Persian-Arabian pasta recipes were also known in Spain, but it was the Italians who experimented with the recipes and exported the use of pasta to France. The Italian cooks started to fold pieces of meat or vegetables into pasta dough strips, which they then fried in fat. According to Anne Willan (Great Cooks and Their Recipes), they called the dish rabiole, which means ‘leftover ‘in the Ligurian dialect. In the recipes of the Italian chef Martino (1474), pieces of pasta dough were filled with spiced meat, which were then cooked in saffron water. He called this dish ravioli and serve it with cheese and cinnamon sugar. In his cookbook Opera (1570), the Italian chef Scappi gave a variation on pasta dough that contained eggs. Today, eggs are mainly used when preparing pasta dough for cooking ravioli.
The Dutch, who traded in the Mediterranean, took these Italian recipes to the Netherlands, where they developed their own fillings. Proof of this development is a ravioli recipe with a cheese filling that appears in Thomas van der Noot’s cookbook (1570). These recipes made their way to the Cape when the Dutch settled here.
Recipe for Ravioli with wild mushrooms and goat's cheese
2 Tbsp (30 ml) olive oil
1 Tbsp (15 ml) butter
500 g mixed field mushrooms or brown mushrooms
2 gloves garlic
1 knob fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper.
1 Tbsp (15 ml) chopped fresh oregano
¼ cup (60 ml) grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup (125 ml) goat’s chévre cheese
1 spring onion, chopped
Beaten egg or water, for brushing
Chopped spring onion and grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
Olive oil or melted butter, for drizzling
Heat frying pan, add the oil, brown the butter and sauté the mushrooms, garlic and ginger.
Strain the fat and season, the mushrooms with salt, pepper and oregano.
Mix through the cheeses and spring onion and mould the mixture into 80 g balls.
Roll out the pasta on the lightly floured surface into 5 cm wide x 1 m long strips. Place the first strip on a floured surface, brush lightly with egg or water and place the mushroom balls at 5 cm intervals.
Place the second pasta sheet on top and gently press and press over the mushroom mixture. Remove all the air around the mushroom ball.
Use a cookie cutter to cut out the ravioli. Cut the pasta 1 - 2 cm larger than the mushroom ball and squeeze the edges gently to prevent it from opening.
Place in boiling water for a minute or two until cooked. A good indication that they are done is when they float to the surface.
Serve sprinkled with spring onions, freshly grated Parmesan and good olive oil or melted butter.
Serve with 2021 La Motte Sauvignon Blanc.