This hearty pasta dish from Giorgio e Gia Petro matches a meaty lamb broth with creamy ravioli parcels, stuffed with a fragrant wild garlic and ricotta mix.

Wild garlic and ricotta ravioli with lamb soup

Chef: Giorgio e Gian Petro

Cooking time: 2 hours, plus 2 hours resting

Serves: 4

Course: Starter

Skill level: Medium

Ingredients:

For the pasta dough:

  • 10 egg yolks
  • 250g of stone ground white flour

For the filling:

  • 500g of cow’s ricotta
  • 1 small potato
  • 200g of wild garlic leaves
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • extra virgin olive oil

For the lamb soup:

  • 1 lamb shoulder, boned out
  • 150ml of white wine
  • 150ml of brandy
  • 1l vegetable stock
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 30g of butter
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • ¼ of a lemon, juice only

To serve:

  • Parmigiano Reggiano

Equipment:

  • Pasta machine

Method:

  1. To make the pasta dough, make a well in the flour, add the egg yolks and mix. Once incorporated, knead the dough until smooth, then leave to rest for 2 hours
  2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4
  3. Bake the potato in the oven until soft (around 40–45 minutes), then scoop out the flesh and press through a sieve to make a smooth mash
  4. Blanch the wild garlic leaves in boiling water, then drain and place in the freezer to chill quickly. Once chilled, chop finely and mix with the ricotta and mashed potato. Season to taste and place in a piping bag
  5. For the lamb soup, cut the shoulder into pieces then add to a pan with the wine, brandy, butter, lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil. Season to taste and cover with vegetable stock. Simmer for about 40 minutes, or until the meat is tender (it may need up to an hour)
  6. Remove the lamb meat and dice. Place the liquid back on a heat and continue to simmer until thickened slightly. Return the meat to the soup before serving and keep warm
  7. To make the ravioli, roll the dough through a pasta machine, gradually decreasing the width settings until a thin sheet is created
  8. Place on a floured work surface and pipe mounds of the filling every 8–10cm apart on one side of the pasta sheet, then fold the other side over the top to cover the filling. Use a 16–20cm cutter to stamp out rounds and press the edges to seal the filling in the middle
  9. Bring a pan of salted water to the boil, and cook the ravioli for a few minutes, then drain to serve
  10. To serve, pour a little of the lamb soup and meat on to each dish, then add ravioli and top with some grated Parmigiano Reggiano

The wine

This lamp soup with fantastic depth of flavour, topped with a hearty ravioli, laced with wild garlic dictates and demands a fine wine match that has the same care and attention as the dish itself. Decanter recommends heading to the fine wine section of your local independent or supermarket and digging out a red wine with medium to full body, but most importantly some bottle age. Bottle age will mellow any tannin the wine has and start to bring out secondary characteristics in the wine which will exquisitely complement the lamb soup.

Keep an eye out for Burgundian Pinot Noir from the top villages such as Gevrey-Chambertin, Rioja Reserva or Gran Reservas, Brunello di Montalcino from Tuscany and Classé left bank Bordeaux with a minimum age of 5-10 years.

Our real top tip is to try and find the hidden red gems of the Alto-Adige. Lagrein would work well and the Pinot Nero (Pinot Noir) that is produced in the region can rival top Burgundy. The best can possess black and red cherry fruit, a floral lift, grippy yet not over powering tannin, with secondary characteristics of mushroom and truffle which, combined with the dominant lamb and wild garlic flavours, will have everyone feeling like they are on top of the Dolomites. Saluti. – Harry Fawkes, Decanter.com

Recipe courtesy of Giorgio and Gian Petro. Launching soon Great Italian Chefs showcases the best culinary talent that Italy has to offer. Visit Great Italian Chefs for more recipes and features for Italy’s most exciting chefs.