Zembi d’ Arzillo – Fish Ravioli

Fish Ravioli. There is a colorful and fresh Genoese expression that immediately gives an idea of the exquisite marine flavor of freshly caught fish: “arzillo du ma.”

However, not all fish, strictly speaking, could afford to possess this coveted quality fully, even if they are still hanging on the hook or alive in the net just pulled.
“Arzillo” is also the fine, floating green seaweed that accompanies the rocks near the shore like a fleece.
Its fragrant aroma will therefore be assumed, above all, by the shore and rockfish, such as mullet, capon fish, and others.

A long introduction to the RAVIOLI DI PESCE, a typical seafood dish, today rather in disuse, no longer performed with the richness of the past.
The “zembi d’arzillo,” that is to say, the delicious ravioli with a filling mainly made with the meat of fish – which taste like arzillo, of course.

The curious name of this preparation (it is, after all, simply a type of low-fat ravioli, but popular imagination has no limits) also takes us, once again, to oriental trails: “zembi” from the Arabic “zembil” and that is a large basket made with the leaves of palm trees.
A dish, therefore, with the fullness of taste and form clearly expressed.

Branzino Ravioli, with mullet sauce – Photo by Gianni Temossi, from iltigullio.it Facebook Group

Ingredients and servings (for 6 people)

for the filling

a bunch of borage
three endives
600 grams of fish flesh capon, red mullet, scorpion fish
four eggs
a handful of grated parmesan cheese
half a lemon
parsley
a tomato
marjoram
garlic
salt
pepper

For the pasta

half a kilo of flour
two eggs
lukewarm water

How to make Fish Ravioli – Zembi d’ Arzillo

Boil endives and borage for at least 5 minutes; squeeze them well.
Bring the fish to a boil in salted water, adding half a lemon.
Then remove the pulp, which you will brown for a few minutes in butter, with chopped parsley, marjoram and chopped garlic, after passing it through a vegetable mill.
Put it in a bowl and add the pureed vegetables, the beaten eggs and the cheese.
Adjust salt and pepper and mix very well.
Proceed normally to roll out the pastry and make the ravioli with the filling.
Cook them in abundant salted water.
Drain them and dress them with the sauce made from the heads and bones of the fish, with the addition of sieved tomato pulp.

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Enrico Massetti was born in Milan, Italy.
Now he lives in Washington, DC, USA.
Still, he regularly visits his hometown
and enjoys going around all the places in his home country
especially those he can reach by public transportation.

Enrico loves writing guide books on travel in Italy
to help his friends that go to Italy to visit
and enjoy his old home country.
He also publishes books on the Argentine tango dance.

You can reach Enrico at enricomassetti@msn.com.