Harissa Ravioli

Have you guys discovered harissa yet? It's a North African hot chili sauce, and it's definitely having a culinary moment. I made my own batch a couple weeks ago and have really been enjoying it, but you can find it in gourmet shops or even in high-end grocery stores (like Whole Foods). Be warned, the spiciness does vary from brand to brand.

Heidi Swanson's Super Natural Every Day -- the cookbook on which I currently have the biggest crush -- contains a couple different recipes featuring harissa, and this is one of them. It's a winning recipe: it's extremely quick, and it's bursting with flavor. Definitely one that I'll be making whenever harissa finds its way into my kitchen.

Harissa Ravioli
From Super Natural Every Day
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons harissa
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 12 ounces fresh or frozen cheese-stuffed ravioli or tortellini
  • 8 ounces broccoli florets or broccolini, trimmed into bite-size pieces
  • 1/4 cup pepitas, sliced almonds, or pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup kalamata or black oil-cured olives, pitted and torn into pieces
Bring a large pot of water to boil. In the meantime, make the harissa oil. Sprinkle the smashed garlic clove with the salt and chop into a paste. Transfer it to a small bowl and stir in the lemon juice, harissa, and olive oil. Taste and add more salt, if needed.
When the water boils, salt it generously, add the ravioli, and boil until they float and are cooked through, usually just 1 or 2 minutes (but check cooking instructions on the package). About 30 seconds before the ravioli have finished cooking, add the broccoli to the pot, boil for the remaining time, then drain.

Put the ravioli and broccoli in a large mixing bowl. Toss with a couple spoonfuls of the harissa oil and most of the pepitas. Taste and add more salt, if needed. Turn out onto a serving platter and top with more harissa oil, the remaining pepitas, the feta, and olives.

Variations: Substitute cauliflower or pan-fried Brussels sprouts for the broccoli.