Here's a recipe from Fielding's Game and Country - an events company who are heavily involved with game food. They've recently worked on the restaurant at the EJ Churchill ground.
You'll have to put aside some time to prepare the dish - the dough is made by hand - but certainly worth it when you taste the finished result! Serves six.
- 400g plain flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 eggs & 1 egg yolk for egg wash
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp of mixed herbs
- 6 pigeon breasts
- 2 rashers of bacon
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 sweet potato
- 1 diced red onion
- 2 garlic cloves, cut finely
- Fresh coriander
- 100g pancetta lardons
- 2 cloves garlic, cut finely
- 110g button mushrooms, roughly chopped
- 200g spinach
- 250ml chicken stock
- 50g grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, with some for garnish
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Chopped fresh coriander and lemon zest to finish
Making the Dough
Mound the flour and the mixed herbs on a large cutting board and make a wide well in the middle. Add the eggs and olive oil and season with salt. Beat the eggs with a fork, use the fork to break the wall of the well and incorporate the flour into the eggs. Gather the dough into a ball.
Knead the dough. Using the heels of your hands, push the dough away from you, then fold it back over itself and push again. Continue kneading until the dough is smooth and supple (10 minutes). Wrap the dough in cling film and let it rest for at least 30 minutes.
Making the Filling
To start, cut your sweet potato into 1 cm strips. Drizzle some olive oil in a hot pan and add the sweet potato and the red onion, cook until it begins to soften. Add the bacon and pigeon breasts, cook the breasts for 2-3 minutes on each side; when cooking the second side add the balsamic vinegar to release the flavours. Place this whole mixture in a blender and mix, adding the parsley and seasoning to taste. Transfer the filling to a large pastry bag and refrigerate while you roll the dough.
Preparing the Dough
Roll out the dough and cut it into four pieces. Flatten one piece slightly and run it through the widest setting on a pasta machine twice. Fold the length of dough into thirds and run it through the roller two to three more times. Continue running the dough through the roller, reducing the width setting between each run, until the dough is starting to become transparent. Layer half of the dough sheets between baking parchment, wrap in cling film and freeze.
Assembling the Ravioli
Place the lengths of dough on a floured surface and lightly brush with the egg wash on one side. Pipe 1-inch balls of filling, 2 inches apart, onto the lower half of each strip. Fold the dough over the filling to meet the bottom edge. Press around each ball of filling with your index fingers, making sure there are no air bubbles. Cut out the ravioli using a 2-to-3-inch round fluted cutter.
Making the Sauce
Drizzle olive oil into a large saucepan. Add the pancetta and place over medium heat. When the pancetta is crispy add the mushrooms and garlic, season with salt and sauté until the mushrooms are soft. Pour in the chicken stock, season with salt and cook until the sauce has reduced by half. Add the butter and the cheese, cook until the sauce thickens and looks velvety. Finish by adding the spinach to wilt.
Cooking the Ravioli
To cook the ravioli bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil; add the ravioli and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to the pan with the sauce. Bring the sauce to a boil, shaking the pan. Sprinkle in the cheese, and garnish with coriander and lemon zest.
You can find out more about Fieldings Game & Country here