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Ravioli with saffron, ricotta and tomato

Saffron is a very Sardinian ingredient and they often combine it with tomato, which works beautifully, adding a floral earthy note to the sweet acidity of tomatoes. I call this shape ravioli but probably it's more accurate to say 'pansotti', little bellies.
Course: Appetizer, Italian, Lunch, Main Course, Pasta, Sardinian, Vegetarian mains,
Cuisine: Italian, Sardinian
Keyword: Pasta, Sardinia, Vegetarian
Servings: 8


  • Pasta roller
  • Ravioli cutter
  • cling film


  • 450 g hard durum wheat flour or 00 flour or 50/50 proportions of each flour. Leave some flour for dusting.
  • pinch sea salt
  • 225 ml tepid water
  • generous slug Olive oil
  • 500 g fresh tomatoes, diced
  • pinch saffron, ground
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 300 g ricotta
  • 2 tbsp salt for the cooking water
  • fresh basil garnish


  • Make the pasta dough. Or you can totally cheat by buying say, ricotta stuffed pasta and putting the tomato and saffron on top!

To make the ravioli:

  • Mix the flour, salt and water in a food processor. Process until it looks like couscous.
  • Remove from the processor and knead until it forms a ball.
  • Cover tightly with clingfilm and leave to rest for at least half an hour.
  • Cut the dough in half. Make sure the half you aren't using, is tightly covered with cling film.
  • At this point you can refrigerate the dough until ready to use. The longer you rest the dough, the easier it is to work with. Do not freeze.
  • Using a pasta machine, run it through. Then form an tongue of pasta, folded in half. Feed the open ended side through the machine as many times until you see a bubble and a pop form at the enclosed end. Then your pasta is ready to roll.
  • Run it through (unfolded now) on the machine from 0 to 7. It'll get longer everytime. Toward the end you may need to cut your pasta tongue in half again. Cover the other half that you aren't rolling with a damp teatowel or clingilm to stop it drying out. If it gets too dry, wet your hands with water and sprinkle it over the dough or use a spray bottle.
  • Finally lay out all your pasta, cover with damp tea towels or plastic sheets. Leave to 'cure'.
  • With the second ball of dough, you can either roll that out or leave to ferment for a couple of days. This way you are adding a sourdough flavour.

To make the stuffing

  • Fry the olive oil and tomatoes with the saffron and salt. Leave aside some to dot the top of the dish.
  • Mix the tomato/saffron with the ricotta. Add seasoning.

Constructing the ravioli

  • Using an 8 cm cutter, working with a small section at a time, leaving the rest covered, cut out circles.
  • Using a teaspoon, put a small ball of the mixture inside a pasta circle.
  • Press another pasta circle on top and seal the edges by wetting your fingers or using a pastry brush.
  • Once formed, leave on a floured tray, not touching each other until all the raviolis are made.
  • At this point they can be frozen on trays in the freezer, then removed, placed in a plastic bag in the freezer to be used later.

Cooking the ravioli

  • Boil a large pan with salty water.
  • Add the ravioli a few at a time until they float. Then drain.
  • Continue until you have enough for your dish/guests/meal.
  • Once cooked, add olive oil or butter, some diced tomatoes and sprigs of basil.