I'm obsessed with making my own pasta. At the moment, I'm going through a ravioli stage because of my new ravioli plaque I bought on Amazon for $13.  The plaque consists of a little metal frame with indentations and a plastic tray with wells.  This recipe featured here is a take on the previously posted ravioli recipe.  I found some delicious handmade goat cheese of assorted flavors at my farmer's market so I filled these babies with that.  No, I did not mix in ricotta (which you could do in equal parts with the cheese) because I wanted to really taste the goat cheese.  YUM!
First, make the dough.  For 24 ravioli, mix 1 1/2 cups of flour with two egg yolks, 2 tablespoons of oil, and 1 teaspoon of salt in a stand mixer with the flat beater.  Switch to the dough hook and knead for a minute or so.  Slowly, add in water 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough becomes a ball.  If it's sticky, just flour the outside of the ball.  Cut into four equal parts with a bench scraper.  Remember to coat all surfaces with flour.
Roll out into sheets and keep throwing on the flour.  Roll out the sheets about 1 inch longer than the plaque in length on both ends.
Spray the plaque with cooking spray.  Lay down a pasta sheet on the plaque.  Then press the plastic part into the dough to make little wells.  Fill these with no more than 1 teaspoon of filling.  This picture shows local goat cheese with sundried tomatoes.  Five to six oz of cheese or filling will make 1 whole plaque.    
Next, lay down another pasta sheet over the plaque.  Use a rolling pin to press the dough into the plaque.
Make sure you can see all of the little ridges of the plaque, especially between the ravioli.  Remove excess dough.  Then flip the plaque over and carefully poke the ravioli out onto your working surface.
Flour a cutting board or baking sheets and place your ravioli on that.  DO NOT let them touch or they will stick.  Repeat this process until you have your desired amount of pasta.
Place a pot of salted water on to boil.  To finish, you will want to make a light sauce that augments the flavor of the ravioli without covering up its delicious flavor.  I usually mince 3-5 cloves of garlic (plus or minus a shallot or so) and cook for about 60 seconds in 3 tablespoons of butter or extra virgin olive oil. Allow pasta to cook for 2-3 minutes and scoop out with a slotted spoon directly into the garlic butter. Toss and serve immediately with crisp white wine. Bon appetit!  
This was great!  The recipe was published in the October edition of Food & Wine magazine and I couldn't wait to try it.  I made my own whole wheat pappardelle for this dish.  To do so, mix white and whole wheat flour (3/4 c each) with 3 eggs, roll out into sheets, and cut into 1 inch wide strips with a pizza cutter.  We finished it off with a sparkling pinto grigio.
  • 2 cups loosely packed wild arugula (about 1 ounce), plus more arugula for garnish
  • 1 medium garlic clove, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • 1/2 pound dried whole-wheat pappardelle
  • 3 ounces pancetta, sliced 1/8 inch thick and cut into 1/2-inch strips
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • Kernels cut from 2 ears of corn (1 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for serving

  1. In a pot of salted boiling water, blanch the 2 cups of arugula for 30 seconds. Using tongs, transfer the arugula to a colander and rinse under cold water. Squeeze the arugula dry and transfer to a blender. Add the garlic and almonds and pulse until finely chopped. With the blender on, gradually add the olive oil in a slow steady stream; season with salt.
  2. Add the pappardelle to the boiling water and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the pancetta over moderate heat, stirring, until browned, 5 minutes. Spoon off most of the fat. Add the onion to the skillet and cook until translucent, 5 minutes. Add the corn and cook until crisp-tender, 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Add the pasta, reserved pasta water, pesto and butter to the skillet and cook, tossing, until the pasta is hot and evenly coated. Season with salt and transfer to a bowl. Garnish with arugula leaves and serve, passing grated cheese at the table.

SUGGESTED PAIRING: Ripe, full-bodied Chardonnay.

