Homemade ravioli is an act, more than the food itself, that appeals to me the most. I have started making my own pasta since my trip to Tuscany last fall. It was pivotal; I’d never look at pasta the same way. I haven’t shopped for any store-bought pasta ever since. Making fresh pasta is not as intimidating as I’ve thought. You do get better at it with practice. Fresh pasta is irresistible; they taste so much better. Best of all, I can’t be more excited about the flexibility and opportunity of experimenting with different flours (I like using rye) to make any type of pasta I want. More whole grain flour, less nutritionally empty white flour, for a more healthful diet. If you are a bread baker, your dough hand and mind would be put to good use.
To fill the ravioli, you can really get creative with the ingredients: vegetables or seafood or leftovers. Anything goes.
Since you put in the time to labor on the dough, there is no need to make a heavy sauce to cover up the clean taste of the soft goat cheese ravioli. The sauce is a simple combination of grapeseed oil, pink peppercorns, chopped tarragon and a dash of lemon zest and juice. You really don’t need much for the homemade handcrafted ravioli to shine.
This recipe is another winner from Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi. The dough comes together quickly in a food processor, mixing olive oil, eggs, “00” pasta flour, ground turmeric and lemon zest. See the cheat sheet below for details. It is an enriched dough using olive oil, instead of water. The dough is easier and less sticky to handle than a typical pasta dough. I think the dough may need an additional one or two tablespoons of water, since I’ve found it to be on the stiffer side. May be it’s winter and my kitchen is dry. The rule of the thumb: If the dough is too dry, add some water. If it is too soft, add some flour. You aim for a smooth and elastic dough that rolls out effortlessly through the machine. (For what it does and the fun of making pasta, the pasta machine is worth every penny.)
The turmeric deepens the yellow tone of the pasta and a beautiful yellow, I must say. The zesty lemon and herbaceous tarragon are always wonderful companions to any pasta dish. The red pink peppercorns add a bright dramatic color. You can use crushed red pepper if you don’t have pink peppercorns on hand.
|Finished with pink peppercorns, tarragon, grapeseed oil, lemon zest and juice|