of course, anything is possible), but as long as there’s a centimetre or so on each of the four sides once you dollop a tea spoon of wild boar in the middle, you’ve got about the right size ravioli.
I cut the ravioli pillows as I go – a quick peruse on YouTube throws up a multitude of options. I used a pastry brush to add a little cold water to each ‘edge’ and then folded the short end of the pasta sheet into the middle, over the filling. Press it down on all edges, firmly, and then use a knife or pizza cutter, or if you’re fancy, a ravioli cutter, and press the edges again. If you don’t have a ravioli cutter, use a fork to crimp. It’ll help keep the filling in… And it looks a bit authentic.
Bring a saucepan of water to boiling point and carefully place your ravioli inside. If your ravioli is large (or your saucepan small), do this in batches.
6-8 minutes later your ravioli should be done – spread them across your serving plates and use a spoon to add a little truffle pesto to each parcel. Sacala’ Truffle Pesto (£5.09) is good but if you’re in London, at Borough Market, a truffle lover’s haven awaits.
I finished with a grating of strong Parmesan, a sprinkle of pine nuts and a little cracked black pepper.
It was delicious. I hope you think so too.