Delicious!  Not exactly a simple recipe, but if you feel like spending an evening making something beautiful in the kitchen, give this a try.  The pasta is exceptional - like butter.  I am going to try it the next time I make other pasta shapes.  I paired this with a Cabernet Blanc, a light rose from Barboursville, VA.
Source: Adapted from Epicurious' Arugula and Goat Cheese Ravioli 

For Pasta Dough
  • 1 1/4 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour plus additional for kneading
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
For filling
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 5 oz of arugula salad blend 
  • 1/2 cup soft mild goat cheese (4 1/2 oz)
  • 1/2 cup ricotta (preferably fresh; 4 1/2 oz)
For sauce
  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Make pasta dough:
Blend together all dough ingredients in stand mixer with the dough hook.  Add water 1 tablespoon at a time if needed.  Dough will form a ball when mixed.  Allow to stand covered with a dish towel. 

Make filling while dough stands:
Heat butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat until foam subsides, then add garlic, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until garlic begins to turn golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Add greens and cook, turning with tongs, until it is wilted, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer mixture to a fine-mesh sieve and press with back of a wooden spoon to extract excess liquid, then finely chop.

Stir together mixture and cheeses in a bowl.

Make ravioli:
Cut dough into 6 equal pieces. Cover 5 pieces with plastic wrap and pat out remaining piece into a flat rectangle. Generously dust with flour.

Set rollers of pasta maker on widest setting. Feed rectangle, a short side first, through rollers. Fold rectangle in thirds, like a letter, and feed it, a short side first, through rollers. Repeat 6 or 7 more times, folding dough in thirds and feeding it through rollers, a short side first each time, dusting with flour to prevent sticking. Turn dial to next (narrower) setting and feed dough through rollers without folding, a short side first. Continue to feed dough through without folding, making space between rollers narrower each time, until the second to narrowest setting is used. (Do not roll too thin or pasta will tear when filled.)

Put sheet of dough on a lightly floured kitchen towel (not terry cloth) with a long side nearest you. Drop 5 or 6 rounded teaspoon-size mounds of filling 1 1/2 inches apart in a row down center of right half of sheet, then lift left half of sheet and drape over mounds. Press down firmly but gently around each mound, forcing out air. (Air pockets increase the chance that ravioli will break during cooking.) Cut pasta (between mounds) with a sharp knife into roughly 2 1/2-inch squares. Line a large shallow baking pan with a clean dry kitchen towel (not terry cloth), then arrange ravioli in 1 layer in it. Make more ravioli with remaining pieces of dough and remaining filling in same manner, transferring to lined pan.

Make sauce:
Heat butter in cleaned 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat until foam subsides.  Add garlic, pepper, and salt and cook, stirring frequently, until garlic begins to turn golden, about 2 minutes. Add oil, swirling skillet to combine, and remove from heat. (Leave sauce in skillet.)

Cook ravioli:
Bring a 6- to 8-quart pot of salted water to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to a gentle boil. While water is heating, reheat sauce over low heat if necessary.

Add ravioli to gently boiling water, carefully stirring to separate, and cook, adjusting heat to keep at a gentle boil, until pasta is just tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Lift cooked ravioli with a slotted spoon, draining well over pot, then transfer to skillet with sauce and gently swirl skillet to coat pasta.  

Serve with grated Parmesan cheese if desired. 

Read More http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Arugula-and-Goat-Cheese-Ravioli-237194#ixzz2cB6AgeUp
This is not a new recipe on the blog but deserves to be re-posted.  This time I made it with handmade fresh pasta.  Delicate homemade pasta tastes best with light or creamy sauces and this recipe is perfect to highlight its fresh flavors.  I used organic, fresh tomatoes and it was one of the best things I've ever made!
Source: America's Test Kitchen 

6 c cherry tomatoes (about 2 pounds), halved
1 shallot, halved and sliced thin
2 T olive oil
1 T balsamic vinegar
3 garlic cloves, sliced thin
1 t sugar
1/8 t red pepper flakes
salt and pepper
12 oz whole-wheat penne or other pasta 
1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 c shredded fresh basil (I use a lot more; you can never use too much!!)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Toss the tomatoes with the shallot, oil, vinegar, garlic, sugar, red pepper flakes, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a bowl.
2. Spread the tomatoes out over a rimmed baking sheet.  Roast until the tomato skins have shriveled slightly but the tomatoes still retain their shape 35-40 minutes.  
3.  Cook the pasta. Reserve 1/2 cup of cooking water and drain.  Return to the pot.
4. Add the tomatoes to the pasta.  Add 1/4 cup of Parmesan and basil and toss gently to combine.  Before serving, add the reserved cooking water as needed to loosen the sauce, season with salt and pepper to taste, and sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup of Parmesan.

