Raviole are bite-sized treats from Bologna in central Italy. They are traditionally eaten at the feast of San Giuseppe in March, although they can be found in shops and bars in the old market of Bologna all year round and make a great sweet snack.
Raviole are not to be confused with savoury ravioli made from pasta, although the concept is similar. Raviole are made with a sweet shortcrust pastry, flavoured with lemon zest, and filled with a jam made of mustard fruits. They can also be made with plum jam, which is easier to find outside of Italy.
- 250 g 00 cake flour, plus extra for dusting
- 90 g caster (superfine) sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
- 1 tsp baking powder
- Zest of ½ lemon
- Pinch of salt
- 100 g butter, at room temperature, cut into small dice
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 190 g plum mostarda or your favourite plum jam
- Milk, for brushing
- Bitter almond liqueur (optional)
- Aniseed liqueur (optional)
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Resting time 1 hour (or overnight)
1. Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, lemon zest and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter and using your fingers, rub it into the dry mixture until it resembles wet sand.
2. Drop in the egg and bring the dough together. Tip the dough onto a well-floured work surface and lightly knead the dough and shape it into a large flat disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and set aside to rest in the fridge for 1 hour (overnight is also fine).
3. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Line a baking tray with baking paper.
4. On a well-floured work surface, roll out the dough until it is 3–4 mm (¼ in) thick. Cut out circles of dough using a 9 cm (3½ in) fluted cookie cutter. Place a heaped teaspoon of mostarda on the centre of each dough circle. Brush the edges with a bit of milk and fold over to seal, making sure you do not trap any air inside. Brush the outer surface of the raviole with a little more milk, then repeat with the remaining pastry and filling.
5. Bake for 15–20 minutes until the raviole are pale golden. If desired, lightly brush the surface of the raviole with a combination of bitter almond liqueur and aniseed liqueur.
6. Sprinkle extra caster sugar over the top while they are still warm and allow to cool completely before eating. Raviole will keep in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
This recipe is from Italian Street Food. (Smith Street Books). Photography by Paola Bacchia.