One of the greatest inventions know to (this) man is the pasta machine. My wife bought me an Imperia for Christmas and Ive been using it a couple of times a week to make fresh dough which is in a completely different league to anything Ive had before.
At the moment, Im trying to master ravioli and I seem to be making progress, thanks to the specially-designed cutters my missus bought me for my birthday. The filling here is goats cheese and bashed walnuts, but you could also try ricotta and pine nuts, or Philadelphia with hazelnuts. Or, actually, any soft cheese with nuts.
Half quantity of pasta dough (for recipe, click here)
For the filling
200g soft goats cheese
50g walnuts, bashed
1 tsp dried or fresh thyme
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Juice of half lemon
For the chilli-garlic butter
50 unsalted butter
3-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
1. Use a pasta machine to roll out the dough into 4 long thin sheets (see here for instructions).
2. Make the filling by putting all the ingredients into a bowl and mashing with a fork.
3. Use a teaspoon to place golf-ball sized portions of filling onto two of the pasta sheets, spaced a couple of centimetres apart.
4. Use a pastry brush to brush water onto the dough around the filling.
5. Drape the other dough sheets over the filling, then use the cup of your hand to press down and seal, ensuring there is no air left inside.
6. If you have a special ravioli cutter, place over the filled dough mounds and press down. If you dont have a cutter, use a sharp knife.
7. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the ravioli for approx. 3 mins, until the pasta is tender.
8. For the chilli-garlic butter, gently heat the butter in a small pan, taking care not to burn, then add the garlic and chillies and gently cook on the lowest possible heat for 3-4 mins, until the garlic and chilli have softened.
9. Serve the ravioli on large plates, drizzled with the butter sauce. Mop up the extra juice with some warmed ciabatta.