Here are two recipes from a feature on 50 Mac & Cheese Recipes in Food Network Magazine.  It uses one basic recipe and then walks you how to change it into the different versions.  The lobster one was luscious and I really liked the butternut squash one but I will halve the blue cheese if I make it again as we found it very strong.  Find all 50 recipes on their website. 
Classic Baked Mac and Cheese 
Kosher salt
8 ounces fusilli or other short pasta
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the baking dish
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk, heated
1 bay leaf
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
2 1/2 cups shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded gruyere cheese

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil; add the pasta and cook until al dente. Reserve 1 cup cooking water, then drain the pasta. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook, whisking, 2 minutes, then whisk in the milk. Add the bay leaf, nutmeg and 1 teaspoon salt and simmer, whisking occasionally, until thick, 8 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and stir in 2 cups cheddar and the gruyere. Stir in the pasta and the reserved cooking water to make a loose sauce.
Butter a 2-quart baking dish; add the pasta mixture and top with the remaining 1/2 cup cheddar. Bake 15 minutes.

Lobster Make Classic Baked Mac and Cheese

Using all cheddar; add 12 ounces chopped cooked lobster. Top with the cheese and a mix of 1/2 cup panko, 1/4 cup chopped chives and 1 tablespoon melted butter; broil until golden. (Do not bake.)
Blue Cheese-Butternut
Peel and cube 1 small butternut squash; roast at 425 degrees F until tender, about 20 minutes. Make Classic Baked Mac and Cheese, using 2 1/2 cups cheddar in the sauce and replacing the gruyere with 3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese; add the squash. Top with 1/4 cup each cheddar and blue cheese and broil until melted. (Do not bake.)

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes-and-cooking/50-mac-cheese-recipes/index.html?oc=linkback
This recipe calls for sausage but I prefer mostly vegetarian pastas so I left it out.  I LOVE the complimentary flavors of sundried tomatoes and artichokes.  This dish is completed with fresh hand-made mozz.
Source: Giada De Laurentiis

  • 3/4 cup drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, sliced, 2 tablespoons of oil reserved
  • 1 pound Italian hot sausages, casings removed
  • 2 (8-ounce) packages frozen artichoke hearts
  • 2 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 3/4 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 16 ounces fusilli pasta
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan, plus additional for garnish
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 8 ounces water-packed fresh mozzarella, drained and cubed, optional
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Heat the oil reserved from the tomatoes in a heavy large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the sausages and cook until brown, breaking up the meat into bite-size pieces with a fork, about 8 minutes. Transfer the sausage to a bowl. Add the artichokes and garlic to the same skillet, and saute over medium heat until the garlic is tender, about 2 minutes. Add the broth, wine, and sun-dried tomatoes. Boil over medium-high heat until the sauce reduces slightly, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the fusilli in boiling water until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring often, about 8 minutes. Drain the pasta (do not rinse). Add the pasta, sausage, 1/2 cup Parmesan, basil, and parsley to the artichoke mixture. Toss until the sauce is almost absorbed by the pasta. Stir in the mozzarella. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Serve, passing the additional Parmesan cheese alongside.

This was a bit of work but worth it if you're into mushrooms.
Source: Food Network Magazine

For the stuffed shells:
Kosher salt
8 ounces (20 to 24) jumbo pasta shells
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling and brushing
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
12 ounces white mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 10-ounce package frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 1/2 cups low-fat small-curd cottage cheese
1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
For the sauces:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
Large pinch of red pepper flakes
1 28-ounce can whole plum tomatoes, crushed by hand
Kosher salt
1/4 cup low-fat small-curd cottage cheese
1/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Make the stuffed shells: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta shells and cook until slightly softened but still firm, about 7 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water. Drizzle with olive oil and toss; set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Add the mushrooms and cook, undisturbed, until golden in spots, about 2 minutes. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are soft, about 5 more minutes. Add the spinach and stir until heated through, about 2 minutes. Let cool completely.

