It’s amazing how much inspiration for new dishes I get from one trip to Italy. We are about to leave for this year’s trip to Italy, but I haven’t prepared all the dishes yet that I wanted to after last year’s. Last year at La Locandiera in the region of Basilicata we enjoyed ravioli filled with burrata and served with raw baccalà, lemon zest and chard puree. Baccalà is salted cod and good quality is hard to find around here, so I prefer making this with fresh cod. Instead of serving it raw, I cooked it sous-vide with olive oil until it just flaked. The resulting flakes of cod are very tender and juicy. Burrata is similar to mozzarella, but has liquid cream on the inside. This makes it difficult to use as filling for ravioli. I worked around this by shaping the ravioli like small burratas. Chard is hard to come by around here, and so I decided to substitute with nettles. They grow everywhere and like chard have a clean green flavor. As I think for many of you chard is easier, that is what I put in the recipe title.
The combination of the delicate parcels with fresh creamy burrata that bursts into your mouth as you bite into them with tender juicy cod, good extra virgin olive oil, lime zest, and the green puree is just wonderful and definitely worth the effort.
Makes about 24 ravioli, for 4 servings
200 grams (7 oz) fresh cod (or haddock or similar white fish)
1 burrata (about 250 grams, 8.5 oz)
zest of an unwaxed lemon
extra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
300 grams (.66 lb) chard, green part only, or nettles
fresh pasta dough made from 2 eggs and about 200 grams (1 1/3 cup) Italian 00 flour
Make fresh pasta dough and allow it to rest, wrapped, in the refrigerator.
If using nettles, wear gloves and use only the leaves.
If using chard, use only the green part and use the white stems for another recipe.
Wash the nettles or chard well, multiple times if needed, until there is no more sand.
Boil the nettles or chard with the water attached to the leaves from washing for 8 minutes.
Squeeze out the water.
Blend with an immersion blender with good extra virgin olive oil. Season to taste with salt.
Season the cod on both sides with salt. Cover and refrigerate the cod to allow the salt to penetrate the fish.
Roll out the pasta dough as thinly as possible. Then use a cookie cutter to make large rounds (about 10 cm, 4 inches).
Chop and mix the burrata, so the solid outside and the liquid inside are mixed. Use a small cup or another convenient object to shape the ravioli. I used an egg holder from the refrigerator.
Put a round of dough in the small cup and fill it with a heaping teaspoon of burrata.
Close the ravioli. This is like shaping Chinese dumplings.
Keep going until you have used up all of the burrata.
Vacuum seal the cod with some extra virgin olive oil. Dip the bag for 10 seconds in boiling water. This step pasteurizes the outside of the fish, which is prudent because we will be cooking it at a very low temperature.
Then cook the cod sous-vide for about 30 minutes at 46C/115F.
If you don’t have sous-vide equipment, you could probably obtain a pretty good result by just leaving the fish in the hot water (with the heat turned off, so while the water is cooling off) for half an hour.
In the meantime, bring a large pot of water to a boil.
Now it is important to work quickly, or to have some assistance.
Use preheated plates. Reheat the chard or nettle puree and make a layer of puree on each plate.
When the water is boiling and the cod is cooked, add salt and the ravioli to the boiling water and boil for 10 minutes.
In the meantime, take the cod out of the bag and flake it with two forks.
Lift the ravioli out of the boiling water and arrange them on the plates with chard/nettle puree.
Arrange flakes of cod on top.
Garnish with grated lemon zest and some freshly ground black pepper. Serve at once. Instruct your guests to eat the ravioli in one bite, as the burrata will otherwise run out of the ravioli.
At La Locandiera it was served with an Aglianico rosé. We enjoyed it with a Pecorello from Calabria. Many unoaked dry white wines that are not too dry will work well with this dish.
Risotto alla primavera is very colorful and tasty.