When you think about borage you think bright, vibrant blue spiked flowers, with a slightly fuzzy surround and cucumber-y flavour, often served in gin and tonics. It’s not often you see or hear of recipes which utilise the leaves.
On a recent trip back to Italy for a friends wedding our eyes were opened and bellies well and truly stretched. Ravioli stuffed with borage leaf. Tossed in hot foaming butter, flecks of sage and scattered with toasted almonds. What a way to utilise something that usually just wilts back into the ground.
So feeling inspired, we were back in the kitchen and itching to experiment with this wonderful new green. Luckily for us borage grows out of every crack and crevice near us (do make sure to use gloves when picking the leaves as the spiny hairs can irritate the skin!).
We hope you enjoy it as much as we did – best served with a super chilled glass of white wine, outside hiding beneath the shade away from the beating sunshine.
For the Pasta Dough
4 large eggs
400g tipo 00 flour
Good pinch of salt
Drizzle of olive oil
For the Borage Filling
1 banana shallot
1 clove of garlic
A good handful of borage leaves
2 tbsp cobnuts (toasted and crushed) – or hazelnuts if you can’t get cobnuts
1 slice of bread (soaked in water and then squeezed to remove excess liquid)
2 tbsp ricotta
A few sage leaves
A knob of butter
Salt and pepper
Borage flowers for garnish
Making the Pasta Dough
Place the flour on to the a worktop and make a well in it big enough to crack your eggs into.
Crack the eggs into the well, add the salt and olive oil. Using a fork whisk the eggs gradually incorporating the flour until you have a rough dough.
Start kneading the dough. This is a labour of love so stick with it to get the best pasta dough you can. Keep kneading for at least 10 minutes or until the dough is silky smooth and springs back when you press it with your index finger. If not – keep going, it’ll be worth it I promise.
Once the dough is ready wrap it in cling film and rest in the fridge for one hour.
Making the Ravioli
Finely dice the shallot and garlic. Cook on a low temperature with a dab of butter until nice and soft. Set aside to cool.
Bring a pan of salted water to the boil. Blanch the borage leaves for 2 minutes, refresh in cold water and drain well.
Blitz the borage leaves, bread, shallot and ricotta. Season well. Set aside whilst you roll out the pasta dough.
Dust a table with semolina. Roll the ball of dough so that its as wide as your pasta machine. Once its wide enough roll down the length until you can feed it into your pasta machine. Feed the dough through your machine three times on each setting until you can just see your fingers through the sheet of pasta. It will get quite long so if its unmanageable cut the sheet in half and keep going.
Lightly dust a ravioli mould with semolina or flour and lay on a sheet of pasta. Pipe in enough borage mix to fill the mould, wet the edges of each raviolo and cover with another sheet of pasta dough. Push the air out of each raviolo and then seal with a rolling pin. Turn the ravioli out and place on a tray ready for cooking.
Cooking the Pasta
Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Whilst the water is coming to the boil place a skillet on a medium heat.
Once the water is boiling add the ravioli to the pot and cook for around 3 minutes or until they float to the surface of the water.
Add a knob of butter to the skillet, using a slotted spoon remove the ravioli form the water an place into the skillet followed by the sage, lemon zest and Parmesan. Add a little of the cooking water from the pasta to the ravioli to loosen it.
Toss the ravioli around in the skillet until well coated, pour into a bowl and finish with a little more lemon and parmesan.
Garnish with the crushed hazelnuts and borage flowers.
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