Rocco Forte Hotels

Since taking the helm of the team at The Balmoral’s award-winning restaurant Number One, Mark Donald has already retained its Michelin Star, a rare achievement for a new Head Chef. His broad international experience has flavoured his new menus, crafted from exceptional local produce; here he shares his recipe for an exquisite and attractive starter, featured on the menu at Number One. For ease, it’s set out in five stages.

Helpful implements and equipment:

Tamis or ricer
Food mixer
Piping bag
Dutch oven or pot
Pasta making machine

Stage 1: Making the dough

500g Tipo 00 pasta flour 
50g dark malt flour
6 egg yolks
3 whole eggs


Sieve the flours together on a clean work surface and make a well in the centre. Mix the eggs with the yolks and pour into the well, bringing the flour in gradually.

When dough begins to form, start to bring it together with your hands and knead for ten minutes on the bench (or use a food mixer, for ease).

Once the dough is smooth, cover and rest it in the fridge.

Stage 2: Making the mash

1kg Rooster potato flesh (hot, roasted in skin and passed through a tamis or ricer)
200g smoked butter
200g smoked milk
Salt and smoked oil to taste


Add the hot potato to a small pan and put on the stove at a low to medium heat.

Add the milk and butter gradually until well combined, being careful the mixture never catches or sticks. 

Season to your taste with salt and smoked oil.

Pass the mixture again through a sieve or tamis. Put the mash into a piping bag and allow to cool to room temperature

Stage 3: Making the Onion Broth

1kg white onion
1kg red onion
2kg chicken stock (water or vegetable stock if vegetarian)
500g fennel (sliced and roasted until golden)
50g garlic (sliced and roasted until golden)
50g ginger (peeled, sliced fine)
Granny Smith apple juice, salt and apple vinegar to taste


Cut the onions horizontally and roast the cut faces on high heat with a little neutral oil. Don’t be afraid to blacken them. (Keep the skins on for this step as the onion will retain its shape and will roast more evenly.)

Once all the onions are roasted, peel their skins away and place in a large Dutch oven or pot. Cover with the stock.

Cook very slowly. At the restaurant we cover the pan and cook in the oven for 12 hours at 85 degrees Celsius. 

Once the onions have flavoured the stock, pass the stock through a sieve into a clean, tall and slender pot.

Season the broth with Granny Smith apple juice, salt and apple vinegar. 

Stage 4: Making and filling the ravioli

10 eggs
A pinch of Tipo 00 pasta flour


Crack 10 eggs into a bowl and set this aside. Lightly dust a clean work surface with pasta flour. 

Take your pre-made dough out of the fridge and roll half into a long, wide strip using the thinnest setting on a pasta machine.

Lay your length of pasta down upon the work surface. Pipe the mash onto the pasta in ten little beehive shapes around 1.5 inches high, leaving space in the centre of each beehive for yolks. Leave some space between each beehive, to pinch the pasta down around each later.

Carefully, separate each yolk from the white of the egg and slide one yolk into the hole in each mash cup.

Pipe the remaining mash on top of each yolk so the yolks are no longer seen. This will also protect them during cooking, ensuring they are evenly cooked and runny.

Roll another sheet of pasta out and cover the little potato protected egg yolk beehives. Press the pasta down and around each egg, taking care not to break the structure you have just made onto the sheet underneath, forming 10 ravioli.

Be sure to expel any air pockets from the ravioli otherwise they will burst in the water as they heat.

Stage 5: Serving

Aged Comté (22 months) 
Onion crisps
Roscoff onion
Cevenne onion
Pickled Thai shallot
Chive oil


Cook the ravioli for 4 minutes 30 seconds in a pan of heavily seasoned, almost boiling water.

Remove from the pan and place a thin slice of Comté on top of each ravioli. Blowtorch the cheese to melt and caramelise.

Place in a bowl and arrange one petal each of cooked Roscoff and Cevenne onions that have been seasoned, lightly roasted and cooked in their skins.

Finally, place three Thai shallots around the plate and garnish with onion crisps and chickweed.

In a small pan, warm the onion broth and chive oil together and pour into the bowl. Enjoy!

Sample Chef Mark Donald’s smoked potato, egg yolk, onion broth, pickled leek and aged Comté ravioli as part of a dining experience at Number One, The Balmoral, Edinburgh. Call +44 131 557 6727 to book your table.

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