Sunday, 8 May 2011

Home-made Pasta

In a relationship compromise is key! Joe, perhaps as he heralds from Malta is a huge pasta fan, in fact all things ricotta and carbs! Myself, perhaps heralding from India I much prefer spice, pulses and veg. In fact pasta make me sleepy. So I often find myself at mealtimes saying, "Oh but Joe we always have pasta!" In fact we rarely do because I moan about it and do most of the cooking, so in the spirit of compromise and with our impending nuptials I decided to make an extra special pasta dish for my man. It was especially important to make him a nice meal as for the past 7 months he has been working away. I made goats cheese & lemon ravioli with a chilli butter.


I cook like a crazy alchemist so my measurements sometimes veer towards "a bunch of" and "some". What can I say as soon as I get offered a book deal I will get better, I promise! Until then bare with me and I will do my best.

For the Pasta Dough:

300g '00' pasta flour
a pinch of saffron, soaked in a tiny bit of water
3 free range egg yolks
a drop of olive oil
the zest of 3 lemons

For the filling:

3 heaped tablespoons of soft goats cheese
salt and pepper
a healthy pinch of chilli flakes (less if you are fire shy)
1 free range egg, beaten.

To Serve:

the juice and zest of 1 lemon
a knob of butter
a mini pinch of chilli flakes
a couple of pinches of crushed mixed peppercorns
freshly chopped tarragon, flat leaf parsley & lemon thyme leaves

Method:

1. Start by making a well in the centre of the pasta flour. Pop all of the ingredients into the centre and mix well. The consistency should be slightly springy and not too wet. If it is too wet add more flour, and conversly if the mix is too dry add more oil. When the dough is mixed wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge overnight. Trust me the chilling process makes a difference.

2. Mix all of the filling ingredients together in a bowl and leave to chill whist you roll out the dough. 

Now here is a note on pasta machines, I don't have one, in fact I don't even own a rolling pin at the moment. In fact I used an empty wine bottle. I am certain that the pasta would have been thinner with a pasta machine but hand rolling can be just as effective. The dough is stronger that pastry so you can really be firm with it, and remember they made pasta before they made pasta machines so save the cash for shoes.

3. Roll the pasta dough and cut into an even number of circles. The size is up to you; I used the top of a wine glass.

4. Fill the ravioli, don't over fill! Wet the edges with a little water and press the top down. Once you have filled the pasta leave in the fridge uncovered to dry out for at least an hour.

5. For the sauce melt the butter in with the rest of the ingredients, melt but don't burn the butter. Meanwhile you should have been boiling the pasta in salted water. They should take about 5 mins. They will change in colour and start floating to the top when they are done.

6. Drain the ravioli and drizzle the butter over it. Eat with friends or loved ones, wine and garlic bread!

The finished product!


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