If you have an abundance of arugula to use up, this pasta dish is the answer! No fewer than 8 cups of arugula goes into the ravioli filling, where it’s wilted and combined with goat cheese and parmesan. It is then topped with a thick, tomato pancetta sauce.
Though we both loved it, my husband and I had a difference of opinion on this dish. I felt it could have done with less pancetta. Husband, who loves pancetta, felt it was just right. Honestly, it would be lovely either way, depending on your taste. And as it’s added back in at the end, you can add a bit, if you like less, then add more for the pancetta lover. You could even leave out the pancetta altogether for a lighter, meatless dish.
I made my own pasta for the ravioli but store-bought wonton wrappers would work as well. The ravioli are excellent though and I do recommend fresh pasta, if you can. The ravioli will freeze well for up to a month, so you can make them ahead.
Goat Cheese and Arugula Ravioli with Tomato Pancetta Sauce
Summary: A perfect pasta dish for goat cheese lovers. The ravioli also features arugula and is topped off with a tomato pancetta sauce. If you use the full amount of pancetta, be careful with when salting the rest of the dish. Adding the pancetta at the end adds a lot of salty taste, so this dish could easily become too salty. This dish would also be lovely without the pancetta, for a lighter, meatless pasta dish. If omitting pancetta, simply season tomato butter more generously with salt, herbs, garlic and/or seasonings.
- Fresh pasta sheets, rolled thin
- 2 large egg whites, whisked just until foamy, for sealing ravioli
- Ravioli Filling:
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 3 shallots, minced
- 8 ounces baby arugula, roughly chopped (about 8 cups)
- 6 ounces soft fresh goat cheese, crumbled (this is about a large log less about an inch)
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Tomato-Pancetta butter:
- 6 ounces thinly sliced pancetta (or bacon), coarsely chopped (** I prefer less, perhaps 3-4 ounces)
- 1/4 cup butter (* I don’t think all this much is needed, 2 Tbsp. is fine)
- 6 large plum tomatoes, quartered, seeds and membranes discarded, tomatoes diced
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- For serving:
- 12 fresh basil leaves
- Fresh thyme sprigs
- Shaved Parmesan, if desired
- Make ravioli filling:
- In a heavy, large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and saute until tender, about 10 minutes. Add the arugula and toss just until wilted but still bright green, about 3 minutes. Transfer arugula mixture to a large bowl and allow to cool. Once cooled, mix in the goat and Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper and set-aside.
- If using fresh pasta: Prepare your favourite pasta dough (* see my standard dough recipe below) and roll into 4 or 6 thin sheets (setting 6 or 7 with Kitchen aid roller). Lay one sheet on a floured cutting surface. Place dollops of fulling (a generous teaspoon) about 2 inches apart along the sheet of pasta. Brush the edges and between filling with egg white. Place another sheet of pasta over the top, and carefully seal edges and between filling, while working out any air pockets. Trim the edges and cut in between filling pockets to make individual ravioli. Remove to a floured baking sheet and cook immediately or refrigerate, covered with plastic wrap up to 1 day (or freeze up to 1 month). If cooking from frozen, do not thaw before cooking.
- Make tomato-pancetta butter:
- Cook chopped pancetta in large skillet over medium-high heat until crisp and brown. Using slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to paper towel. Set aside. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the pancetta drippings from skillet. Add butter to the drippings in skillet and melt over medium-high heat. Add the tomatoes and thyme and cook, stirring, until tomatoes are tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.
- Cook and serve ravioli:
- Cook ravioli in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender. *Do not let the water boil too vigorously, to prevent ravioli from breaking open.
- While the ravioli are cooking, re-warm the tomato butter over medium heat. Add the reserved pancetta and basil and cook, stirring, for about 1 minute.
- Drain the ravioli and divide among bowls. Spoon sauce over ravioli; garnish with thyme.
- * My standard recipe for pasta is 300 grams of flour and 3 eggs. I will often use 200 grams all-purpose flour and 100 grams semolina.
Prep time: 45 min
Cook time: 20 min
Total time: 1 hour 5 min
Number of servings (yield): 4