Finely chop the spinach-mushroom mixture and combine in a bowl with the cottage cheese, mozzarella, parmesan, egg, basil and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Stuff each shell with about 2 tablespoons of the filling; set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Make the tomato sauce: Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, fennel seeds and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until lightly golden, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, then rinse out the can with 1 cup water and add to the skillet; add 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a blender and puree until smooth. Return to the skillet and rinse out the blender.

Make the cheese sauce: Combine the cottage cheese, mozzarella, parmesan and egg in the blender and puree until smooth.

Brush a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with olive oil and pour in half of the tomato sauce. Add the stuffed shells, then top with the remaining tomato sauce. Cover with aluminum foil and bake 25 minutes; uncover and continue baking until bubbly, 15 to 20 more minutes. Turn on the broiler; drizzle the shells with the cheese sauce and broil, about 2 minutes.

This is a great winter dish and is very fast and easy to make.  When Matt and I lived apart while I was in PA school, he made this himself quite a bit.  I like making mine with whole wheat pasta in interesting shapes. 
Source: Real Simple

  1. Heat broiler. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
  3. Whisk in the milk and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, 4 to 5 minutes.
  4. Add 1 ½ cups of the cheese and stir until melted. Stir in the nutmeg, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
  5. Add the pasta and broccoli and toss to combine. Transfer to a broilerproof 8-inch square or a 1 ½-quart baking dish.
  6. Sprinkle with the remaining ½ cup of cheese. Broil until golden, 3 to 4 minutes.
Let's not kid ourselves here.  This doesn't taste like the real thing.  But this is still quite creamy and satisfying and I love the addition of the sage. 
Source: Rachael Ray Mag
  • 8 ounces fettuccine

  • 2 tablespoons EVOO

  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage, plus small whole leaves for garnish

  • 2 tablespoons flour

  • 1 cup fat-free chicken broth

  • 1/2 cup 2% milk

  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg

  • 3/4 cup grated parmesan, plus more for serving

  1. In a pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and transfer to a large serving bowl.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, heat the EVOO over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and chopped sage and cook, stirring frequently, until the garlic is golden, 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Whisk in the flour until smooth, about 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in the chicken broth, milk, pepper and nutmeg. Bring to a low boil, stirring constantly. Lower the heat and simmer, stirring gently, until the mixture thickens, about 3 minutes.
  4. Pour the sauce over the pasta and toss. Stir in 3/4 cup parmesan. Top with the sage leaves and more parmesan.
This is my absolute favorite recipe!  I got it from a patient I was working with in Charlottesville years ago.  I believe she got it from an Italian cooking magazine.  The most important step is roasting the butternut squash; as it does, the sugars caramelize and flavor really comes out.  I have tried to take a short cut with this and just use either frozen puree squash or pre-cut squash, but it wasn't worth it.  I recommend roasting it the night before to cut down on the prep time.

3 lb butternut squash, ends cut off and halved 
3 tsp Olive Oil
½Teas. Salt
¼ cup Butter
6 cloves Garlic,minced
¼ cup Flour
4 cup Milk
1 tsp Snipped Fresh Rosemary (I use about 4 tablespoons)
9 No-boil Lasagna Noodles
1⅓ cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese
1 cup Whipping Cream


Preheat oven to 425. Lightly grease a baking sheet. Rub squash with oil and sprinkle with salt.  Roast cut side down until you can easily pierce the back of the squash with a fork.  Reduce oven to 375.  Set aside and cool.  When you can work with it, scoop the squash out from the peel.

For Sauce:

In a large saucepan,heat butter over medium heat. Add garlic; cook and stir for 1 minute. Stir in flour and gradually stir in milk. Cool and stir until thickened and bubbly. This will probably take 15-20 minutes, so be patient.  Stir in squash and rosemary.

Lightly grease a 13 x 9-inch baking dish or 3 qt. casserole. Spread about 1 c. of the sauce in the baking dish. Layer 3 of the noodles in dish. Spread with 1/3 of the Parmesan cheese. Repeat layering noodles,sauce, and Parmesan cheese 2 more times. Pour whipping cream evenly over layers in dish. Sprinkle with remaining 1/3 c. Parmesan cheese.

Cover with foil. Bake for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake about 10 minutes more until edges are bubbly and top is lightly browned. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.