Monday, 11 February 2013

Pasta perfect...

We were away for the weekend, visiting family - it was lovely to spend time together and very relaxing.  I had made my niece a birthday cake which will feature in one of my next posts but for today I'll write about something my previous posts already touched on: Valentine's Day!

I know people who love it, I know plenty of people who hate it...I guess I am somewhere in the middle.  It's lovely to do something nice and thoughtful for someone but being bombarded with lots of overpriced, fixed menus in restaurants is not my idea of fun or romance.  Maybe making something from scratch is a great way of showing someone you care - not everyone will have the time or inclination for this on 14th February but maybe another day...?

Homemade ravioli...
When this photo was taken a couple of weeks ago, I had never made my own pasta before.  But - in my ever persistent quest to find recipes for this blog - I simply had to give it a go.  I should mention that Mr Happy Larder makes fabulous pasta and his homemade lasagne is to die for (I will sneak a picture & the recipe in when he's not looking ;-)).

So I made ravioli and whilst this recipe does not fall into the category "quick", it still ticks all the boxes for "much easier than I thought it would be".  Plus: you don't need any expensive equipment for this either - just a rolling pin (and if you don't have one of those, then a large empty bottle will also do the trick).  So, here it goes: homemade ravioli with a mushroom filling...and there is a delicious sauce for which you will also find the recipe below.  Enjoy! 

Homemade Ravioli with a Mushroom & Goat's Cheese filling


For the pasta:
160g flour (ideally '00' flour but plain will also do - I used plain)
2 egg yolks
a little salt
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp water

For the filling:
1 tsp olive oil
75g mushrooms, cleaned and finely chopped
1/2 small onion
1 small clove of garlic
a sprinkle of dried thyme
35g goat's cheese
a little nutmeg, salt & pepper


For the dough:
  1. In a bowl, mix the flour with the salt and make a little well in the middle.
  2. Add the egg yolks, olive oil and water into the well and mix the ingredients together.
  3. Now knead the dough for 10 - 15 minutes - you will feel the texture change and getting more elastic and subtle.
  4. Form the dough into a ball, wrap in cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for an hour.
For the filling:
  1. In a pan, heat the oil, then add the onion, garlic and mushrooms to fry for 2 - 3 minutes.
  2. Now add the thyme, nutmeg and salt & pepper, cooking for a further few minutes.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat and spoon the mix into a bowl, stirring in the goat's cheese whilst the mix is still hot.
  4. Now leave the filling to cool until the pasta dough is ready to roll out.

Making & filling the ravioli:
You can also do this by rolling out two sheets of pasta, putting tsp-size dollops on one of them & then covering it with the 2nd sheet but I found the following easier:
  1. Divide the dough into 12 - 14 balls and roll each out individually to a circle of around 1mm -2mm thickness.
  2. Put a teaspoon of filling onto one half of the circle.
  3. With a pastry brush, brush a little cold water all around the edge of the circle.
  4. Now fold the second half of the circle over the one with the filling, creating a half moon shape.
  5. With a fork. press down around the edge, making sure that all the air is released from the little half moon pocket.
  6. Repeat for the rest of the dough - you should end up with 12 - 14 filled ravioli.
  7. Bring a saucepan with plenty of water and a bit of salt to the boil.
  8. Reduce the heat and with a slotted spoon, put the ravioli into the hot water.
  9. These only need to cook for around 4 minutes, so make sure you either get all the ravioli into the water quickly or cook a couple at a time, keeping the cooked ones warm on a plate.

Beurre Blanc Sauce (serves 2)

Ok, this will not win "Slimmer of the Year" but for a treat or special occasion it should be allowed, shouldn't it? :-)

2 shallots, finely chopped
60ml white wine vinegar
60ml dry white wine
60ml water
125g/4½oz cold unsalted butter, cut into small chunks

  1. Place the shallots, vinegar, wine and water into a saucepan. Set over a moderate heat until almost no liquid remains (this is important as it will bring down the acidity of the sauce).
  2. Turn the heat down to a low setting and whisk in the butter one piece at a time, allowing each piece to melt before adding the next.  Once done, the sauce should be pale and have a thin, custard-like consistency. Keep warm until you have finished cooking the ravioli, then pour over the pasta.

    (Sauce recipe from BBC Good Food website)


  1. You could charge people big bucks for this one Kirsten if you decided to cater for Valentines Day. ;) Your husband must have really enjoyed it. Looks lovely.

    1. :-) thank you - we did enjoy these! I don't think we will be marking Valentine's Day (we don't usually) but we will definitely be making pasta again. Kirsten x

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you Amber! It was much easier to make than I thought :-)