If you are looking to impress or treat someone special, this meal will do it. The mixture of cheesy goodness, the acid of the lemon zest and crunch of the pine nuts creates a simply stunning meal. For birthdays or anniversaries, with a glass of crisp white wine, this is a winner.
Try clarified butter for cooking, for a higher smoke point. Put a butter block in a glad bag and leave in a pot of hot water until melted. Chill in the fridge until solid, and then wash off the white milk solids.
3 cups flour
300g ricotta cheese
150g creamy feta cheese
2/3 cup finely grated parmesan cheese, plus extra to serve
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1½ tsp finely chopped tarragon
Sea salt & cracked black pepper
375g of homemade pasta dough
2½ tbsp pine nuts
80g Westgold butter
24 fresh sage leaves
100g baby spinach leaves
Note: For best results, use a pasta machine.
Mix eggs in a bowl using a fork. Then add the flour.
With your hands mix the ingredients together until flour disappears. If the mixture is wet you can slowly add a little more flour. On the other hand if it’s too dry you can add a few drops of water.
When you are happy with the mixture (it should be a stiff dough) place the dough onto a lightly floured bench/board and knead until smooth and elastic. This should take approximately 3-4 minutes.
Roll the dough into a ball and cover with a damp tea towel or cling wrap. Set aside on the bench for ½ hour.
Combine all of the cheeses, one egg, the lemon zest and tarragon into a bowl. Season and mix well.
Dust your pasta dough and benchtop with flour. Using your hands, form the dough into a rectangle and roll it through the pasta machine, two or three times. Start rolling at the machine's widest setting, each time gradually reducing the setting before rolling the dough through again, 2 or 3 times. Continue until the machine is at its narrowest setting. The dough should be about 1mm thick.
Cut your pasta into 32 rounds using a cookie cutter or cup.
Lay out 16 of the rounds and divide the cheese mixture between them, placing a spoonful in the middle, leaving a 2cm border around the edges.
Whisk the remaining egg with a fork in a small bowl. Brush edges of the pasta rounds with eggwash. Top with remaining rounds and press edges together to seal, removing any air as you go. Crimp the edges well, using the prongs of a fork.
Bring a saucepan of very heavily salted water to boil. Cook the ravioli for 3 mins. Drain, but reserve two tablespoons of the pasta water to add to your sauce.
Toast pine nuts in a dry frying pan over medium-high heat for two minutes, tossing regularly. Add the Westgold butter to the pan, cook for 2 mins until starting to turn golden. Add sage leaves, and continue to cook for 30 to 60 secs until sage leaves have turned crisp and the butter is golden brown. Stir through the two tablespoons of reserved pasta water.
Divide the baby spinach into bowls, top each pile with four ravioli and drizzle with beurre noisette. Season and sprinkle with grated parmesan.
Pasta Dough Tips:
Kneading the dough with vigour until smooth (although hard work) will give the best results.
Don’t overdo the rolling in the pasta machine.
When cooking homemade pasta, drain and handle gently and it is more fragile than dry pasta.
Homemade pasta requires patience; don’t give up after your first go, practice makes perfect.