Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Italian Foodie Experience#5 King Prawn/Shrimp Ravioli with a Portuguese Twist

My welcoming gift when I moved to Italy was a Pasta machine.
It couldn't have been more apt.

I was surprised at how easy it was to make homemade pasta. No wonder so many Italian people make their own fresh pasta at home.
It's a truly satisfying experience, to get the right texture and thickness. I would truly recommend it.

I spent ages trying to think of a dish worthy of christening my new shiny pasta machine.
Being the seafood addict that I am, I knew it had to be something truly seafoody and special.

So I thought of one of my favourite Portuguese treats: King Prawn Rissol-Rissol de Camarao.
A light pastry covered in breadcrumbs and filled with a rich, creamy sauce and chunks of juicy king prawns.

It was the filling that really inspired me. That rich creamy sauce full of prawn flavour and the delightful chunks of juicy prawns!
 I decided to take this Portuguese traditional snack one step further and turn it into an Italian elegant delicacy.

Making the fresh pasta was great fun.
I placed the flour on a large wooden board, made a well and pour the eggs into it.
I then mixed it all in and worked it until nice and soft.

Next, it was a matter of christening the Pasta Machine and I have to say I had a little help with that...
Once the pasta was made, I kept it moist by sprinkling some water on it and keeping it covered with a damp cloth.

I then moved on to the filling.

I have to say that it was amazing. Really creamy and so very delicious.
Even my students, Italian through and through and amazing foodies, absolutely loved it.

But don't take my word for it. I will leave you with the recipe and I do hope you give it a go.

If  don't have a pasta machine or enough time to make your own pasta, you could always use fresh lasagna sheets.
Just moistened them slightly so that they're pliable and you can cut them to shape.

I served the ravioli with with a lemony parsley sauce and I've included the recipe for this right at the end, or, alternatively, you could serve it with some sage butter or just melted butter and lemon.

For all my American friends out there, let me just add that King Prawns are large Shrimps :)

King Prawn Ravioli with a Portuguese Twist
Serves 4


For the Prawn Stock
All chopped finely

1 large onion
2 medium carrots
2 stalks of celery 
Shells from King Prawns
1 large bay leaf

For the Ravioli 

500gs of shelled King Prawns
3 cloves of garlic-minced
100gs of unsalted butter
50gs of plain flour
50gs of finely chopped parsley
Fresh pasta-as much as you think you may need
Salt and pepper to taste

For the Sauce (depending on how much you would like)

1 to 2 cups of double cream
1 to 2 cups of freshly chopped parsley
1/2 cup of lemon juice-freshly squeezed
Salt and pepper to taste


Make your stock at least 1 1/2 hours before your ravioli.

De-shell the prawns and add the chopped onion, carrot, and bay leaf to the shells and put in a large pot. Cover with water. Let it come to a boil and then simmer on a low heat for at least 1 hour.

When the stock is ready put it through a sieve it until it runs nice and clear.

Then melt 50gs of butter in a pan and add the garlic. Cook for 30 seconds. Don't let the garlic turn brown or burn.
Add the Prawns/shrimps and cook for 3 minutes, until they turn pink.
Chop the prawns into large chunks and set them aside.

I saved a few of my prawns to use as garnish too.

In the same pan, add the remaining butter and let it melt.Then add the flour and mix it well.
Then add gradually add 3 to 4 large spoons of the prawn stock to make a creamy yet thicker than usual roux/sauce.
Add the prawns and parsley and season to taste.

You should end up with a nice, chunky mixture, that sticks really well to the spoon.
Cut the pasta into round shapes. the size is up to you, depending on how big you would like your ravioli to be. Mine were quite large. 
 Place  spoonfuls of the mixture in the middle of the disks. Make sure that the edges are clear.

Moisten  the edges with warm water and cover the disk with another disk and seal them together.
It should look something like this:
Set the ravioli aside and cover them with a slightly dampened cloth while you prepare your sauce.
Fill a pan with boiling water-for the ravioli and season it with salt.

Place your cream in a pan with the parsley and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until the cream starts to thicken.
 Place the ravioli in the pan with boiling water and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.

Remove the pan with the cream from the heat and add the lemon.

Place the ravioli in individual dishes, pour over the creamy sauce and garnish with some prawns and parsley.

Buon Apettito!!


  1. This is spectacular! First let me say you babies are priceless his little face its just precious! I have had a pasta machine for over 30 years good grief! I have never used it you have truely inspired me! I am so lazy to clean it or take it out of the box! actually I cant tell you where it is right now! But your amazing instructions got me going and those prawns omg! SO WONDERFUL Love this post your a sweet sweet girl! Buona Pasqua xo Claudia

    1. Hope you try it. Thanks for the sweet comment too!

  2. Waw! I also make fresh pasta & stuufed ravioli often! There is nothing better then that! :)

    A divine meal: so appetizing too! :) Great & excellent food! xxx

    1. Thank you so much! Happy Easter!

  3. This is just heavenly - pasta machines are so very helpful! Love the richness and the giant prawns. Would be pleased to have this Easter Sunday! Have a beautiful holiday weekend, Ruth!

    1. Thank you Claudia. Do have a soft spot for prawns. Happy Easter and get well soon :)

  4. this looks divine love the picture of u both

    1. thanks Rebecca. He was fascinated by the whole pasta making process.

  5. Holy cow! I feel like I've died and gone to heavy. This recipe looks out of this world. I think I tried something similar to the Portuguese treat while in Spain, and oh boy. Simply amazing. Now you had to go and mix it up with homemade pasta. Is this gilding the lily, but if so, please take me along. Simply fantastic.

    Like Rebecca says, the photo of you and your son is precious. thanks for sharing.

    1. It's interesting to see how many similarities there are between Portuguese and Spanish cooking. I can't choose between the two to be honest but they really know how to cook their seafood. Thanks so much for the lovely compliment!

  6. Wow, so pretty and flavorful your ravioli...I love the filling!
    Thanks for this awesome recipe Ruth and hope you are having a great week :)

    1. Thats very sweet. Thanks Juliana, you too.

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  8. I want to buy a pasta machine!!! They look delicious,Ruth!

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