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Goats cheese & Mushroom Ravioli with a creamy white wine & thyme sauce.

Pasta making is therapy! If you need something to totally absorb the mind then have a go at ravioli.

This recipe uses soft tangy goats cheese and earthy mushrooms ‘pacchi di paradiso’ little parcels of heaven.

The white wine and thyme sauce is an amazing staple to have in your armoury and would be delicious used on a chicken supreme.

Recipe serves 4

You will need a pasta machine a pizza cutter or pasta wheel cutter, or an 8cm cookie cutter.

Ingredients for the pasta dough

As a rough guide you would use one egg per 100g of flour.

500g ‘OO’ pasta flour

5 medium free range eggs.

Try to buy the best eggs you can, not only will you have the richest most golden delicious pasta but you’re promoting good farming welfare practices. Happy Chucks!

Ingredients for ravioli filling

250g soft goats cheese

400g chestnut mushrooms

Small bunch fresh thyme

Knob butter

3 banana shallots

50ml white wine.

2 garlic cloves

Ingredients for white wine sauce

50g butter

300ml white wine

1 veg stock cube or bouillon

100 ml boiling water

3 banana shallots

2 garlic cloves

Small bunch thyme

Salt and white pepper to taste

100 ml double cream

Truffle shavings or truffle oil to dress (optional)

Method for making pasta dough.

Weigh flour, tip out in a pile on the worktop and make a well in the centre large enough to accommodate all the eggs.

Break all eggs into the centre and use a fork to beat the eggs constantly incorporating a little flour from the edges until you have a rough dough.

Knead the dough until it’s no longer grainy and is soft and smooth, this usually takes about 10 minutes.

Wrap the dough in clingfilm and refrigerate for ½ hour while you crack on with making the filling.

Method for filling.

Chop mushrooms nice and small, finely dice the shallots and garlic.

Sautee garlic and shallots in a little olive oil then add mushrooms, sautee until mushrooms are soft, add thyme leaves (not stalks) then add white wine and reduce on high until all the wine has evaporated and you’re left with a sticky mushroomy mixture.

When the mushrooms have cooled give them a good chop to turn to a rough paste and mix thoroughly with goats cheese.

Making the pasta…

Make life easy for yourself and don’t try to handle too much pasta at any one time.

I divide my dough into 4, and wrap 3 pieces in a damp tea towel until I’m ready for the next batch.

The key here is to get the pasta sheets as thin as your machine will go. Raviolis are essentially sandwiches of pasta so you don’t want them too thick!

Also use plenty of flour!! Pasta is super sticky when not floured and what is supposed to be therapeutic exercise could end up quite stressful if you’re not liberal with the flour.

Ok let’s go ahead and make some ravioli!

Squish out ¼ of the dough into a rectangle about 7cm wide and ‘nip’ the end flat.

Flour the worktop and the dough.

Put your pasta machine on the widest setting and feed through.

(Don’t struggle with long pieces.. ½ way through feel free to cut the lengths to 50 cm lengths this will make 6 raviolis.)

Keep adjusting the setting on each pass until you’re on the narrowest setting, placing each length on a floured work top.

Don’t go on to make all the pasta and fill all at the same time. Leave the 3 damp pieces alone until you’ve filled and cut the first batch, pasta dries out super quickly, it’s easier to do it in stages.

On a 50cm strip you can place 6 teaspoons of filling equally spaced.

Take a pastry brush and brush a little water around each blob of filling to allow the second piece of pasta to stick.

Pick up another 50cm piece of pasta and carefully lay over the top, you need to make sure there are no air pockets as they cause the raviolis to pop when plunged in boiling water.

One you have pasta that resembles a blister pack you can cut out using a pasta cutter, wheel or cookie cutter. Lay your raviolis on a silpat or floured greaseproof paper.

Keep repeating the process until you run out of pasta dough and filling.

Your raviolis are freezable in this state or ready to cook.

Method for sauce.

Finely chop garlic and shallots and sautee until translucent in butter.

Add bunch of thyme and white wine. Bring to a rapid boil and reduce by ½

Add water and stock cube and reduce again.

Add cream and warm through.

You should have quite a thick sauce.

Remove the bunch of thyme season to taste and set aside.

Cooking the pasta.

You’ll need a big stockpot with salted boiling water.

Gently lower in your raviolis and cook for around 5 minutes, they’ll puff up a little and have a little ‘bite’ when done.

Lift out your raviolis with a slotted spoon and plate up.

Add a little hot pasta water to your sauce to loosen and drizzle liberally over your lovely raviolis. Dress with a little truffle oil or if you want to be super indulgent some truffle shavings and fresh thyme leaves.

Enjoy with a lovely glass of white wine.

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