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Crab ravioli

Serves: 4 as a starter, 2 as a main
timePrep time: 50 mins
timeTotal time:
Crab ravioli
Recipe photograph by Martin Poole
Sweet aniseed notes from the dill and fennel seeds complement the delicate crab in this homemade filled pasta, which is dressed in a simple buttery sauce

Serves: 4 as a starter, 2 as a main
timePrep time: 50 mins
timeTotal time:

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Nutritional information (1 of 4 portions)

Tom Mitchell-Dawson

Tom is a chef and recipe developer
See more of Tom Mitchell-Dawson’s recipes

Tom Mitchell-Dawson

Tom is a chef and recipe developer
See more of Tom Mitchell-Dawson’s recipes


  • 100g white crab meat, or mixed white and brown
  • 150g ricotta
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 x 30g pack basil, leaves picked
  • a few sprigs of dill, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • ½ red chilli, diced (deseeded if you wish)
  • ½ tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 heaped tbsp miniature capers
For the pasta dough
  • 130g 00 pasta flour, plus extra to dust
  • 1 medium egg plus 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
You'll also need
  • a pasta machine

Step by step

Get ahead
Prep the ravioli to the end of step 5 up to 2 days ahead and store in the fridge on the floured tray, loosely covered.
  1. For the pasta dough, add the flour to a mixing bowl, make a well in the centre and add the whole egg, yolks and olive oil then use a fork to gradually incorporate the flour until a rough dough forms. Bring together by hand then tip on to the work surface and knead for 5-8 minutes until smooth, supple and springy. Avoid adding extra flour unless it is very sticky and unmanageable. Wrap and leave to rest for at least 30 minutes.
  2. For the filling, tip the crab and ricotta into a bowl and grate in the lemon zest. Finely shred a third of the basil leaves and mix in with the dill, seasoning and a good squeeze of lemon juice. Chill until needed.
  3. Shape the rested pasta dough into a block, dust with extra flour and roll to about 5mm thick (making sure the rolled out dough is no wider than the pasta machine). Start on the widest setting and pass the pasta through the machine. Next, ‘laminate’ the pasta by folding it into thirds and rolling out briefly before passing through the machine again, then cut into two more manageable lengths.
  4. Roll the first piece of pasta through the machine, working down to the thinnest setting; dust with extra flour as you go to stop it sticking. Cut the pasta sheet into two shorter lengths.
  5. Use two teaspoons to place small portions of the crab filling in two neat rows along the first pasta sheet, leaving about 2cm between each mound (you should get 12-14 ravioli, using half the filling). Lightly spritz with water to help it stick then lay the second pasta sheet on top and gently press together around each mound of filling, squeezing out excess air. Use a fluted pasta wheel or a knife to cut the pasta into square ravioli, with the filling in a tight ball in the centre of each one. Transfer to a floured baking sheet (without overlapping) and set aside. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.
  6. When ready to cook, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Put the butter, chilli, fennel seeds and capers in a large frying pan and heat until sizzling while you cook the ravioli for 2-21⁄2 minutes until tender. Add most of the rest of the basil and a generous squeeze of lemon to the butter mixture. Transfer the cooked pasta to the pan with a slotted spoon and toss together gently; the pasta water that comes with the ravioli will help to create a silky smooth sauce with the butter. Season and spoon into warmed bowls. Scatter with the last of the basil leaves to serve.

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