Okay, we have no idea if these are anything close to a traditional Italian ravioli, but, you know what? We’d be willing to bet that somewhere in Italy there’s a nonna who makes ravioli with a similar filling. She’d probably call them Ravioli di Capra, though. If you’re bored, check the Internet, see what you can find out, and let us know. We’re just too busy eating, baking, eating, cooking, eating, churning, to do that sort of work for this post.
As you can probably guess, we just made up this recipe, using the basic idea of goat cheese and poppy seeds. Stuffed into a pasta shape. We know how to make the pasta part, and we know how to make ravioli, so all we needed was to figure out how we’d make the filling. Fortunately, that’s easy. Since we made up this dish, we’re considering it a 100% Scratchin’ It recipe, regardless of how many nonnas you find who claim that they’ve been making this for decades. They may be right, but, that might just mean that we’ve eaten enough pasta to channel true Italian pasta experts. We hope so.
Parmesan versus Grana Padano. They seem similar, and we often use Grana Padano in place of Parmesan, but they’re different. In general, Parmesan (or Parmesan-Reggiano) is made only in the Parma region of Italy. The aging and quality control of Parmesan is very strict, making it one of the best-tasting cheeses around. It’s also expensive. We often use Grana Padano, which generally isn’t aged as long, and could come from a much wider region in Italy. It’s about half the price of real Parmesan, making it a relative bargain.
Our goat cheese comes from Black Mesa Ranch; they produce some of the best-tasting fresh goat cheese we’ve had. None of that goat-y taste that makes people dislike goat cheese. Instead, only a smooth creamy, slightly tangy taste. And, the goats are treated very well, so everyone wins.
Procedure in detail:
For shaping and filling the ravioli, we’re going to refer you to our post on Sweet Potato Ravioli with Lemon Pepper Pasta. But, before you click, you can see how to make the filling.
Combine ingredients. In a medium bowl combine, well, basically everything except the pasta dough and the milk. So, use a spoon to mash together Parmesan, goat cheese, egg, poppy seeds, nutmeg, and black pepper. It might seem dry and crumbly, but we’ll fix that.
Smooth out filling. Add a small amount of milk, about a tablespoon, and mix it in. Did the mixture smooth out and become spreadable? If not, add a bit more milk and try again. You’re trying for a consistency not unlike a soft cream cheese.
Transfer to a piping bag. Once smooth, transfer the mixture to a piping bag. It’s easier than scooping filling onto the pasta sheets, but that works, too.
Fill ravioli. Follow Sweet Potato Ravioli with Lemon Pepper Pasta to fill and shape your ravioli
Freeze. We find it easiest to place the baking sheet with the ravioli in the freezer for about 30 minutes. The ravioli will freeze solid, making them easier to handle. You can pop the ones that you don’t use into a plastic bag and store in the freezer for later. Cook as fresh, no thawing required.
Simmer. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and drop in ravioli. Simmer for 5 to 6 minutes. They’ll float up to the surface within a minute or so, but keep simmering — not boiling, or they’ll break apart — until the ravioli are cooked. If you have extras in the saucepan, you can taste one for doneness.
Serve. As with all pasta, you should serve these in heated bowls, by scooping out the ravioli from the simmering water with a slotted spoon. Add your favorite sauce and enjoy.
We really liked this filling. As with almost all ravioli fillings, it’s really easy to make, and this one turns out nice and creamy as the goat cheese melts. The poppy seeds add a slight crunch, a bit of color, and a slight flavor. Almost everything in these ravioli is mild, so choose a light sauce to let the flavors shine through. We’d give these ravioli five stars, but we know they’re troublesome to make, so we’ll reduce it to four.