Pansotti with ricotta and fennel and walnut sauce

Preparation time

30 mins to 1 hour

Cooking time

less than 10 mins


Serves 4

These beautiful filled pasta half moons can be made ahead and kept in the refrigerator for up to two days.

By Theo Randall
From Saturday Kitchen Best Bites


For the pasta dough

  • 250g/9oz plain ‘00’ flour
  • 50g/2oz fine semolina, plus extra for dusting
  • 2 large free-range eggs (preferably organic)
  • 3 large free-range egg yolks (preferably organic)

For the pansotti filling

  • 200g/7oz ricotta (preferably sheep’s milk ricotta)
  • 2 tbsp chopped feathery fennel tops
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the walnut sauce

  • ½ garlic clove
  • 110g/4oz walnuts
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 75g/3oz parmesan, grated (or other vegetarian hard cheese)
  • 2 tbsp full-fat milk
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 50g/2oz unsalted butter


  1. For the pasta, place the flour and eggs and egg yolks into a food processor and process for one minute until the dough comes together.

  2. Cover in cling film and place in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes. When chilled, divide the dough in half and keep one portion for another meal.

  3. Roll the remaining half of the dough through a pasta machine, gradually reducing the thickness, until the pasta is rolled as thin as possible. Dust with the semolina and set aside in the fridge until needed.

  4. For the pansotti filling, beat the ricotta and chopped fennel together in a bowl and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  5. Take the pasta from the fridge and lay out on the work surface. Working 2cm/1in from the edge of the longest side, place heaped teaspoons of the filling at intervals along the length of the pasta with a 3cm/1¼in gap between each one.

  6. Brush between each portion of filling with a pastry brush dipped in water, then fold the unfilled half of the pasta sheet over to cover.

  7. Using your two little fingers, push the pasta down round each portion of filling to seal. Make sure that there is no trapped air inside or the pasta will burst during cooking.

  8. Using a round pastry cutter, cut around the filling to create half-moon shapes. Pick them up individually to make sure each one is airtight. They will keep in a fridge on a floured tray for up to two days, or you can cook them immediately.

  9. For the walnut sauce, crush the garlic with a pinch of sea salt in a pestle and mortar, then add the walnuts. Pound until smooth, then mix in the lemon juice, parmesan, milk, olive oil and parsley.

  10. Whisk until the sauce emulsifies, then season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  11. Cook the pansotti in a large pan of salted boiling water for 3-4mins. The water should be at a fast, rolling boil.

  12. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large frying pan. Drain the pasta, add to the frying pan and mix to coat in the butter.

  13. Add a generous spoonful of the walnut sauce and stir the pasta to coat. Add a good grinding of black pepper and serve, with extra walnut sauce if desired.

Recipe Tips

You will only need half the quantity of pasta dough, however, it will keep in the fridge for a couple of days.