Cook the Book: Harissa Ravioli

Cook the Book: Harissa Ravioli

[Photographs: Heidi Swanson]

The ingredients list for these Harissa Ravioli from Heidi Swanson's Super Natural Every Day read like a map of the Mediterranean. Cheese ravioli and broccolini from Italy, feta from Greece, oil-cured olives from the south of France, and harissa from Morocco—all big flavors to say the least.

This dish relies on perfect balance—the salty, sour, bitter and bright flavors all play off the mild cheese ravioli, and when the elements come together, it's nothing short of genius. Quick-cooking cheese ravioli get tossed into boiling water and the broccolini (or broccoli florets or even broccoli rabe) are blanched in the cooking water at the last minute. The greens and pasta are dressed with a piquant sauce of spicy harissa, garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice, and garnished with crumbled feta, torn oil-cured black olives, and a sprinkling of toasted nuts or seeds (I chose pepitas but pine nuts, almonds, or sunflower seeds would work too).

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Super Natural Every Day to give away this week.

Reprinted with permission from Super Natural Every Day by Heidi Swanson and her blog, 101 Cookbooks. Copyright © 2011. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved.

  • Yield:4
  • Active time: 25 minutes
  • Total time:25 minutes


  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons harissa
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 12 ounces fresh or frozen cheese-stuffed ravioli or tortellini
  • 8 ounces broccoli florets or broccolini, trimmed into bite-size pieces
  • 1/4 cup pepitas, sliced almonds, or pine nuts, toasted
  • Scant 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 5 or 6 black oil-cured olives, pitted and torn into pieces


  1. 1.

    Bring a large pot of water to boil. In the meantime, make the harissa oil. Sprinkle the smashed garlic clove with the salt and chop into a paste. Transfer it to a small bowl and stir in the lemon juice, harissa, and olive oil. Taste and add more salt, if needed.

  2. 2.

    When the water boils, salt it generously, add the ravioli, and boil until they float and are cooked through, usually just 1 or 2 minutes. About 30 seconds before the ravioli has finished cooking, add the broccoli to the pot, boil for the remaining time, then drain.

  3. 3.

    Put the ravioli and broccoli in a large mixing bowl. Toss with a couple spoonfuls of the harissa oil and most of the pepitas. Taste and add more salt, if needed. Turn out onto a serving platter and top with more harissa oil, the remaining pepitas, the feta, and olives.