As you may recall, last week’s peas + centrifuge experiment resulted in three stages of pea: pea solids, pea butter and pea water. This week, I’ve found a use for all three components in my recipe for Pea Ravioli. The picture above shows three of the delightfully green little pasta pouches splashing into a “sauce” of pea water. Inside each is a dollop of pure pea butter, shown in the photo below. Note that this is the natural color of the pea butter. It’s amazing stuff, and hopefully that shot will give you a sense of its wonderful viscosity.
To make the pasta, the first thing I needed was pea flour. I’ve seen pea flour used as a substitute or partial-substitute in baking recipes before, so I figured it should work fine for pasta as well. I spread the pea solids into an 1/8” even layer on a silicone baking sheet and dehydrated it at 135F overnight. Amazingly, the pea solids lost at least 2/3 of their mass and volume. I guess a few more Gs in the centrifuge would have helped expel the remaining moisture.
I ground the dehydrated pea solids in two stages: first, I dumped them into the Blendtec and let them whirl on high for a few minutes. It produced a pretty fine powder, but I decided to do a second milling in the coffee grinder (which I don’t use for coffee). The final texture was finer than cornmeal but not quite as fine as flour. The photo below shows the pea powder at substantial magnification. The total yield from 3lbs of peas was 200g of pea powder.
Next, it was time to make the dough. I had no idea what the properties of pea flour would be compared to wheat flour, so I approached making pea pasta like making gluten-free dough… except I added 25% all-purpose flour. The dough finally came together after adding one egg + one egg yolk, about 6g each of xanthan and guar gum, roughly 150g of water and 75g of olive oil, plus a little salt.
I’m not providing an exact recipe since I eventually gave up on precise measurements and just kept adding stuff until the dough looked right. When I could finally get it to pass through my pasta roller on the 4th setting without breaking apart, I called it good and stamped out a few ravioli filled with pea butter. The pasta was delicious and had the unmistakable, pure, vibrant flavor of peas. Unlike most ravioli, the flavor wasn’t just in the filling. The dough itself packed plenty of pea punch. The addition of a soft cheese, like a mild goat or perhaps even a creamy brie would certainly be welcome for the filling, if you’re longing for a little something extra. I didn’t try cooking the pasta directly in the pea water, but that might be a delightful flavor boost as well.
I’m also planning to try a pea version of matzo ball soup (a childhood favorite) made from balls of pea dough and served in a pea water broth. If you’ve got other ideas for dishes with extreme peaness, please leave ‘em in the comments.