Making your own homemade ravioli is surprisingly easy to do, but it’s quite time-consuming (a couple of hours at least) so definitely more of a weekend activity than a rushed mid-week recipe. The first time is rarely perfect (don’t be upset if your ravioli is a little tough or falls apart too easy), but after you’ve made these once then it becomes much quicker and easier each time after that. I love this sweet potato and goats cheese filling (I even use it as a dip sometimes, it’s so moreish!), and the fun thing is that once you’ve got the hang of these then you can invent any filling you like – try ricotta and spinach, for example. The perfect lazy Sunday afternoon activity, and a real show-stopper for dinner parties or to impress friends and family. You will need a pasta maker (this one is just £25), and a ravioli press (this one is £12.50) – they are definitely worth the investment and they also make a great gift for foodies.
To feed 4 people, you will need:
- 2 sweet potatoes (or 1 large pumpkin), peeled and chopped into small cubes
- 150g crumbled soft goats cheese
- 2 tablespoons of pumpkin seeds (optional), plus extra to serve
- 1 red onion, peeled and sliced
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
- chilli oil, to serve
- Parmesan, to serve
- 300g ’00’ pasta flour, plus extra for kneading and dusting (important to get the right one!!)
- 3 large eggs
1. Start with the pasta dough. Place the flour and a pinch of salt in a food processor and crack in the eggs. Pulse until mixture forms sticky-looking crumbs, then turn the mixture out onto a lightly floured surface and bring together to form a firm dough. You can also mix it by hand by cracking the eggs into the pile of flour, and kneading them together.
2. Knead the dough for 5 minutes until the dough feels smooth, then wrap in cling film and chill for 30 mins.
3. Whilst the dough is chilling, fry the red onion in a little olive oil together with the balsamic vinegar and sugar until sweet and cooked.
4. Steam or boil the sweet potato or pumpkin pieces, then mash. Add the caramelised red onion and crumble in the goats cheese and mix together – use a blender or hand blender to get a silky smooth result. Add a handful of your finely chopped pumpkin seeds, if using. Set aside.
5. Scatter some flour over your work surface and remove the dough from the fridge. Cut the dough into quarters, then roll out each piece using the pasta machine. Dust with flour as you go and move it down a notch onto a thinner setting every second roll. Continue until you get to the penultimate setting. If you don’t have a machine, use a heavy rolling pin to roll the dough as thinly as possible.
6. Sprinkle some flour over the ravioli tray, then lay a sheet of thinly rolled out pasta dough over the top. Using a teaspoon, spoon the filling into each ravioli pocket so that they are full to the top but not heaped. Dampen the edges with water, then sandwich another round on top. Use your fingertips to seal the edges, trying to expel all the air as you go. Use the rolling pin over the top to separate the ravioli pieces. Set the pieces aside on your floured surface and keep going until you run out of dough.
7. Bring a pan of salted water to simmer and gently lower the ravioli pieces into the water using a slotted spoon. Be careful not to bring the water to a rolling boil as the bubbles are likely to split the ravioli. Boil them for 4 – 5 minutes, then drain. Serve with a little chilli oil, grated Parmesan and leftover pumpkin seeds!