The final dish in my #huonsalmon tasty trilogy is a ravioli. I think that smoked salmon lends itself particularly well to many varieties of pasta so I really wanted to make one but my (self-set) challenge was to make it a little bit different. One of the ways I like to approach such a task is to look at the combination of ingredients in a dish that I think works really well and has a great balance of flavours and use the same ingredients in a totally different recipe. Not making sense? Here’s a look into the meanderings of my mind…
When first tossing around ideas for this challenge I knew I wanted to have a starter, a salad, and something more substantial, most likely a pasta. Before settling on the Soba Noodle Salad with Hot Smoked Trout, I considered making a salmon and watercress salad. I really liked the idea of the peppery leaves with the delicate smoked flavour of the fish. So, when it was time to create the third dish, it struck me: why not turn the watercress salad into a pasta filling? Genius, I thought, mentally patting myself on the back. Here’s how it turned out. This recipe makes 20 9cm smoked salmon ravioli.
Smoked Salmon and Watercress Ravioli with a Champagne Cream Sauce and Salmon Caviar
Ingredients for the filling
250gm Huon Reserve Selection Smoked Salmon
1 cup watercress, thick stalks removed, tightly packed
1 tsp lemon zest
salt and pepper to taste
Ingredients for the pasta
400 gm “00” pasta
4 large eggs
Ingredients for the sauce
1 1/2 cups champagne (or your preferred dry sparkling white wine)
2 tblsp plain flour
Finely chopped shallot
1 cup cream
Reserve Selection hand milked caviar to garnish
To make the pasta you need a clean surface and clean hands. Put the flour on your clean surface and make a well in the middle. Crack the eggs into the well and gently bring in the flour with your fingers. It can be a little messy and feel a bit strange at first, but I find its the best way to start your pasta dough. Once it is all combined you need to knead. For a good ten minutes. Its a good arm workout if you do it manually, or if you have a stand mixer with a dough hook now’s the time to get it on the bench! Once the dough is silky smooth, cover in plastic wrap and leave to rest for about half an hour.
Whilst it is resting you can make the filling. Put all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until well combined but the mixture still has some texture. If you do not have a food processor, you can combine it by hand. Finely chop the smoked salmon and the watercress first and stir well. Season to taste.
Using a pasta machine, roll out the dough until quite thin. I went to setting 7 on my machine. There are two ways to assemble the ravioli, both work equally well, its a matter of which you find easier. The first is to spoon a heaped tablespoon of the salmon filling at 11cm intervals along a sheet of the pasta, then brush a circle of water around each mound. Carefully lay a second sheet of pasta on top and firmly press down around the filling so that the pasta dough joins. Cut out your ravioli with a 9cm circle cutter. The second method is to cut out your circles first, then spoon on the filling, brush the edges and press together to join.
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to boil. Whilst it’s heating up you have time to make the sauce.
Melt butter in a medium saucepan on low. Sauté the shallot for 1-2 minutes, until lightly translucent and tender. Add flour and cook 1 minute, stirring, until light golden. Remove from heat. Gradually add wine, stirring until smooth. Return to medium heat, stirring until mixture boils and thickens. Mix in cream. Season to taste and keep warm.
Lower ravioli into boiling water, ensuring they do not stick together. Cook, in batches if necessary, 4-5 minutes each, until floating and the outer part where the dough is joined together is tender. Remove with a slotted spoon and divide among serving bowls.
Spoon over sauce and serve with salmon caviar.