We’re lucky here to have access to phenomenal seafood from all around the coastal waters of Western Australia.
With produce like that, you really don’t need to do much flavour-wise; a drizzle of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon, some salt and a hot grill pan will do the trick.
Minimisation is key when you have such quality at your fingertips, and by doing so you’ll allow the subtle flavours of the ocean to permeate through to the finished plate.
However, every now and then it’s nice to do something a little different.
Bill Granger shares this dish in the current edition of delicious. magazine and although it looks like a ‘special occasion only’ dish, it’s actually a breeze to make.
Pasta-making is a joyous, relaxing weekend afternoon activity for me.
There’s something so satisfying about transforming the simple ingredients of flour and eggs into long silky strands of linguine or delicately-shaped parcels of ravioli.
The rest of the world just seems to fade into the background as you become all-consumed in the methodical task of creation.
I followed the pasta dough recipe that Bill includes, which meant that for the first time I added a tablespoon of olive oil to the mix. I also used tipo 00 flour – a fine, specialty pasta flour – instead of the plain flour I’ve always settled on out of simplicity.
I’m not sure which made the difference but the end result was the best batch of dough I’ve ever made.
I suspect it was the inclusion of the oil that helped most, as the dough had such a wonderful, silky texture and I didn’t even have to dust my machine or work bench with flour to keep it from sticking.
Wonderful when you make those little revelations…
prawn & dill ravioli
adapted from bill granger’s recipe in the august 2013 issue of delicious. magazine
400g shelled and de-veined prawns
2 tbsp thickened cream
juice from half a lemon
2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
100g salted butter
2 tbsp finely chopped lemon zest
semolina, to dust
dill fronds, to serve
400g tipo 00 flour (or plain flour)
4 eggs, lightly beaten
plus 2 extra eggs, lightly beaten
1 tbsp olive oil
Place the flour in the bowl of a food processor. Add the oil and four lightly beaten eggs, then whiz pulse until the mixture resembles large grains of couscous.
Remove from the processor and bring the mixture together with your hands.
Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 10 minutes, until the dough is brought together as a smooth, elastic ball.
Enclose in plastic wrap and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile for the filling, whiz the cream, lemon juice and half the prawns in a food processor until smooth. Finely chop the remaining prawns and add to the cream mixture with the dill. Season and set aside until needed.
Divide the dough into four pieces. Start on the thickest setting on your pasta machine and run a piece of dough through a few times, folding in half each time until you reach a smooth, even consistency.
Keep rolling the dough through the settings, reducing the thickness each time until about 2mm thick. You should end up with four long, thin sheets of pasta.
Cut the sheets into 10cm squares and place one teaspoon of filling in the centre of half of the squares.
Lightly brush the edges of the pasta with the extra beaten egg and place another square on top over the filling, pressing down the edges to seal and making sure that the air is pushed out as you go. Trim the edges as required.
Transfer to a tray generously dusted with semolina and set aside for 15 minutes to dry out.
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Drop in the ravioli and cook for about three minutes until they rise to the surface. Remove with a slotted spoon.
In a small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat and add the lemon zest. Allow the zest to infuse the butter for several minutes, ensuring that the sauce doesn’t colour.
When ready to serve, divide the ravioli pieces among bowls, drizzle with the lemon butter and a squeeze of lemon juice. Garnish with fresh dill fronds.