Watercress and egg yolk ravioli with wild mushroom fricassee

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A large, single raviolo filled with cheese, watercress and a runny egg yolk takes centre stage in this beautiful starter, but there are some seriously impressive supporting acts too. A creamy celeriac purée comes topped with wild mushrooms, broccoli and Jerusalem artichoke crisps, while the foamy, creamy watercress and mushroom sauce adds bags of earthy autumnal flavour.

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First published in 2020




Pasta dough

Pasta filling

Celeriac Puree




  • Pasta machine
  • Mandoline
  • Hand blender
  • Ring cutter 2


Begin by making the pasta dough. Place the flour in a food processor with the egg and yolk and blend until a dough comes together. Tip out and knead for 5 minutes until smooth and elastic. Wrap in cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes (although this can also be done up to 24 hours in advance)
To make the ravioli filling, pick the watercress leaves and set the stalks aside for later. Reserve a few smaller leaves to garnish, then blanch the rest in boiling water for 30 seconds. Chill quickly in iced water, then squeeze out all of the moisture (using a tea towel or muslin cloth). Chop the blanched leaves and set aside
  • 6 bunches of watercress, leaves picked, stalks reserved for the foam
Peel and halve the onion. Finely chop one half and roughly chop the other. Add a tablespoon of finely chopped onion to the blanched watercress, along with the mascarpone and a little lime zest. Finely grate in the Lord of the Hundreds cheese (or pecorino), then season to taste. Use an 8cm round cutter or metal ring to shape the filling into 2 pucks (roughly 1.5cm high), then set aside in the fridge
To make the sauce, add the roughly chopped onion, watercress stalks, button mushrooms and garlic clove to a pan with a dash of oil and season. Cook for 5 minutes or until softened
Deglaze the pan with the Madeira, then simmer until reduced by half. Add the stock and cream and gently bring to the boil. Once boiling, remove from the heat, cover with clingfilm and leave to infuse for 1 hour
  • 1l vegetable stock
  • 1l double cream
While the sauce infuses, make the celeriac purée. Boil or steam the celeriac until tender (around 20 minutes), then drain and transfer to a blender. Blitz with the milk and cold butter, season to taste, then pass through a fine sieve into a clean pan, ready to gently reheat before serving
Lightly flour a work surface and unwrap the rested pasta dough. Roll it out until it's thin enough to run through a pasta machine, then roll it through the machine twice at the widest setting. Continue to do this, making the setting thinner by 1 each time, until you get down to the lowest setting and have a long, thin sheet of pasta
Cut the pasta sheets into 4 equal 12cm squares – any leftover pasta can be wrapped in cling film and kept in the fridge for another dish
Carefully place the discs of watercress filling onto 2 of the squares. Make a small well in each filling and very carefully nestle in an egg yolk
Beat the remaining yolk and use a pastry brush to brush it around the filling. Top with another square of pasta and carefully seal round the edges. You don't want any air bubbles, but be careful as the yolk is very delicate
Use the dull side of a 9cm round cutter to press the pasta around the filling, then flip it and use the sharp side to trim the ravioli into neat round shapes. Leave to rest in the fridge for 20 minutes, ideally on a tray of semolina
To make the artichoke crisps, slice the artichokes finely on a mandoline. Deep-fry at 140°C until lightly golden and drain on kitchen paper. Season with salt
Once the sauce has been infusing for 1 hour, strain it through a fine sieve into a clean pan and season to taste with salt and sugar
Set up a large pan of salted boiling water, ready to cook the pasta and broccoli, and place a small frying pan over a medium heat with a dash of rapeseed oil. Once the water is boiling, cook the ravioli for 3-4 minutes and add the broccoli for the last minute
Meanwhile, gently reheat the celeriac purée and the sauce. Add the wild mushrooms to the small frying pan, starting with the more robust varieties. Once they are starting to colour, add a knob of butter and another tablespoon of the finely chopped onion, then season with salt and pepper
When the ravioli and broccoli is ready, drain and transfer to a large frying pan with the other knob of butter and a splash of the pasta cooking water
To plate, start with a swipe of celeriac puree. Top with the mushrooms, broccoli and artichoke crisps. Add shavings of the Lord of The Hundreds cheese (or pecorino) and some small watercress leaves to garnish
Place the ravioli next to the mushrooms. Use a hand blender to whip up and aerate the sauce to create a foam, then spoon this over the ravioli to finish
First published in 2020

Growing her own vegetables from the age of thirteen, Ruth Hansom has spent years developing her own ultra-seasonal style of cookery and has won numerous awards along the way.

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