Mushroom & Sundried Tomato Ravioli with Fava Beans & Fetta
Recipe Inspiration: The flavour of season
Blog: Anita Parise
It is spring and isn’t it glorious! Wellll, we might have seen a return to winter this week but for the most part it has been splendid.
This is one of my most favourite times of the year – when the garden literally comes to life. My little herbs are sprouting, my spring vegetables are just about ready to be picked and my roses are spectacular!
Springtime very much reminds me of days spent in my nonno’s garden. He used to grow just about every vegetable possible for all 4 seasons. Fave or broad beans were one of his favourites vegetables. Wild like in appearance, the bean stalks would be dotted with pretty, white flowers. The flowers would attract those troublesome cabbage butterflies and the stalks grew a large, rugged pod of bright green beans. We used to pick the fave quite young, as this is when they are at their sweetest. As kids, we would quite literally gobble them up. Nonno always knew we had been in the veggie patch as he’d find the empty pods littered among the stalks. This year, my mother-in-law planted some fava beans, which are easily grown at home. I was extremely excited to watch the crop that she planted in her front garden flourish.
For those who you who have never tried broad beans, it is an under-utilised vegetable in my opinion. It has only very recently become ‘fashionable’ in modern cookery. A lot of people place this variety of bean in the same category as brussels sprouts – purely because of how they would have been made to eat them as children. Not me. I’ve always loved the nutty and creamy flavour and enjoyed eating them which ever way they were served. Now, while eating fave raw might be an acquired taste, they are most delicious in salads, rice salads (riso freddo or l’insalata di riso), pasta dishes, risottos and soups. To me it is the flavour of spring.
The recipe that I have created is very much a nod to how my nonna used to like to cook them. I think the flavour profile of the dish is punchy thanks to the fetta but has an earthy sweetness from both the mushroom filling of the ravioli and fava beans. Its fast, fresh, highly nutritious and super easy to make. Not a total fan of fetta? Easy… substitute for some home-made ricotta (we’ll even reveal how to here). If you can’t find fresh fava beans at your green grocer, you can instead soak the dry variety or use edamame (fresh soybeans). If you know a nonna or yia yia you could always ask them. They are sure to have some growing in their yards and to send you home with a bag or two!
This dish showcases the vegetable of the season. I hope you enjoy it as much as my family of four did.
Ciao for now and buon appetito,
Anita, Renee & the GR Team
- 500g of GR Mushroom & Sundried Tomato Ravioli
- 10-15 pods of fava beans (broad beans)
- ½ of a large bunch of mint, roughly chopped
- 1 lemon, zested
- The juice of ½ a lemon
- 1-2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1-2 red chillies, finely chopped
- Danish Fetta, crumbled to serve
- Some extra virgin olive oil
- Salt & pepper to taste
- To begin, place a large pot of salted water on to boil.
- Meanwhile, remove the fava beans from their pods and remove the outer casing (waxy coating) of each bean. The “squeeze and pop” technique :)
- By this stage the water should be at a rapid boil. Drop in the ravioli and cook until al dente.
- In a large deep frying pan, heat a generous amount of oil and saute` the garlic and chilli over a high heat, ensuring not to burn them.
- Add the fava beans to the pan and toss quickly for a minute. Toss in the mint and lemon zest.
- Use a slotted spoon to add the ravioli and a ladle full of the cooking water. Squeeze in the lemon juice, a touch more olive oil and vigorously shake the pan to coat the ravioli with the emulsified pan juices. If it seems a little too dry add some more cooking water and agitate the pan.
- Crumble over the fetta, then serve immediately! Other options that would work wonderfully are fresh ricotta or pecorino.