Passover begins tomorrow, which means my diet becomes somewhat limited for a week. Traditionally, Jewish people avoid any flour which comes from wheat, barley, oats, spelt, or rye. So, that rules out all bread, pasta, cookies, crackers, cereal, etc. Most Jews also abstain from rice, corn, and legumes, though this varies based on ancestry and family tradition.
Anyway, I decided it was a good day to break out the pasta machine. In the past, I have only made really large batches, either for entertaining, or freezing and taking out enough for dinner when we want it. Today I cut my dough recipe in half and made enough for dinner for two. Pasta dough can be tricky to work with, and I highly recommend investing in a pasta roller. I have a manual (hand-crank) machine that does the trick, and I think it was 30 or 40 bucks. If you are lucky enough to own the KA mixer, there is a pasta-rolling attachment you can get. For ravioli, I use a mold that I purchased at Sur la Table. I love this piece of equipment, it makes perfectly filled ravioli, 12 at a time!
We went to TJ’s today, so of course I had to get more of that light goat cheese, and of course I wanted to use it in my ravioli. I made a chicken, spinach, and goat cheese ravioli by poaching a chicken breast, then processing it with some thawed frozen spinch and about 2.5 oz of the goat cheese. I also added salt, pepper, and a little broth to thin it out. It would also have been good with additional seasonings like garlic or crushed red pepper, but since I was going to serve with pesto, I didn’t want to overdo it (my homemade pesto is pretty intense!). A little trick with pesto to lower that fat content. I actually make mine with very little evoo, and it’s a pretty thick consistency. Then I thin it out with chicken broth to serve as a pasta sauce. Today I diced 3 plum tomatoes, sauteed them for a couple minutes, then added some broth and brought to a boil to cook the tomatoes, and let it simmer while the ravioli cooked. When I was about ready to serve, I stirred in 1/4 cup of my thick pesto. Here’s a recipe for pesto:
1/2 cup toasted pine nutes
4 cups fresh basil leaves
3/4 cup freshly grated pecorino romano
2 cloves of garlic
salt and pepper
juice of half a lemon
Combine everything but the evoo in food processor and pulse till finely chopped. With machine running, drizzle in evoo till it reaches your desired consistency. So easy and delicious!