What’s cooking today: Lamb ravioli with rosemary beurre noisette

What’s cooking today: Lamb ravioli with rosemary beurre noisette
Lamb ravioli with rosemary beurre noisette. (Photo: Tony Jackman)

This was the second course of a dinner party we held on an Italian theme for one of our Cradock Dinner Club events. Everything was homemade, from the slow-cooked lamb shoulder filling to the pasta dough and rosemary beurre noisette sauce.

This is three recipes in one: a slow-cooked lamb dish with garlic and rosemary, which can be cooked the day before or even several days earlier and frozen in the interim; homemade pasta, and a beurre noisette made just before serving.

The quantity is meant to serve six people three ravioli each, so you’re in need of 18 large teaspoons of lamb filling all told.

So, my best advice would be to plan slow-cooked lamb for dinner one night, and leave enough for filling 18 ravioli. You only need a teaspoon for each of those 18, so you really don’t need a lot. 

You could make my eight-hour shoulder of lamb, or cook a few shanks my way, or cook a leg of lamb all day. Either way, leave enough over to freeze the balance. What you need is soft meat full of flavour that can be pulled with your fingers; you don’t need sundry bits of vegetable for the ravioli filling, so push any of that aside.

Once you’ve enjoyed that lamb and frozen the rest, come back to this recipe.

(Serves 6)


For the lamb filling:

Ahead of time, make one of the lamb recipes I have linked to higher up in this story. Freeze the leftover meat, or refrigerate it if it’s only three days ahead of time, and be sure it is totally thawed when you’re ready to fill the ravioli.

For the basic pasta recipe:

200g OO flour

1 large egg

Pinch of salt

Water or extra flour as required

For the rosemary beurre noisette:

200g salted butter

Needles of 2 small young rosemary sprigs, finely chopped

½ a lemon, no pips

For the ravioli:

1 quantity pasta dough (see above and below)

1 quantity beurre noisette

1 generous tsp of lamb filling for each ravioli

A glass of water


Defrost the lamb filling, or have it freshly cooked and cooled before starting to make the ravioli.

For the pasta dough:

Pour the OO flour into a pile on a clean working surface. Make a well in the centre with your fist. Add a little salt. Drop an egg into it and whisk it briefly with a fork without incorporating flour as yet. Using clean hands, work the flour inwards, working in a circular motion, until you end up with a ball of dough which can be rolled into a smooth ball.

Leave it to rest for 15 minutes.

Roll it out in a shape that can be pulled through a pasta machine. Pass it through twice, ending on the number 3 setting. This makes for pasta thin enough for ravioli, but which still has body. (Note: I’m using ravioli in both the singular and plural, because a raviolo is a larger form of ravioli. Calling one of these little ones a raviolo would be confusing.)

For the beurre noisette:

Bear in mind that this must be made just before serving your ravioli. So have these ingredients ready to go. Your rosemary chopped. Half a lemon standing by. Put the butter in a saucepan and put it on a moderate heat. Let it cook slowly until the butter starts to foam beautifully. Slowly, slowly, it will start to turn a pale brown at the top. Drop the rosemary in around about now. Let this browning develop until it is at that whimsical point between yellow and burnt; neither too pale nor too dark. You will smell a whiff of hazelnut (which is what noisette means). Grab the half lemon and squeeze it in. This arrests the browning instantly. (Another way is to plunge the lower part of the pot into iced water.) Turn off the heat. It’s done. It helps to have a kitchen partner ready to do the noisette when you know that the ravioli are nearly done.

For the ravioli:

Lay the pasta out on a clean surface and use a medium pastry cutter to cut out rounds. You need two rounds per ravioli. (You can cut them into small squares if you prefer.) 

Use a clean finger to dip in water and rub around the edge of the lower pastry round. Place lamb filling in the middle, not too much or the casing might burst during cooking. Place a second round on top, squeezing down around the edges to seal it. Use a fork to make a ridged edge.

Boil them in rapidly boiling water for just a few minutes. Keep an eye on them. You can see they’re al dente by the colour of the pasta that covers the filling: it will turn white, rather than opaque (i.e. while it is a little opaque you can see the darker filling within). But don’t go too far: you don’t want soggy pasta.

Remove to a colander, using a slotted spoon or spatula, to drain quickly. Place on plates and immediately spoon a teaspoon or two of the rosemary beurre noisette sauce over each ravioli. Serve in haste. The rosemary in the beurre noisette acts as a garnish. DM

Book a Three Chefs event when planning to visit Cradock, subject to the chefs’ availability. Contact [email protected]

Tony Jackman is Galliova Food Writer 2023, jointly with TGIFood columnist Anna Trapido. Order his book, foodSTUFF, here

Follow Tony Jackman on Instagram @tony_jackman_cooks.

This dish is photographed on a plate by Mervyn Gers Ceramics.


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