Halloween and October are coming slowly to the end and I have already uploaded my last post for the season a few days ago, saying farewell to the second month of Autumn. Sometimes I write my posts a few days from before and then I upload them and sometimes on the same day were I share with you more intimate feelings. The feelings of the moment I live. This post is one of “same day writing” posts. Today is October 24th in Cyprus, that third island of the Mediterranean, surrounded by endless blue waters and summer days all year long. But, as I have already told you in my previous posts, I am actually tired of this ongoing situation. Tired of the summer weather nearly all year long, tired of the endless sun, the temperature that is still going high – 35ºc for God’s sake – and those summer days 300 days a year! I missed the seasons changing. I missed Autumn and I miss Spring, two seasons we rarely have in this country. I missed the leafs falling and the smell of the wet ground, that grey sky, the ‘blues’ weather with the touch of melancholia, the view of raindrops on my window blurring the surroundings into a surrealist painting by Dali, the green trees in my yard… but most of all I missed cooking winter foods infused with intense smells, hand-made stocks and heavy sauces, herbs of all kind and meat that is available only on winter… partridges, hares, wild pig… with tasty side dishes and endless red wine.
But since is October 24th in Cyprus, I am going with the flow and I am cooking and posting a “milder” plate, closer to the Cyprus weather, and easier to make, homemade spinach and goat’s cheese ravioli, served in fresh cream, hoping that this will be my last post of that Cypriot weather.
Homemade pasta is always incredibly appealing to me especially when I am watching my favorite cooking programs on TV. From Jamie Oliver to Genaro and other favourite cooks and chefs. I was always admiring them and felt a bit jealous and although the recipe for homemade pasta it is as simple as, 100g of plain flour & one egg mix together, still I always thought it was something very difficult to make. I guess what made it look difficult was all those questions in my head; How will I create that ply pasta, how thick or how thin should be, should I use a special pasta machine or create it with the plaster, and if I am going to use that incredible pasta machine that my mother used to use ages ago but didn’t have the courtesy to anticipate that her daughter would need one day, where will I get one? And then was the filling, how easy is to fill your pasta, how will you separate them between them, how will you assemble it?
Oufff… it sounded such a difficult thing to be implemented and difficult thing to make and since I hate failures I was always avoiding to make homemade pasta. But then the day came to take the decision and so I did. I first bought a pasta machine online from Selfridges store and then I made sure to check many recipes in order to confirm the fact that, the creation of homemade pasta was 100g plain flour and 1 free-range egg, add together and ferment into a soft ball, separated with semolina so as it want stick when you want to give the shape of the desired pasta.
First I measure 300g of plain flour and then I made a hole in the middle where I broke the eggs and we simply ferment it into a soft ball. Although I had my new pasta machine ready, I founded it easiest and quickest to create the with the plaster. The rest was easy, while my helper was creating the pasta, I had created that tasty and delicious filling. We then created two even shape and size flat long pies (ply pasta) and I filled them with a teaspoon of goat’s cheese and spinach filling. I guessed the distance between them and then I covered them with the second ply pasta. I cut them with a pastry accessory and using a fork I assemble them together.
The truth is, unless you try something you have no clue how is it. Making homemade pasta was not as difficult as I thought but then again was not as easy as I it sounds. It needs experience and mistakes can happen, like overfilling some raviolis, or overflow from the ravioli, or the pie should be thinner or thicker but unless you try something you never know how it will be. Mistakes happen in order to learn and produce better, but still my homemade raviolis, with spinach and goat’s cheese filling, were the most tasty pasta I ever tasted in my entire life!
- 300g of plain good quality flour
- 3 fee-range eggs
- A generous pinch of Kosher salt
- 60g of salted butter
- 80ml pure olive oil
- 1 big red onion, finely chopped
- 3 spring onions, chopped
- 1 handful of, finely chopped dill
- A pinch of salt
- 800g of baby spinach
- 300g of excellent quality of goat’s cheese
- A few left overs of red onion, spring onion and dill
- 60g of salted butter
- 250ml of fresh cream
- First create the pasta by adding the eggs and salt in the flour. Mix well make a soft ball and use the plaster / or pasta machine to open the pasta ply.
- Once you have two even pasta plies about 1m long each place the oil and butter in a non stick or iron cast casserole and once hot pure in all the ingredients except the cheese.
- cook for ten minutes until soft.
- Remove and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Add the chèvre – goats cheese -and stir well until you get an even mixture. Feel free to try it, it is beyond tasty as it is.
- On the one pasta ply, add a tea spoon of the filling and allow 3,5cm approximately between them.
- Repeat until the pile is full. By the time the mixture is over you should have about 15 – 20 big raviolis.
- Now lift the second pasta ply and cover them. Using your palm vertically estimate each ravioli and separated them. Use one of this aceesory that we cut cookies square or round, about 2,5cm diameter, and cut each ravioli. Use a fork to firmly squeeze the sides so as they don’t open and spread while cooking.
- When finished, place them in a cake stand while you put drinking water and chicken/vegetable stock to boil. When the water is very well boiled cooked the raviolis for about 8-10 minutes.
- In the mean time add the fresh area and the left overs in a big pan. When hot, add the cooked and drained raviolis in the mixture for 3 minutes and allow them to absorb the fresh cream before you serve them with plenty of parmesan cheese.