March 6th, 2011
“a variety of chicory, with serrated leaves, like those on dandelions, attached to the base of the plant and surrounding long, hollow, blunt-tipped whitish-green shoots that grow from the inside of the plant during the course of the winter. Also known as Catalogna de Galatina, puntarelle is a good representation of the flavors we usually expect of the chicory family. Its flavor profile hints at pepperiness like arugula in the leaves, a touch of fennel in the stalks and an underlying flavor that is a cross between chicory and endive.”
Grown in the vicinity of Rome, puntarelle looks like thick asparagus stalks are growing out of a cluster of dandelion greens.
Here we have ravioli stuffed with a mixture of puntarelle that has been blanched and then sauteed with olive oil and garlic. Cool down the sauteed puntarelle and then add some finely chopped smoked scamorza, some pecorino romano and some drained ricotta. Get a thick paste consistency to pipe into your ravioli dough.
Cook the ravioli in abundant boiling, salted water. Toss with some baby arugula, toasted pinenuts, golden raisins, wild fennel seeds, a touch of lemon juice and a little chopped garlic which has been sauteed in some olive oil. Add some pasta water and some shaved pecorino romano to finish.