Ravioli with Goat Cheese Herb Filling and Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

First item crossed off the list!!  (I also have added pad thai to the list per the request of the husband who was swooning as we ate Thai food last night)

Can I be completely, brutally honest?  It was an awful lot of work.  Don’t get me wrong, the return was tasty.  Very tasty.  But I don’t know if the effort expended made it worth it.  Though the husband did say I could make ravioli any time I want.  🙂  The roasted red pepper sauce?  Divine.  I have Leigh Anne over at Your Home Based Mom to thank for that recipe.  Next time I might make the sauce and buy the ravioli from Trader Joe’s.  🙂  The recipes for the filling and the ravioli can both be found in the book Making Artisan Pasta.

Goat Cheese Herb Filling
Note:  this is half of the original recipe and filled 18 ravioli with quite a bit leftover.  It’s very tasty and I’m thinking of spreading the leftovers on crackers. The original recipe says that it fills 48 ravioli.

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6 oz goat cheese
87 g (that’s one half of 3/4 c) whole milk ricotta
1/4 c bread crumbs (the recipe called for fresh, I used the stuff in the can)
1 egg yolk
1 tblsp minced basil, dill or tarragon (or a combination of all 3) (I didn’t measure precisely because I like extra-herby
1 tblsp thinly sliced chives
1/8 c finely diced red onion
freshly ground black pepper and sea salt

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Combine the goat cheese, ricotta, bread crumbs, egg yolk, herbs, red onion, salt and pepper.  Beat together using a wooden spoon until smooth.  You may store the filling covered and refrigerate for up to two days before filling the ravioli.

Three Egg Basic Pasta Dough (best for machine rolling)
Note:
 I made 18 ravioli with one batch of dough.  There was a lot of dough left after cutting those ravioli out, which could probably be re-rolled and cut, though it would likely produce a tougher ravioli.  But, there are only two of us so I didn’t bother.

3/4 lb flour mix (they recommend mixtures of unbleached all-purpose flour, durum flour and/or semolina.  I used 1/2 all-purpose, 1/2 semolina)
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 egg yolk
2-3 tblsp tepid water

Mound the flour in a large bowl to form a flour volcano with a crater in the middle. Pour the eggs and water into the crater.

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Using a fork, begin to incorporate the flour, starting with the inner rim.  101

Once about half the flour has been incorporated and the mixture has formed a shaggy mass, transfer the dough to a work surface.

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Dust the surface lightly with flour and begin to knead the dough.  Keep incorporating the flour, turning the dough mass over several times while kneading so that the most side of the dough is exposed to the flour, encouraging the flour to be absorbed.  Scrape up and discard any leftover hard bits of dough.

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Use the heel of your palm to push the dough down and away, then fold the edge back over top to keep a basically round dough ball.  Rotate the dough mass about 90 degrees each time.

Continue kneading the dough about 5 minutes, or until the dough is cohesive and moderately smooth (running the dough through the pasta sheeter will develop the gluten further, making it smooth and elastic).  The dough should be firm                                                                                    and release easily from your fingers.

Form the dough into a smooth, round ball and cover with a bowl, damp  cloth or wrap in plastic wrap and allow to rest for 30 minutes at room temperature before rolling.105

Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce

Note:  This is half of the original recipe.  I recommend making the full recipe.  Because this sauce is delicious.  Lick the bowl delicious. The only reason I made half is because I cheated on the roasted red peppers:  instead of roasting my own I used the jar of Trader Joe’s roasted that I had in the cupboard.  Problem is that there were only 1 1/2 peppers in that jar (original recipe calls for 3). Well, that was a problem.
Note 2:  Though I only used half the peppers and half and half I used the same amounts of onion, garlic, basil and cheese as the original recipe.  Because why wouldn’t I? 

3 roasted red peppers (2 jars from Trader Joe’s)
2-3 tbsp onion
2 tbsp minced garlic
1/4 c fresh basil, sliced
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/2-3/4 c fat free half and half (yes, I did that.  It was still tasty)
1/2 tsp cornstarch
1/3 c grated parmesan cheese
1 tbsp butter
salt and pepper to taste

Mix the corn starch and half and half together in a small bowl. Set aside.

Cut the peppers into small pieces.

Saute the garlic, peppers, basil and onion in olive oil.  Cook for 10 minutes.089

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Place cooked mixture into blender, blend to desired consistency (I left a few lumps).  Put mixture back in pan, heat to a boil, add half-and-half to desired consistency.  Add cheese and cook until it melts.  Add butter, salt and pepper.  Simmer for a few minutes.  You can add more half-and-half if it gets too thick.

098I actually made the sauce a bit ahead of time and refrigerated it while I put together the ravioli.  Start the ravioli process by dividing your dough into two equal balls and running the dough through the sheeter.  I only ran it through up to a number 3 because I feared that it would be too thin and would break apart.  Next time I might try going to a 4.

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Cut your pasta sheets so that they’re a couple of inches longer than your ravioli mold.  I had three sheets and some extra, which gave me enough for one mold of ravioli.  I used some hand stamps for the remaining dough.  Make sure you thoroughly flour your mold before laying the pasta in it.  And kind of push (gently) the pasta down into the recesses.

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I put the filling into a pastry bag, which made filling the ravioli a breeze.

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My ravioli mold is the kind that you lay the second piece of dough over the top and then use a small rolling pin to mold it.  NOTE:  Do yourself a favor and, using a pastry brush, wet the dough prior to laying the second sheet on top.  This helps the two pieces stick together.

I rolled, I prayed, I turned the mold upside down….

Success!  I used a pastry brush to brush off the excess flour.

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Now, the true test:  would my ravioli stay together when doused in boiling water?

Yes!  There were no casualties!  Dumb luck or skill?

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I made a green salad, warmed the sauce and called the husband to dinner.  Oh, and poured a glass of red wine.  Or two.

Ravioli…..check!

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