Goat cheese and spinach ravioli with garlic butter sauce

 
I’ve done it!  Finally.  
 
I have attempted homemade ravioli several times before, but it has never turned out right.  The pasta always turns out tough and a little gummy instead of soft and chewy like pasta is supposed to be, but I have found the secret. I made it 3 times before sharing it, just to be sure it was true and not a crazy fluke.  

Olive oil.  Add oil to your pasta dough.  Makes it nice and tender, not gummy like mine was.  I know, it’s not difficult, but it has solved the mystery in my mind and has made life so happy.

Goat cheese and spinach ravioli with garlic butter sauce
Serves 4
Adapted from Former Chef

For the pasta dough:
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 eggs at room temperature
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Pinch of salt
Water

For the filling:
4 oz goat cheese
4 oz ricotta cheese
3.5 oz cooked spinach
1/4 tsp nutmeg

For the sauce:
4 Tbsp. butter
1 shallot
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup white wine
3/4 cup milk or cream
Truffle oil

Measure flour into a bowl and create a well in the center with your hands.  Crack 2 eggs into the well, drizzle in the olive oil, and sprinkle in the salt.

Take a fork and break up the eggs, gradually mixing flour into the middle.  When this becomes hard to do with a fork, I switch to using my hands to mix.  My dough never comes fully together without water, so add 1-3 Tbsp water until you are able to form the dough into a soft (but not sticky) ball.  Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and allow it to rest for 30 minutes.  Be patient!

In the meantime, mix up your filling.  Cook the spinach (or thaw if you use frozen like me) and squeeze all the water out with a paper towel.  Give the spinach a good chopping.

Put the goat cheese, ricotta, spinach, and nutmeg in a bowl and mix it all together.

Now for the fun part.  Get out your pasta roller (I’ve attempted this with a rolling pin, and it works, but the pasta roller will let you eat at least an hour sooner – it’s a great tool) and tear off a hunk of your dough.  I usually work with a piece that looks like it would fit in a 1/4 measuring cup.  Be sure to cover the rest of your dough with plastic wrap while it’s not being used to keep it from drying out.

Flatten out your dough a bit, and run it through the widest setting, then the second widest, and so on until it is at the second thinnest setting (thin enough that the filling shines, but not so thin that the ravioli break open while cooking).  My thickest is 6, and I stop at 2.  Be sure to flour the bottom of your rolled-out dough before you put it on the counter to keep it from sticking.  Using a spoon or a piping bag, line up balls of filling on on edge of your dough.  I use about 1 Tbsp of filling per ravioli, but you can use more or less.

After you get your filling on, use a pastry brush to a light layer of water or beaten egg around each ball of filling to help the two dough layers to stick together.

Fold the other side of the dough over, pressing around each ball of filling to seal.

Use a pastry cutter, pizza cutter, cups, ravioli cutters, or whatever you have to cut out each ravioli.

Keep going.  Don’t let the precious ravioli stick to your counters!  Keep a layer of flour under them.

When you’re done rolling, filling, and cutting, bring a pot of salted water to a boil.  Don’t cook your pasta yet!  Make your sauce first.  Melt the butter in a pan, and add the diced shallot and garlic.

Cook for a minute, then add the white wine.  Simmer to reduce by half.  Add the milk or cream and simmer to reduce by one third or until at the desired thickness.

When you add the milk to your sauce, start cooking your ravioli.  You don’t want your hard work to get cold before your sauce is finished!  They only take a few minutes to cook, so watch them closely and remove when al dente.

Top with your sauce, and I added 1 teaspoon of white truffle oil per serving to make the dish extra special.  

Enjoy!
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