Whitebait & Scallop Ravioli – Limoncello & Dill Sauce

Whitebait is fishy gold as far as I’m concerned and when it comes to scallops the season isn’t very long.  This recipe is not only top notch delicious, but also ensures your treasure goes a long, long way.

This was my recent Boxing Day dish and I served it to a genuine bonafide seafood hater, who once the plate was licked clean, presented their ‘Can I have some more’ Oliver Twist eyes!

Pasta does take a little time to prepare, but when it does, it is so very worth it.  I have to say a big thanks to Cam Duff for his generous donation of Whitebait!

Prep Time: 10 minutes + 30 mins resting time

Cook time: 15 minutes

Serves: 4


Pasta Dough:
250 g ‘OO’ Flour
pinch salt
3 eggs
1 tbsp water

Ravioli Filling:
Knob butter
Glug of olive oil (the good stuff)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 medium onion, finely diced
200g whitebait, well drained
4 scallops (with roe), chopped
1 tbsp chives, finely chopped
2 tbsp cream
½ lemon, zest only
salt and white pepper

To serve:
4 stems asparagus
half bag baby rocket
parmesan cheese
glug lemon oil (see my recipe for this if you can’t pick it up at your local supermarket)

*Fab alternative sauce : Limoncello & Dill Sauce
Knob of butter (size of a dice)
Drizzle olive oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbsp Limoncello 
250ml fish stock (good stuff – no mucking around)
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
¼ cup cream
handful fresh dill fronds, ripped – more for garnish


Pasta Dough:
Food Processor: Pop flour, salt and eggs in a food processor. Pulse until you get a coarse dough, drizzle in water until the dough comes together to form a sticky ball. Remove from processor and knead.
By Hand: Pop the flour and salt in a bowl, make a well in the middle and add the eggs and water. Using your fingers or a fork gradually bring the flour in from the sides to make your dough.
Using a little extra flour, dust your bench and knead your dough for about 5 minutes until it is smooth to touch and elastic. Cover with glad wrap and pop in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.

Ravioli Filling:
In a frying pan, pop your butter and a little olive oil. When bubbling add the garlic and onion and sauté for 5 – 7 minutes until soft, fragrant and almost golden in colour. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Pop onion mixture and scallops in a blender and pulse to combine. Add the whitebait and pulse again. Sprinkle in the chives, cream & zest. Mix well. Taste and season.
Chill until ready to put your ravioli together.

Remove pasta from the fridge, set your pasta machine to the widest setting and begin the rolling process. For the first couple of rolls, take your pasta, lay on the bench, fold the ends in and roll again before moving down to the next setting. Finish on the thinnest setting. You may need to apply a little more flour to your pasta or machine during this process. With the final sheet, cut in half, so you have a base and top.

Dust your bench and place one sheet down. Pop 1 tsp of your scallop mixture at regular intervals, say 1-2 fingers width apart. Brush around the mixture lightly with water then cover with the remaining sheet. Use your fingers to lightly press the air from around the filling and seal well. Cut your ravioli with a cookie cutter. Place on a floured board or plate until ready to cook.

Pop a large saucepan of water on to boil and season well. Once boiling gently glide your ravioli into the water. They won’t take long to cook, once they float to the top remove and drain.

Add a glug of oil to a large frying pan and cook your asparagus until just tender. Season, remove from the pan, slice in half and keep warm.

To serve, place 6 ravioli (per person) on a plate with some asparagus and a handful of baby rocket. Grate over some parmesan, drizzle with lemon oil and a generous grind of black pepper.

Limoncello & Dill Sauce:
Pop the butter and oil in a frying pan, when melted and bubbling add the shallots and garlic, sauté gently until soft and fragrant.

Increase the heat and pour in the *Limoncello and stir for 1 – 2 minutes.

Slowly pour in the stock, bring to a boil then simmer until the sauce is reduced (by about half).

Whisk in the cream, taste and season with white pepper and salt.

Add half the dill, reserve the rest for garnish.

Serve :
Pour over ravioli, sprinkle over dill and a swift grate of lemon zest.

Jax Says : this sauce is fabulous to poach fish or to drizzle over prawns just off the BBQ. If you love mussels, steam them open, remove the top shell, drizzle the sauce into the mussel, top with breadcrumbs and parmesan, grill until golden – heavenly.