Since Mr. Vanilla has been away a lot recently for work we decided that we would have a nice, romantic meal on Saturday night. On the menu - one of my favourite pasta dishes, mushroom and goats cheese ravioli. Don't be intimidated by the thought of making ravioli as it is just as easy and any extra time that it takes is more than worth it for the taste. However that being said, I would say that this recipe (for me anyway) is definitely a weekend recipe when you have a bit more time and is perfect if you are wanting a recipe that will impress! Served with a lemon-parsley butter sauce this ravioli is light, absolutely delicious and will leave you wanting to make it again and again. We had it for a main course on Saturday then as a starter on Sunday – I told you, you will want it more than once!
Once you have mastered the basic recipe for fresh pasta you can then experiment with lots of flavours by adding different ingredients to the pasta dough such as saffron, herbs, wilted spinach, tomato paste and beetroot to name but a few – there are certainly lots of options, creating many different flavours of pasta, and plenty of delicious meals.
400g/ 14oz flour
4 large eggs
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil (optional)
There are two ways to make pasta....the traditional way using nothing but your hands and a flat work surface, and the modern way using the wonders of kitchen appliances to cut down on your own labour! I have to admit since I now have the appliances I feel it would be wrong not to put them to use so I opt for the easier and faster way. (Although in the past I have made pasta plenty of times using the traditional method).
Whatever way you choose, start by sifting the flour (either onto your work surface, or into the bowl of your processor). Make a well in the centre and crack in the whole eggs, then add the salt and oil if using. If taking the easy option, turn the machine on and pulse until you have a resemblance to bread crumbs. Transfer onto a work surface and knead until it comes together and you have a smooth dough.
If you are sticking to the traditional method, using a fork beat the eggs with the salt and oil until mixed then slowly start incorporating the flour into the egg mixture. Continue to do so until it is too tough to use a fork. At this point gather it all together and knead for a good 5-7 minutes. If the pasta is a little too dry and firm add a splash of olive oil (no more than 1 tbsp) so that you have a smooth dough.
Wrap the dough in clingfilm (plastic wrap), and put in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
When you are ready to make the pasta, unwrap the dough then cut it into 4 pieces so that you have manageable pieces to work with. Sprinkle some flour onto your work surface and rolling pin then give the dough another quick knead before rolling it out slightly. You can either use a rolling pin to roll it out completely, or a pasta maker. If using a pasta maker follow the instructions given, until you have perfect sheets of pasta.
Once the pasta has been rolled out to your desired thickness you can then shape or cut it and use as needed. If I am making spaghetti or another type of long pasta, once I have cut it with my pasta maker I lay it flat on a large tray or baking sheet lined with kitchen paper and dusted with flour. This allows the pasta to dry out slightly without sticking together. Alternatively though you can make little 'nests' of pasta, just make sure it is well floured so you don't end up with one big clump of pasta! Set aside until you are ready to use.
To cook the pasta, bring a large pan of salted water to a boil then place the pasta in and cook for no more than 3-4 minutes. Drain and serve with your choice of sauce and enjoy!
Mushroom & Goats Cheese Ravioli with Lemon-Parsley Butter
On Saturday when I made this I was lucky enough to get some beautiful chanterelle mushrooms so I halved them and added them to the butter sauce to serve over the ravioli. If you are able to get some then I definitely recommend it as an extra little treat.
For the Pasta:
300g/ 10.5oz flour
To Seal the Pasta:
1 egg, beaten
For the Filling:
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
400g/ 14oz mushrooms, cleaned
2 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
Squeeze of lemon juice
100g/ 3.5oz soft goats cheese
Salt & pepper
115g/ 4oz unsalted butter
Zest & juice of 1 lemon, minus the squeeze in the filling!
3 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
Salt & Pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
Parmesan cheese to sprinkle over the top
Scattering of fresh basil leaves, finely sliced
Small handful of toasted pine nuts (optional)
Start by making the pasta dough following the instructions from the previous recipe but using the above quantities and ingredients.
Once you have made the pasta pop the dough in the fridge while you make the filling.
Zest the lemon and set aside for the lemon-parsley butter (it’s much easier to zest it before you have squeezed it). Slice the mushrooms then heat the oil and butter in a large frying pan. Add the garlic and sauté for a minute before adding the mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper and cook over a medium heat for 15 minutes until they have softened and most of the water has evaporated. Add the parsley and lemon juice then remove from the heat. Allow to cool slightly then add the goats cheese. Using a hand-held blender or processor, puree the mushroom mixture until you have a fairly smooth consistency. Taste to check the seasoning then leave to cool completely.
When you are ready to make the ravioli roll out the pasta into long strips (following the manufacturer’s instruction). I find it easier to cut out rounds of pasta using a cookie cutter (roughly 2 ½ inches in diameter) and then filling them, however if you have a ravioli maker use that instead. Working a strip at a time (this is the perfect time to have a helper who can roll out the pasta while you cut it and fill it!), cut as many rounds of pasta as you can.
Bring a large pan of salted water to a boil then cook the ravioli for roughly 4 minutes.
While the pasta is cooking make the lemon-parsley butter. In a small pan melt the butter and add the lemon zest, juice, parsley and salt and pepper. Keep warm until the pasta is ready.
Drain the pasta and then serve with with the butter sauce spooned over the top. Finish with a good grating of fresh Parmesan and a scattering of basil leaves.
|UFOs or Ravioli?!|