Good Day Gourmet: Vanessa's Basil & goat cheese mezzaluna

Ingredients:

Serves about 6

Pasta:
-2 cups All-purpose flour
-2 large eggs
-3 egg yolks (reserve whites for egg wash)
-2 tbs. water
-1 tsp. salt

Filling:
1 1/2 cups goat cheese
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 eggs
1 cup basil, finely chopped
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. nutmeg

Directions:

  1. In a stand mixer, combine flour and salt. Using the paddle attachment, mix the dry ingredients gently, using the lowest setting possible. With the mixer still running, slowly add in the wet ingredients -- the eggs, yolks, & water.
  2. Once dough comes together into one mass, switch out the paddle attachment for the hook attachment, set mixing speed on medium, and let the pasta knead for 3-5 minutes. **Keep an eye on the dough. If it's looking crumbly, add water (I usually add 1 teaspoon at a time until the dough looks smooth). If it's looking too gummy or sticky, gradually add more flour. ((NOTE: Pasta can be mixed by hand if you don't have a stand mixer. On a clean, dry surface, mound up the dry ingredients, and make a "well" in the center for the wet ingredients. Using a fork, gradually pull flour from the wall of the well into the eggs and mix, until dough comes together. Knead by hand for 10 minutes.))
  3. After kneading, allow pasta to rest. Pat it into a ball. Flour the outside to keep it from sticking, and wrap in plastic wrap. Let rest for at least 1 hour at room temperature.
  4. Time to roll out the dough! Cut pasta ball into eighths, and working with one section at a time, roll the pasta through the widest setting of a pasta maker.
  5. Fold sheet in half or into thirds and run the pasta back through at the widest setting. Repeat 6-8 times.
  6. Roll sheet through the machine again, going down one setting each time until you've used the thinnest setting. ((NOTE:You may also use a rolling pin for this if you don't have a pasta machine. Aim for a sheet about 1/16 of an inch thick.))
  7. Using a 3-inch diameter cookie cutter, cut out several pasta rounds. You can pack together the scraps using your hands and re-roll a new sheet (a la step #6) to get the most rounds from your pasta.
  8. Use a teaspoon measure and dollop your filling mixture in the center of each round. Don't overstuff. That can cause your mezzaluna to explode while cooking!
  9. With a pastry brush or fingers, brush the leftover egg whites around the border of the round. Be light with the wash. Oversoaking can cause the pasta to stick to the working surface.
  10. Fold pasta round in half, into a half-moon shape. Gently press the edges together. You may crimp the edges using the tines of a fork.
  11. To cook, boil the mezzaluna for 5 minutes. Or, you may place lightly-floured mezzaluna in a freezer bag and refrigerate for a day or two (any longer and the pasta will start to turn green. Yikes!) or freeze for about a month (add 1-2 minutes to the cooking time if boiling pasta from frozen state).

This recipe and others from Vanessa available on her food blog: www.foodshelikes.com!

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