Friday, January 18, 2013

Project Food Challenge: Shrimp Ravioli With Creamy Tomato Goat Cheese Sauce

What a treat this meal was!  Great to impress that special someone or to celebrate a special occasion.  Similar to going to a fancy Italian restaurant without having to deal with waitstaff, tips, reservations, or other diners.  This classic cheese ravioli dish has a slight twist when shrimp is added to the filling, then topped with a delicious and creamy tomato sauce that has been blended with parmesan, goat cheese, and herbs.  I'm not going to lie, this is a tedious meal, but the pay off is worth it.

Pasta Dough Ingredients:

2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Filling Ingredients:

4 ounces raw shrimp
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon jarred garlic
8 ounces ricotta cheese
2 ounces grated parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/8 cup plain panko bread crumbs
1 egg white

Sauce Ingredients:

7 ounces (about half a can) of diced tomatoes
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 tablespoons flour
6 ounces goat cheese
1 teaspoon salt
Sprinkle of red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
4 ounces parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cups milk

Pasta Dough Steps (I made the dough the day before.  This dough needs at least 30 minutes to 'rest.'):

In a stand mixer, using the dough hook, mix the flour and the salt on a low speed.  Add the eggs one a time.  Every once in a while, stop the mixer and scrape down the sides.

Once the eggs have been incorporated, drizzle in the olive oil.

Switch the mixer to a higher speed, and kneed to about 10 minutes.

Form the dough into a smooth ball.  Coat the ball with a small amount of olive oil, and wrap it tightly in  saran wrap.

Store the dough in the fridge for at least 30 to allow the dough to 'rest.'

Filling Steps (Again, I made this the day before, however you can make it on the day of.):

In a large skillet, add the garlic, olive oil, and a sprinkle of salt over medium heat.

After the oil has heated up for a few minutes add the raw shrimp.

Saute the shrimp until they are pink and have curled.

While the shrimp is cooking, mix the ricotta and parmesan cheese, salt, parsley, egg white, and bread crumbs in a medium sized bowl.

In a blender or food processor add all of the shrimp and the oil.

Pulse to chop into small pieces.

Mix the shrimp into the cheese mixture.

Cover the bowl, and store in the fridge until you are ready to use.

Sauce Steps:

In a medium sized sauce pan, melt the butter over medium-low heat.

When the butter has melted add the flour.

Stir occasionally.

In a blender add the tomatoes, salt, red pepper flakes, basil, parsley, rosemary, and onion powder.

Puree well.

When the flour and butter is fragrant, add the cheeses.

Once the cheeses have melted, add the tomato mixture.

Stir to incorporate, then add the milk.

Keep on the heat until it thickens.

How to Assemble the Ravioli:

Pinch off a fourth of the pasta dough to work with.  Be sure to wrap up the remaining dough in the saran wrap.

Using clean hands, form the pinched off piece into a nice cube/rectangle type shape.

Squish the shape down as much as you can onto the counter top.

With a rolling pin and a floured counter, roll out the dough into a thin sheet that is about 1/8" thick.  This takes time.  Don't rush it.

Using a pizza cutter, trim the edges so that your sheet of pasta is a rectangle.

Cut your dough in 2" wide strips.

Cut the strips into 2" pieces, so that you now have squares.

Mound about 1/2-1 teaspoon of filling on to a square.

Take another square and line the edges with a small amount of water and place it on top of the square with the filling on it.

Using your clean fingers, push down to seal the edges and push out any air bubbles.

With a fork, crimp the edges to make sure that they are sealed tightly.

Place the finished ravioli onto a plate in the fridge.

Once you have made all of your ravioli (the dough should make about 35 pieces,) boil water in a large stock pot.

Once the water is boiling, add the ravioli.      

Cook for 10-12 minutes.

Top your ravioli with some creamy tomato goat cheese sauce, and serve with some crusty Italian bread.  

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