Here are a few tips for when you’re faced with a near-to-empty fridge and you can’t be asked to go down to the grocery store.
Tip No 1 : There’s nothing you can’t put in a ravioli – they are definitely the way to go.
Tip No 2 : If you have a stinky old cheese in there, don’t throw it away! Cheese is always good and, in my opinion, only gets better with time. If you want to play it safe, chuck it in a sauce – if you warm it up (above 75°C), it kills most bad bacteria et voilà! Also, as you will see if you follow this recipe, ravioli with a creamy cheesy sauce is simply sublime and you will wonder why you’ve never made it before. Fondue in Spring? I say, Horray!
Tip No 3 : I made the pasta dough with eggs but if you don’t have any, you can very well make it with water too.
For the Pasta Dough:
200g all-purpose gluten-free flour, plus more for dusting
A pinch of salt
1-2 tbsp water
For the Filling:
4 large green asparagus
2 La Vache Qui Rit cheese triangles
1 tsp lemon juice
1 turkey breast (chicken works fine too)
1 garlic clove
1 tsp paprika
1 tbsp fennel seeds, roughly crushed
salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the Sauce:
I used a mixture of cheeses, you really can use any:
50g Gruyère cheese (the real Swiss one, not that fake French stuff)
50g Tomme de chèvre
50g any soft cow’s milk cheese
200ml single cream
freshly ground black pepper
1 pinch salt (Gruyère is salty enough)
Start by making the pasta dough. Mix the salt well with the flour, then make a well and add the eggs. Make a prong shape with your first three fingers and gradually bring the flour into the egg to form a dough. Knead the dough well until smooth, wrap it in cling film and chill in the fridge so it’s easier to roll. The longer, the better. You can go ahead and leave it in there for 2 hours or more. I didn’t have much time what with everyone being starving, so I left it in only half an hour – makes things a little trickier but it works too.
Then go ahead and make the asparagus purée: chop the hard part off the base and blanch the peeled asparagus spears in boiling salted water until a knife can easily go through (about 10 minutes). Transfer to a blender or a jug if you’re using a hand-blender, add a tiny bit of the blanching water (about 1tbsp) and process until you get a smooth purée. Add more water if it needs a little help. Add the Vache qui Rit cheese and some seasoning and process some more. Only add the lemon juice if you feel it needs it.
Meanwhile, sweat the finely chopped shallots in a little oil, then add the finely chopped garlic. Sweat well until everything is fragrant and softened and set aside to cool.
For the turkey, roughly chop up the breast into small pieces and process it until it’s a sort of paste. Add seasoning , paprika, crushed fennel seeds and the cooled-down shallot and garlic mixture. Fold through and reserve in the fridge until you’re ready to fill the ravioli.
For the sauce, just chuck all the cheeses in a pan with the cream and let them all melt and mingle on a very low heat.
Now it’s time to roll out your pasta dough. Take it out of the fridge in quarters so it stays cool. Knead the first quarter, dredge it with a little flour and either roll it by hand or through a pasta machine. Fold the extremities to the centre and fold the top half onto the bottom half. This is to laminate the dough, i.e. form layers to make it stronger when rolling it out again. You can repeat this process two to three times. Once the dough is well laminated, roll it out as thin as you can go (which is not so easy with gluten-free flour, but this is ravioli so if it’s a little thick, it’s fine).
Cut out discs and place them on a plate. Cover them with cling film to stop them from drying out (or they’ll be impossible to shape later). Repeat with the rest of the pasta dough, alternating layers of cling film and ravioli discs.
At this time, prep a large pan of salted water on the heat ready for cooking the pasta.
Now for the filling stage: take out two discs at a time, roll them out a little more if you feel they’ve shrunken back. Place 1 tsp asparagus purée on the base and 1 tsp turkey farce on top, then dab the edges with a little water and top with the other ravioli disc. Seal the edges well between your fingers and try to make sure there’s no air in the ravioli by pushing it out. You can then leave it as it is, or if you want to funk it up a bit, use a swanky cutter (I used a flower one). Repeat with all the other discs and pop them in the boiling salted water for about 5-6 minutes. You can do this in batches to make sure they don’t all stick to each other. If so, cover the first cooked batch in foil to keep it warm.
If you have any left-over turkey, just fry it up in a pan for garnish, same for the asparagus purée.
When all is ready, just top the lovely ravioli with the unctuous sauce, a little pepper and the fried-up turkey. Enjoy!