Dinner Inspiration /. Lemon Ricotta Ravioli with Fava Beans


I love to cook. I've been fortunate to grow up surrounded by amazing home chefs. My two grandmothers, mom, dad, and aunts cooked constantly. Not only are they excellent cooks, but also exceptional sharers. Maybe even more than making the meal, they loved to share their food with loved ones.  

As an adult, I've adopted not only their love for cooking but also for sharing a meal. Nothing makes me happier than cooking with my kids and everyone sitting around the dinner table for a meal. But, of course, getting to that point can feel impossible, and sometimes, I need a little extra motivation to cook rather than order something.

I'm constantly searching for food inspiration. I have learned that I usually get inspired because of these three things: 1) I have a new cookbook or recipe that looks interesting, 2) a fun new cooking gadget or piece of serving ware, or 3) an abundance of something that needs eating.  

A perk of living in California is the access to fresh seasonal produce. My favorite way to experience the local produce is through a CSA (community-supported agriculture) box. I've used Farm Fresh to You for years. My husband and I still joke about our lifetime supply of bok choy in a month. But, overall, it conveniently comes straight to your door, supports your local community, and provides season-appropriate inspiration. 

This week's inspiration was fava beans. Before living in San Francisco, I'd never made fava beans. So I had to look up how to cook them and was mildly turned off by what seemed like never ending amount of steps to get to these tiny green beans. But, having already taken up the challenge of cooking them before, I knew what I was getting myself into and decided they would go perfectly with lemons picked from the backyard and fresh basil (also ordered through FFTY box).

But first, I digress. A few weeks ago we visited Larkspur Landing with the kids. It's family friendly with some fun shopping and the most decadent donuts. I popped into Flora & Henri. Not only do they have swoon-worthy clothes for the entire family, but they have interesting, unique home stuff that caught my attention. During my visit, I picked up a Frieling Ravioli Press and the most beautiful Lue Handmade Brass Serving Spoon (no longer on their online shop but it looks like this). Unfortunately, while I was shopping, my four-year-old fell into a pond requiring a brand new outfit and a shorter than expected shopping experience, but that's a story for another time. 

This serving spoon, though, was love at first sight. The weight is perfect. It has a hearty but delicate scoop and a convenient little curve at the end of the handle that keeps the spoon from falling into the bowl. The company name is Lue, and I have another piece of theirs so wanted to learn more about the maker. Each piece is handmade by Japanese metalworker Ruka Kikuchi (nickname Lue). He resides in Setouchi, Okayama, in Japan, and I found a charming interview with him. His parents are artists, and he's been making brass items for years. I loved this quote in response to a question about his work and a connection to a California lifestyle -- "Now I live in Okayama, Japan but my works would be influenced by Californian traits such as chill, free and easy if I lived in California. I hope I can live there someday!" So if you're in a shop and see the most delicate stunning brass serving ware - and it is a Lue buy it. Not only are they gorgeous, but they're also practical.

Okay, I'll spare you from going further down my deep brass spoon rabbit hole and fast forward to my abundance of fava beans, lemons, and new wares. I landed on a casual lemon ricotta ravioli with fava beans, herbs, and parmesan. Since we had a pretty hectic day already, I opted to cheat by picking up some store-bought potsticker rounds rather than making the dough from scratch. They are already the perfect size and ready to go. A major timesaver! 

Also, a warning, I get inspiration from a recipe or cookbook for most meals, but usually, it's ad hoc, and I'm using up what I have in the fridge. 

Here is a general sense of the recipe and details on where to buy the wares.  

/. Ingredients

  • Fresh Fava Beans (a large bowl of unshelled pods)
  • Bellwether Farms Ricotta - 12 oz (my favorite brand and a staple in my fridge)
  • Lemons - 3 small or 2 medium-sized. *Chose ones without a waxy coating if possible since you'll be using the peel. Lemons should be zested and juiced with juice & zest kept separate. 
  • 1 package of premade potsticker rounds
  • Parmesan cheese - appx 1.5 cups shredded
  • Basil - 1 bunch
  • Lemon or Plain Olive Oil 
  • A little bit of butter - not necessary, but I usually can't stop myself 
  • Salt and Pepper

... Fava Beans

  • Put a pot on the stove and start heating up water (enough to cover all the beans). 
  • Find the string on the pod and pull it down - crack them open and pop out the pods in the middle. 
  • Prepare an ice bath (bowl with cold water and ice cubes).
  • When all the pods are out drop them into the pot of boiling water. 
  • When they start changing colors (getting brighter) they're done - you don't want to over cook them - it's maybe 4 minutes. 
  • Use a slotted spoon and drop them into the ice bath. 
  • Now comes the time consuming part, there's a coating that needs to be pinched off, revealing a bright green ben inside. 


... Ravioli

  • Make the filling - put the ricotta, about 3/4 cup of parmesan, zest of two lemons + juice of one lemon, salt & pepper, cut up half a bunch of basil. 
  • Get a small cup of water to seal the ravioli. 
  • Take potsticker rounds and place them on the ravili press - fill it with about half a teaspoon of the filling. Run water all along the outer edge of the dough and clam down the press. 
  • Place the sealed ravioli on a sheet pan dusted with a bit of flour to keep them from sticking to each other. 
  • Get a fresh pot of boiling water going with a pinch of salt. 
  • Boil the ravioli in batches and pull them out when ready. They cook quickly - maybe 4 minutes - they will start to float. Taste one when you take them out to get a sense of the cooking time and ensure they have the right consistency. 
  • Carefully spoon them out into a shallow bowl with olive oil to keep them from sticking. 
  • Continue with the rest of the ravioli. 
  • On top, add the fava beans, more lemon zest, salt pepper, olive oil, the rest of the basil torn/cut up, a tad bit of butter, and freshly shaved parmesan. 


Serve with bread. 


/. The Goods

Frieling Ravioli PressLive & Love by Flora and Henri, 2229 Larkspur Landing Cir, Larkspur, CA 94939

Lue Brass Serving Spoon - sold out but an example of the one I'm using  

Here are a few other spots to purchase Lue Brass: 

Apron - Stock Raw Demin Apron

Copper Slotting Spoon - Mine is vintage, and I scored it on Etsy and then got it re-tinned. Here are a few similar ones: 

Cutting Board - Material reBoard

Nordic Ware Full Baking Sheet

Serving Bowl - mine is 8 years old from CB2 and no longer available. I love that it's flat, wide and has tall sides. It's the perfect bowl for serving pasta or protein with a sauce. 

Lisbon Lemon Olive Oil - Stone House Olive Oil ** This stuff is delicious I buy it in bulk and use it all the time when cooking to add brightness to a meal.