One thing that we’ve discovered during this time is that we love making our own pasta. I’m specifically in love with making ravioli which we learned all about in a recent class with Meryl of Pasta Social Club. From the moment the class started I was already thinking about my filling. As someone who has issues with cow’s milk cheeses (which are usually in every ravioli you’ll find both in the store and in restaurants) I was excited to try out a goat cheese filling (with a splash of Lactaid) and some of the Boxwood Basil from our little herb garden.
This is the first year that we’ve grown boxwood basil, and I’m sure you’ve already guess what I’m going to say next, yes, I’m absolutely obsessed with boxwood basil now. It added a mild (and yet distinct) flavor profile to our filling and I’m looking forward to trying it in more dishes in future.
Now I will warn you that making ravioli can take an entire afternoon (albeit it’s a very fun way to spend an afternoon) so if you’re wanting to making ravioli for a weeknight dinner, it’s a good idea to make your ravioli in advance and freeze them.
Now for pasta presses. There are two options, one is the hand cranked version, and the other (that we used) is the KitchenAid Mixer attachment.
Handmade Ravioli with Goat Cheese & Boxwood Basil
- 400 grams (3 1/4 cups) 00 flour or all-purpose flour
- 50 grams (1/4 cup) semolina or semola rimacinata flour
- 255 grams egg (about 4 whole eggs and 2-3 egg yolks, depending on the size of your eggs.)
- Semolina flour, for dusting
Goat Cheese Filling
- 6 oz Goat Cheese
- 1 1/2 tbsp Milk
- 2-3 tbsp boxwood Basil (de/stemmed and washed)
Make your pasta dough
- In bowl, add flour + semola or semolina (the semolina is what gives the dough more structure and bite)
- Using the well method, make a fist and go down to the bottom of the bowl and make a big hole
- In a separate bowl, whisk your eggs together
- Add to the bowl (in the well) slowly whisking the flour into eggs with fork (egg dough will be firm, but you want to develop that gluten!)
- You will not be able to get all of the flour in with the fork, so switch to using your hands, lifting up loose flour and tap & smoosh into the egg. If it gets sticky, smoosh more flour. Lift and fold into center and repeat.
- Transfer dough to board/flat surface
- Take heel of hand and stretch dough forward to stretch. Fold over onto itself 2-3 times, rotate 90 degrees and do the same. Be sure to use the heel of your hands and roll forward to knead the dough using your entire weight (it’s not from your wrists, it’s from the balls of your feet) Knead for up to twenty minutes until the dough springs back to the touch.
- Wrap tightly in plastic wrap or damp cloth and place in the refrigerator.
Make your goat cheese/Basil Filling
- Add 6-7 ounces of goat cheese to a bowl, allow to come to room temperature before mixing in 1 1/2 tsp of milk to give the goat cheese a creamier texture. Mix in 2-3 tbsp boxwood basil (or minced basil).
- Fill piping bag with goat cheese filling and put the bag in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Make your ravioli
- After the dough has rested (up to 1-3 hours… ie you can make the dough in the morning and make the ravioli later) Cut 1/3 of the dough off with a pastry cutter, wrap up remaining dough and set aside.
- Flatten out with hands into an oblong shape
- Put into pasta machine with tapered end first. That will be a setting of 1 with the KitchenAid pasta attachment. Fold ends into center and feed into machine so that it looks like an envelope as you roll through. (make sure to put it through lengthwise, as this will determine the width of your dough.
- Go through machine again 2,4,6,7 each setting once. Your dough should be thin, but not too thin. Transfer back to wooden cutting board and cut off uneven ends with a pastry cutter.
- Fold over dough (in half) and press on one edge to get a defined fold, and then lift up the ‘top’ of the dough and lay to the side in a folded pile.
- Light tap outline of cutter (the 2 1/2 inch cutter is best) leaving 1/4 inch between each circle
- Pipe filling in center of circle (piping vertically. Less filling is more because you want to be able to close up your ravioli. So use a coin sized amount (about 1 1/2 to 2 tsp filing)
- Drip finger in water and trace around the inside of circle and gently cover with pasta sheet.
- Lift closest edge and trace around filling and press to edge (to see defined lumps of filling)
- Use blunt side of cookie cutter and circle around the filling. Line up cookie cutter to cut and push down/twist
- Pinch all edges firmly closed and add pasta to cooking sheet that has been dusted with semolina
- If you are cooking them the same day put them in the freezer/fridge until you cook them.
Cooking your pasta
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil
- Cook ravioli for 10 minutes until they float to the surface and only have a slight bit of ‘tooth’
- Top with desired sauce. We went with a delicious pesto!