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Crispy Lemon Poppy Seed Ravioli

This recipe serves 4 and was created as part of a collaboration with the one and only Leah Koenig!


For the dough

300 grams (~2½ cups) ‘00’ or all-purpose flour

50 grams (~¼ cup) semola rimacinata or semolina flour*

200 grams (about 4 large) eggs, beaten

More semolina flour or cornmeal, for dusting

*If semolina or semola rimacinata flours are unavailable, use the same weight in ‘00’ or all-purpose flour.

For the filling

250 grams (1 cup) whole milk ricotta

55 grams (¼ cup) mascarpone

Zest of 1 lemon

A generous grating of fresh nutmeg

5 grams (1-2 tablespoons) minced chives

Salt, pepper, and lemon juice to taste

For the gastrique

80g (¼ cup) honey

80 ml (⅓ cup) apple cider vinegar

60 ml (¼ cup) Meyer lemon juice (about 2 lemons)

Salt and pepper to taste

For finishing

75 grams (⅓ cup; 5 tablespoons) unsalted butter

5 grams (1½ teaspoons) poppy seeds

Extra-virgin olive oil

Minced chives and tarragon, for garnish (optional)

Salt and pepper to taste


Make the pasta dough

  1. Make the pasta dough by hand according to the “well method” (see my Pasta Dough 101 post here). Alternatively, add the flour and eggs to the bowl of a food processor with the steel blade attachment. Pulse until beads of dough start to form and come together, about 30 seconds. Transfer the mixture to a flat, ideally wooden surface and knead for 5 to 10 minutes until smooth and firm.

  2. Wrap the dough tightly in plastic and allow it to rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes. While the dough rests, make the filling and the gastrique.

Make the filling

  1. Combine the cheeses, lemon zest, a small squeeze of lemon juice, nutmeg, and a generous pinch of salt and pepper in a food processor. Pulse until smooth and creamy. Adjust seasoning to taste.

  2. Transfer to a bowl and fold in the minced chives. Cover with plastic wrap—or, if you have one, transfer the mixture to a piping bag—and refrigerate until ready to use.

Note: The filling can be made in advance and stored, tightly sealed, in the refrigerator for up to two days.

Make the gastrique

  1. In a small saucepan, cook the honey over medium-low until noticeably darkened in color, about 5 minutes.

  2. Stir in the vinegar and Meyer lemon juice. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 15 minutes until the mixture has reduced to the consistency of a thin syrup.

  3. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.

Note: The gastrique can be stored for up to two weeks in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature or gently reheat before using. Pairs well with cheese, meats, and vegetables!

Assemble the ravioli

  1. You can make the ravioli into a variety of shapes. See my tutorials here, here, and here for some of my favorites.

  2. Place the finished pasta in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with semolina flour, cornmeal or a dry dish cloth until ready to cook.

Note: The ravioli can be assembled in advance and frozen. To store them, freeze uncovered on the semolina-lined tray for about 25 minutes until solid. Then transfer to a freezer bag or airtight container and return to the freezer. When ready to cook, do so straight from frozen (no need to defrost).

Finish the dish

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

  2. Meanwhile, add the poppy seeds to a small saucepan or skillet. Toast over medium heat, shaking the pan often, until fragrant, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.

  3. When the water is boiling, salt it well. Shake off any excess flour from the ravioli and carefully drop them into water. Stir gently for a few seconds and cook until tender, about 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the cooked ravioli with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined tray or plate. Save some of the pasta cooking water!

  4. Add a thin layer of olive oil to a large non-stick pan and heat over medium-high. Arrange the boiled ravioli in a single layer and cook until the bottoms are golden and crispy, about 5 minutes. (You may need to do this in batches.)

  5. While the ravioli are frying, gently reheat the gastrique to loosen. Then return the pan with the poppy seeds to medium heat and swirl in the butter. When the butter has melted, add a splash of the pasta cooking water and stir the mixture constantly to emulsify. Simmer briefly until slightly thickened and season to taste.

  6. Divide the ravioli among plates or arrange on a platter. Drizzle generously with the poppy seed butter sauce, followed by a lighter drizzle of the gastrique (a little can go a long way!). Garnish with chopped chives and tarragon, if desired. Enjoy!

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