Try It Fresh
I really don’t know what got into me last night. I mean, one minute I’m staring absentmindedly at a large bag of okra in my fridge and the next I’m rolling out homemade pasta dough with a wine bottle.
Someone help me. Please.
I’ve been wanting to make homemade pasta for a while now though, to show y’all how easy it really is! I don’t have a fancy pasta machine, a rolling pin, a dishwasher or a highly functioning air conditioning unit (okay, disregard the last two for the sake of this post but not for my sanity) so all I’m saying is that if I can make homemade goat cheese ravioli on a whim, so can you!
Granted, they’re rustic. But who cares? They’re beautiful because you made them with your very own blood, sweat and tears. Fo sho’.
First, let’s start with the pasta dough itself.
Disregard one of those eggs. I got a bit ahead of myself.
In all honesty though, pasta dough is SUPER simple. I mean, all you need is flour, an egg and a pinch of salt.
I mean, technically you could go all fancy and get crazy with some olive oil and semolina flour but there’s nothing wrong with keeping things simple. The amounts I’m about to show you will only feed one person, pretty much. It’s easy to double or triple though depending on your crowd and motivation.
Ready? Let’s go. Measure out three fourths of a cup of flour and add a pinch of salt
Now dump the flour on the counter….
And form a little well in the center!
Crack your egg into the cute little well:
Anyways. Start mixing the flour and egg with your fingers gently….pulling in flour from the sides when you need it.
It will kinda look like scrambled eggs.
Once you have worked pretty much all the flour into the egg, knead the ball of dough until it’s smooth and elastic. It should look like this:
If it’s sticky, just add a bit more flour. You want it to be smooth but not too dry. Now, set it on a plate and cover with a damp paper towel. Let your dough baby rest for about forty five minutes so the gluten has time to relax. This will make it a ton easier to roll out!
While that’s resting, make the filling! The theme is simple today so we are sticking with the classics:
MMMmmmmmmm goat cheese, how I adore you!
Start by chopping your shallot and garlic. Shallots are pretty much like baby onions (refer here
to see how I chop mine) but they have a really intense flavor and are used a lot in French cuisine. I love ’em!
After chopping, I like to give them a good WACK so they’re no big chunks of shallot left.
Saute both the shallot and the garlic in a bit of olive oil over medium/low heat.
I know I’ve said it a thousand times, but be careful not to burn your garlic! You just want to soften the shallot and for the garlic to start to turn very, very, VERY lightly golden. Then, take the pan off the stove and mix the shallot and garlic into two big tablespoons of goat cheese (remember, this just serves one!).
Yummy. That is all.
Set it aside and get ready to roll out your dough because clearly it’s been forty five minutes.
If you’re normal, sane or have a life you will most likely use a rolling pin or, better yet, a pasta maker for this next step.
Feel the burn. Oh yes.
You want to get the dough really, really thin. Like, really thin. So thin you can almost see through it. Once you have it, trim away the sides of the circle so you have a nice big rectangle (square?).
And cut that square into two, length-wise.
Perfecto! Now get your filling and drop three even amounts down the center of one of the rectangles.
Wet the edges of the dough with water and gently layer on the other piece, pressing down lightly.
Press down to seal the edges—this is probably the most important step because if you don’t reallyyyy seal the edges, when you cook these suckers all the goat cheese will leak out the sides.
Cut about a fourth of an inch past the cheese so you have three perfect (rustic?) little ravioli.
Now wipe the sweat from your brow, boil a large pot of water and dunk them in, cooking just like you would regular pasta.
After doing this a few times you sort of get a feel for when they’re done because it can be hard to tell. Mine boiled for about six minutes until I figured they were done. They should turn a pale golden color and be very light. You’ll get it!
When they’re done, drain and top with sauce, browned butter, sea salt or whatever. I just topped mine with a little extra virgin olive oil, some freshly grated Parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of black pepper.
Voila!! Fresh pasta was easier than you ever thought possible, huh? Try it!
Homemade Goat Cheese Ravioli for One
For the dough:
3/4 cup flour
pinch of salt
Working on your counter, make a well in the flour and in the well crack the egg. Gently use your fingers to add the flour to the egg—it will look somewhat like scrambled eggs at this point. Keep working the dough until it becomes a smooth elastic ball. Once there, cover the dough ball with a damp paper towel and let rest for about forty five minutes so the gluten can relax.
Roll out dough with a rolling pin, a pasta maker or a wine bottle very very thin. Prepare filling.
2 tbsp fresh goat cheese
1/2 shallot, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
pinch of salt
Saute the shallot and garlic in the oil over medium/low heat for about five minutes, or until the shallot is tender and the garlic is turning golden. Remove from heat and combine with the goat cheese and the pinch of salt, forming a smooth cheesy filling.
Moving back to the dough, put three dollops of filling in one of the dough strips. Cover with the other strip and press down along the edges to seal. Cut three ravioli and seal all the edges before cooking in boiling water like you would normal pasta.
Cook ravioli for about six to seven minutes or until pale golden and light. Remove with a slotted spoon and serve with marina sauce or olive oil and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.