This recipe involves fresh pasta. To learn how to make fresh pasta at home, see my post on making fresh pasta at home.
Ravioli is on my top ten list of comfort foods and goat cheese is high on my superlative list of ingredients. I love how it instantly add richness and divine flavor to, well, anything that mingles with it. Recently I had purchased very disappointing goat cheese ravioli from Russo’s, our neighborhood cheese and pastisseria (so sad because Russo’s handmade buffalo mozzarella is out of this world), and I was craving the goat cheese ravioli of my dreams: creamy, melty, and delightful. This one totally delivered (do not be deceived by the underwhelming picture above – my camera skills are sadly lacking).
I poured over by cookbooks for inspiration prior to making this dish. The filling on which I decided is based on a pasta dish in Mario Batali’s The Babbo Cookbook. I was running out of time and didn’t plan ahead for the right ingredients, so I made my pasta in a different way that Mario prescribes, so that is where the similarities end. The filling contains sage, rosemary, Italian parsley, fresh goat cheese, parmigiano reggiano cheese, salt, fresh ground pepper, and nutmeg (which really adds a nice touch).
Mix the filling ingredients together and put the the fridge to chill for at least half an hour. It will help the mixture solidify when you are working with the pasta.
Speaking of pasta – remember the fresh pasta lesson? Well that is where we pick up the story. Once your filling is chilled and your dough is rolled out, trim the edges of those long pieces with a pasta cutter so everything is straight and even.
Spoon a heaping tablespoon of the filling onto the pasta, leaving an 1 1/2 inches on all sides (except the ends – leave about 3/4 inch on the ends).
Use the pasta cutter to cut each piece evenly down the middle.
And now we have come to the panic point – the part where one asks oneself “how the heck are these ever going to stay together when BOILED?” The answer is something we all learned in elementary school art class. Remember making pinch pots? Where you’d roll out a coil of clay and then score and slurry each layer as you stacked them in order to hold them together in the kiln? Well, this isn’t much different, except sometimes you don’t even need to score (make little, shallow cuts in areas where you want to fuse the pasta together) depending on your pasta. I didn’t have to this time, but I did “slurry” (i.e. take a little bowl of water and apply water with my fingers to the areas that I was going to stick together. Just go along the edges. It will re-activate the glutens and help the pasta stick together. Panic was unnecessary! Every single one held – a better track record than some fancy frozen pastas I’ve bought at boutique stores.
Now fold the whole thing directly in half, and seal the edges. And do it for every one. And then let them sit for ten minutes, while you get about 4 quarts of water boiling in a large pot. Also, start a large saute pan on medium heat and fill it with the following: three or four chopped cloves of garlic, a glug of olive oil, a tablespoon of butter and salt and black pepper to taste. (obviously, I neglected to photograph this step – forgive me gentle readers!) Once all that is bubbling (without burning – turn it down if it is!) and the pasta has cooked in boiling water for 3-4 minutes, drain the pasta and then add it to the saute pan.
Once the pasta is coated with the sauce in the pan, add 1/2 cup dry white wine and simmer for a couple more minutes, stirring occationally. Chop some Italian parsley for garnish, remove the pasta from the heat and plate, garnish and serve immediately.
Here’s another sub-par picture that doesn’t do the ravioli justice. Maybe I should take a photography class? Trust me – make this dish!
Fresh Goat Cheese Ravioli
Inspired by Mario Batali’s recipe: Goat Cheese Tortelloni with Dried Orange and Fennel Pollen in The Babbo Cookbook
6 oz. fresh goat cheese (I recommend Coach Farm, if you have the means)
1/2 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon Italian parsley, chopped (plus more for garnish)
5 sage leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/4 cup parmigiano reggiano
salt and fresh ground black pepper
Pasta dough, rolled into sheets (see Fresh Pasta post on this blog)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup dry white wine
3-4 cloves of garlic, chopped finely