Goat cheese and asparagus both go well with Sauvignon blanc, so it is no surprise they go together as well. In this case I’ve made them into ravioli, delicate parcels of loveliness. To enhance the ‘goatness’ I made goat cheese ricotta, but if that is too much trouble for you it is perfectly acceptable to substitute with store-bought cow’s milk ricotta.
For about 40 ravioli
125 grams (4.5 oz) goat cheese, preferably French and made from unpasteurized milk
450 grams (1 lb) green asparagus
2 Tbsp butter or olive oil
125 grams (1/2 cup) ricotta, preferably homemade from 1/2 litre (2 cups) goat’s milk and 1 Tbsp lemon juice
salt and freshly ground white pepper
fresh pasta dough made using 2 eggs and about 200 grams (1 1/3 cup) of Italian 00 flour
70 grams (5 Tbsp) butter
1 Tbsp minced fresh flat leaf parsley
To make goat’s milk ricotta, pour half a litre of goat’s milk into a saucepan.
Heat, stirring, to about 80C/180F. It should be scalding hot but not boiling — best to use a thermometer.
Now add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.
Stir and allow to cool.
You will notice curds forming.
Once cool, after two hours or so, drain using cheesecloth in the refrigerator.
This will take about two hours. (I was a little impatient, so my ricotta ended up a bit on the thin side.)
Make 2 eggs worth of fresh pasta dough. Wrap it and allow to rest in the refrigerator for at least half an hour.
Snap off the woody end of the asparagus. Slice the asparagus thinly…
…but reserve the tips (about 7 cm or 3 inches).
Sauté the sliced asparagus in 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil for a couple of minutes.
Put the asparagus in a large bowl and season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
In a food processor combine 1 egg, 125 grams goat cheese and 125 grams ricotta.
Process until smooth.
Add this mixture to the asparagus.
Stir to mix, then taste and adjust the seasoning, keeping in mind that ravioli stuffing should always be slightly more seasoned than you think. Cover and allow the filling to firm up in the refrigerator for about an hour.
Click here for instructions for making the ravioli.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. Melt 70 grams of butter in a frying pan.
When the butter foams, add the reserved asparagus tips and stir over medium high heat for a couple of minutes until the asparagus are tender but still firm to the bite. Then turn off the heat. Lift the asparagus out of the pan with a strainer and set aside.
When the water boils, add salt and the ravioli.
Cook the ravioli for a couple of minutes, then fish them out of the pot with a strainer and add to the pan with the asparagus-flavored butter.
Sprinkle with a tablespoon of minced parsley.
Gently toss the ravioli to coat them with butter on all sides, then arrange the ravioli on preheated plates.
Briefly reheat the reserved asparagus tips in the remaining butter.
Arrange the asparagus tips on top of the ravioli and serve at once. You could sprinkle with some grated cheese if you like.
As already mentioned in the introduction, this is great with Sauvignon blanc. Sancerre or Pouilly-Fumé are both great choices, but there are also some Sauvignon blanc from relatively cool regions in Chile or South Africa that have an aroma of green asparagus and would be a great match.
These ravioli stuffed with prosciutto and ricotta are an appropriate flashback for today’s recipe.