The tall, beautiful, and resilient sunflower is Ukraine’s national flower. It’s also becoming a growing symbol of resistance against the Russian invasion which began almost an entire year ago - hard to believe.
My parents and older sister were born in Chernivtsi in Western Ukraine. I always knew this, but for the longest time I’d tell people that I’m Russian - mostly to avoid confusion because I speak Russian, not Ukrainian. And this because when my parents were born, Ukraine was a part of Soviet Russia. Ukraine has a long history of invasion and occupation and has fought long and hard for independence - which was officially gained after the fall of the Soviet Union. It’s a beautiful country with rich food culture and traditions - some of which I’ve been lucky enough to experience as a result of my parents and grandparents. It’s my dream to one day visit the place where my family is from (read all about my family history here).
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The Russian invasion of Ukraine is far form over and in fact, it’s been a full year since it started which is why I’ve partnered with the Unify Ukraine campaign to continue shedding light on the occupation. It should go without saying that the war is having a devastating impact on the people of Ukraine and the country and land itself - and we can’t rest until Ukrainians have their country back.
So today, on Ukraine’s Day of Unity, I encourage you to share images of sunflowers in a show of support for the country. I made a goat cheese, lemon & poppyseed sunflower pasta with buckwheat and turmeric dough as my own personal form of support - get the full recipe below.
Goat cheese, lemon & poppyseed sunflower ravioli
WHAT YOU NEED
- 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
- 3/4 cup AP flour
- 2 eggs
- 1 and 1/4 cups AP flour
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 cup whole milk ricotta (drain if very wet)
- 1/2 cup goat cheese
- 1/4 cup grated parmigiano reggiano
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tsp poppyseeds
- Pinch of allspice
- Salt to taste
- 1 stick brown butter (I budget for 2 tbsp per dish)
- 20 sage leaves
- Salt to taste
WHAT YOU DO
Make buckwheat dough and turmeric dough using my basic fresh pasta method - video here.
While the doughs are resting, combine all filling ingredients and season to taste. If available to you, load the filling into a piping bag. If not, a teaspoon will do.
Working with 1/4 of the dough at a time, first roll out the buckwheat pasta so it’s thin but not see-through - a level 6 on my pasta attachment. Cut the sheet of dough in half and place one half under a damp kitchen towel so it doesn’t dry out. Pipe about 1 tablespoon’s worth of filling onto the left center edge of the pasta sheet. Repeat until the pasta sheet is covered in mounds of filling spaced 2-3 inches apart. Cover the mounds of filling with the second half of the pasta sheet and use a large glass or ravioli cutter to form the ravioli - they should be about 3 inches in diameter. Place on a floured plate or sheet pan and cover with a damp kitchen towel or paper towel. This recipe is for making 4 sunflowers so you only need 4 filled ravioli but feel free to continue forming the buckwheat ravioli until you run out of ingredients and freeze the excess, if you’d like!
Forming the petals:
Use the same method with the turmeric dough as with the buckwheat dough to roll it out ¼ at a time. Then, using the tiniest circular object you can find to make small circular cutouts from the turmeric dough. I used a piping back tip (lol). Use a toothpick to make an indentation in the center of the circle, then stretch at both ends to form an oblong shape. Pinch one end of the oblong shape to create a petal-like shape (as pictured in the video), place the finished petal on a floured sheet pan, and repeat until you have *many petals.* Like, 15-18 per ravioli. Again, keep these under a damp kitchen towel or paper towel so they don’t dry out.
Once you have enough ravioli + petals, form the sunflower by adhering the petals around the skirt of the ravioli. You may need water or an egg white to make the surface tacky enough for the petals to stick.
Bring a shallow skillet of salted water to a boil (shallow because then the ravioli won’t get tossed around by the rolling bubbles as much - they’re delicate!).
Meanwhile, brown a stick of butter over medium heat. Once it’s lightly browned cut the heat and add sage leaves. Salt to taste.
Boil the ravioli until they float. Plate, drizzle with brown butter sage sauce, enjoy.
Beautiful Emily. We’ll done!