Sunday, October 20, 2013

goat cheese and spinach ravioli with brown butter scallions and parmesan

I love cheese. 

In particular, I reallyreally love goat cheese, pretty much any which way. I've probably mentioned this before. 

When I babysit Chester for my parents, I take full advantage of having an awesome kitchen at my disposal (and I make sure to clean up after myself too, dad, if you're reading this). 

How are these related? Is there a point here?

Why yes, there is. 

After seeing a picture while at the house of fresh ravioli filled with goat cheese and butternut squash, I decided I just had to have some. Since there was no butternut squash around (seriously? Get your act together grocery store! It's fall, otherwise known as butternut squash season), I settled for spinach instead. 

If you haven't made pasta before, it's super easy and rewarding! Even if you don't have a pasta roller, I promise. I used a rolling pin this time around since I don't carry my pasta roller around with me in case I decide to make pasta on a whim. It just doesn't quite fit in my purse. 

This pasta was nice and light, but also a substantial meal. Because, cheese. And butter. You can never have enough brown butter. Trust me on that one. 


Goat cheese and spinach ravioli with brown butter scallions and Parmesan (serves 2-4)

4 ounces of soft goat cheese
2 cups fresh spinach (you could probably sub about 1/2-1 cup frozen spinach and thaw it)
1-1.5 cups flower, plus extra for dusting
2 eggs
2 tablespoons olive oil
1-2 tablespoons water, more if necessary
2-3 tablespoons butter
3-4 chopped scallions
Pinch of salt (for the pasta dough)
Salt and pepper, to taste

Measure flour into a small mixing bowl. Add eggs, salt, and olive oil, stir to combine. If the mix is too dry, add water slowly, one tablespoon at a time. The end result should be similar to pizza dough. Let it rest while you make the filling. 

In the pot you plan on using for the pasta, bring a few inches of water to a boil. Drop the spinach in (if you're using fresh) and let it cook for just a minute or two, enough to wilt it. Drain the spinach on a paper towel, and then chop into small pieces. Mix spinach into goat cheese, making sure it's well incorporated. It won't take long and should look like spinach dip. Salt and pepper if necessary and set aside. 

Break the dough into four smaller pieces, dust a cutting board with flour and roll one piece out until the dough is pretty thin. You're looking for something thinner than pie crust, but not see-through. Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut the dough into 1.5"ish squares (it really depends on your personal preference). 

Spoon a small dollop of filling onto half of your squares (not all of them, because then you have nothing to use for tops to the ravioli. Not like I made that mistake...). Dab a little water around all four sides of each piece with filling on it, line up another square on top, and lightly press the two together. The water makes sure they stick. Repeat with the remaining filling and pieces dough. 

Bring a pot of salted water (I used the spinach water. Yay extra nutrients!) to a boil and carefully drop the ravioli in, in batches. I cooked about 6-8 pieces at a time so as not to crowd the pot. The pasta will float when done, about 2-3 minutes. 

While cooking the pasta, melt butter in a large pan over medium heat, letting it brown. Once it's begun to brown, add scallions and sauté a couple minutes. Drop cooked ravioli into the pan and let it pick up the butter and maybe even brown a bit, another 1-2 minutes. Transfer pasta to a plate and garnish with Parmesan, and a scallion tied in a knot if you're fancy/crazy. Serve immediately!

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