I have to apologise to my readers who are actually in possession of Ottolenghi‘s earthshatteringly wonderful cookery book Plenty (probably most of you) and who must be very bored by me currently obsessing about this book.
But let me tell you – I am in love and here the reasons why this recipe collection stole my heart like none before.
1. Everything I cook from Plenty turns out delicious –it doesn’t only taste great but also looks rather pretty and very close to how it is supposed to look. This I don’t attribute to my amazing cooking skills (because amazing they are not) but to the very easily understandable and logical description of work processes in this book.
2. The recipes use the most attractive ingredients –aromatic herbs,exotic spices,fresh vegetables and tangy fruit and combine them in unusual but all the more successful ways. Not for a second you miss the meat or seafood.
3. What you cook is also healthy,exactly what you need for frugal February.
4. Last but not least Y. Ottolenghi persuaded me with this beautiful recipe of lemon and goat’s cheese ravioli to attempt the first fresh pasta of my life. And,ladies and gentlemen,I succeeded! *beamingproudly*
I don’t want to boast,but if I was served this dish in a restaurant I would be more than happy. The dominating flavours are these of the lemon zest and the crushed pink peppercorns,the goat’s cheese serving as a vehicle to let these flavours take centre stage. I did not have tarragon as suggested in the original recipe. Using basil instead worked,however,tarragon might have been even more outstanding.
Lemon and goat’s cheese ravioli
Amount: 4 people as starter,2 as a main
Cooking Time: it took me hours but if you have a pasta machine and some dexterity it might be around 60 min
For the pasta dough
- 3 eggs
- 330 g of OO flour and more for rolling
- ½ Tablespoon tumeric
- grated zest of 3 untreated lemons
- 3 Tablespoons of olive oil
(apparently you also need semolina but I don’t know for what so I leave it out)
For the Filling
- 300 g creamy and mild goat’s cheese
- a pinch of sea salt (depending on how salty the goat’s cheese is)
- a pinch of chilli flakes
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 egg white,beaten
2 tablespoons of crushed pink peppercorns
grated zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon of chopped tarragon (I used basil instead)
Rapeseed oil (I bought Grapeseed oil by mistake and used olive oil,was fine)
- First,mix the oil and the eggs. Put the flour,the tumeric and the lemon zest in a food processor,add the oil/egg mix and there we go,most of the work is done! Blend into a crumbly dough (add more flour or oil if necessary).
- Once the dough has developed smooth consistency (I needed to use my hands too),divide into 4 thick rectangular blocks. Wrap these in clingfilm and chill for 30 minutes to 2 hours. (If you are pressed for time,just put them into the freezer for 10 minutes).
- Now the hard work. Dust the work surface with flour. Take a piece of dough and flatten with rolling pin. Set a pasta machine to its widest setting and pass through. Repeat,narrowing the setting a notch each time,until you reach the lowest setting. Place pasta sheets flat under a moist towel,so they don’t dry out.
(If you don’t have a pasta machine,despair not! I just worked very hard with the rolling pin to get thin sheets,using masses of flour so they wouldn’t stick to the work surface).
- Now the filling: crush all the ingredients together using a fork,apart from the egg white. Beat the egg white.
- Use a pastry cutter (if you are in the possession of something so fancy) or the rim of a glass to stamp out pasta circles of roughly 7 cm in diameter.
- Brush each with egg white and place a heaped teaspoon of filling in its centre. Place another disc on top and,with fingers dipped in flour,squeeze out any air as you bring the edges of the discs together. You should end up with a pillow-shaped centre surrounded by a 1cm edge. Tighten the edges until you can’t see a seam. Repeat with the rest of the dough,place the ravioli on a tray sprinkled with flour,and leave to dry for 15 minutes. Cover with cling film and refrigerate for a day or two
- To serve,bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Cook the pasta for two to three minutes,until al dente,drain and divide between four plates.
- Sprinkle with pink peppercorns,tarragon (or basil) and lemon zest. Drizzle with rapeseed oil (or olive oil),add salt and serve piping hot.