I was rolling through the aisles of a local market a couple weeks ago when I spotted the fresh pasta section. I was drooling over a fresh goat cheese and herb ravioli. Until, that is, I saw the price. $9 for 12 raviolis. Are you kidding me? Back the truck up. I’m not paying 75 cents per single little ravioli. Heck, my pasta roller only cost $25. I could earn it back in ravioli alone. And so I did.
I had no recipe. I just collected some of the herbs we had received in our CSA and pureed them with some goat cheese cut with cream cheese. I scooped that into some big raviolis and mixed up a sauce out of what I could pull out of the cabinet in the 3 minutes the ravioli was cooking. The result – amazing. My husband wolfed them down, raving the entire time about how good they were. My husband does not rave. To say something is “ok” is about as high a compliment as he gives. So for him to be saying “this is so good! This is amazing!” as he took every bite is unprecedented. The best part – this recipe yielded about 30 big ravioli. We ate about half in one meal and I froze the rest. But let’s do some math, shall we? 30 ravioli at a market price of 75 cents each = $22.50. 6 oz of goat cheese + 8 oz cream cheese = $9.61.
I think I came out ahead in the mix. Two meals for the price of one!
Goat Cheese and Herb Ravioli
For the pasta dough:
2 c AP flour
Pinch Kosher salt
1 T olive oil
Combine all the ingredients in an electric mixer and knead with the dough hook until the dough is smooth and supple. Or to mix by hand, mound the flour and pinch of salt on the counter. Make a well in the center of the flour. Put the eggs and olive oil in the well and mix with a fork, slowly drawing in the flour until everything is incorporated. Knead for a few minutes until the dough is supple, dusting the counter with more flour if the dough starts to stick. Add a teaspoon or two of water if necessary.Regardless of the mixing method, cover the dough with a towel and allow to rest for at least 30 minutes before rolling.
For the filling:
Generous 1/2 c fresh herbs of your choosing. I used half parsley and half cilantro, because that’s what I had. Basil would also be a great pick.
6 oz goat cheese, softened
8 oz cream cheese, softened
In a food processor, pulse the herbs until they are finely minced. Add the softened cream cheese and goat cheese and pulse until the cheese becomes smooth and incorporates all the herbs.
To make the ravioli, roll sheets of pasta to a thin, but not paper thin, level. On my machine, the pasta was rolled to #3 out of 7. Lay one sheet down on the counter. Place 1 t dollops of filling 2″ apart on the sheet of pasta. With a pastry brush, brush water around each dot of filling. Place the second sheet of pasta over top of the first. Carefully run your fingers around each dot of filling, pushing any air bubbles out and sealing the two sheets of dough together. With a pizza cutter (or ravioli cutter, if you have one) cut the dough into uniform squares, leaving enough room around each dot of filling so that the seal won’t break. Lay the ravioli on a cornmeal dusted cookie sheet and continue working until dough and filling are all formed.
To cook, bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Very gently drop the raviolis in one by one. Boil until they float – about 3 minutes. Scoop them out with a slotted spoon and transfer to a plate.
To freeze, lay the raviolis out on a cookie sheet and put in the freezer. Once they freeze (4-6 hours, or overnight), gather them up and put them in a zip-top bag.
Crispy Garlic Sauce
3 T unsalted butter
3 large cloves garlic, minced
In a small sauce pan, melt the butter over medium heat. When it is melted, but not yet brown, add the minced garlic. Continue to cook, stirring, until the butter and garlic both brown – about 3 minutes. Do not walk away from this, do not turn your head. Garlic has a very very very small window between being flavorful and browned and just bitter. The garlic may not be uniformly brown, that’s ok. It’s better to have some undercooked garlic than overcooked and bitter pieces. Drizzle the butter over the raviolis and serve hot.