Heirloom Tomato Consommé with Goat Cheese Ravioli
Bistro Vendôme, Euclid Hall, Rioja, and Stoic & Genuine, Denver
"I love the simplicity of this recipe. The consommé itself is not a classic consommé (where you need to make a raft to clarify the stock). It is just a blending of ultra-tasty heirloom tomatoes strained through layers of cheesecloth. The garnish, a petite ravioli filled with creamy cheese, is a great complement to the light, clear broth." — JBF Award winner Jennifer Jasinski
Make the consommé: blend all of the consommé ingredients together in a blender. Line a strainer with 4 layers of cheesecloth and pour the consommé over it, catching the liquid in a bowl or pot. Let this sit undisturbed in the refrigerator overnight or at least 4 hours. Discard the cheesecloth with any remaining solids. Cover the consommé and reserve until ready to use.
Make the goat cheese filling: in a food processor, blend the goat cheese, cream cheese, and egg yolks until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl and fold in the rest of the ingredients. Place the filling in a pastry bag. Reserve refrigerated until ready to fill pasta.
Make the goat cheese ravioli: when you are ready to prepare the pasta, unwrap your dough and cut off a piece of the dough ball, rewrapping the unused dough until you are ready to sheet it. Feed the dough through your pasta machine, starting at the widest setting. (A pasta-rolling device such as the tabletop Gemini or the roller attachment for a stand mixer is ideal for sheeting the pasta.) Continue to feed it through the machine, gradually reducing the thickness setting until the dough is 1/16-inch thick. Your sheet should be approximately 5 inches wide and 12 inches long. Lay the sheeted dough onto a lightly semolina–floured work surface. Continue sheeting the dough to make 4 or 5 sheets; this will give you an extra sheet with which to practice. As you work, keep each sheet covered with a dry towel to prevent the dough from drying.
Working with 1 dough sheet at a time, cut the sheet in half to make 2 long sheets (about 2 1/2 inches wide). Pipe a row of 1 tablespoon mounds of the goat cheese filling onto 1 of the sheets, leaving 1 inch in between the mounds. Brush the egg yolk wash around the filling. Lay the other sheet on top and press. Pushing air out from around the filling, tighten the dough down around the filling. Cut out the ravioli with a square, fluted cutter (2 inches wide); use a pasta wheel or knife if you don’t have a cutter.
Place the finished ravioli on a tray dusted with semolina flour (to prevent sticking). Cover and refrigerate until time to cook.
Make the croutons: preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toss the bread cubes with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place them on a sheet pan and bake in the oven until crisp and golden brown, turning periodically for even browning (about 15 to 20 minutes). Store in a tightly covered container.
Assembly and plating: depending on the size of the tomatoes, halve or quarter them so that they are all bite-sized pieces and are easy to scoop up in your spoon as you enjoy the soup.
In a 1 to 2 gallon pot of boiling salted water, cook the goat cheese ravioli for 2 to 3 minutes. (A good way to check for doneness is to remove 1 and taste it. The pasta should be firm but cooked through, and the filling warm.)
Heat the consommé gently over medium heat. When it is hot, divide it among the 6 warm bowls. Place 3 of the small ravioli in the soup and scatter a few tomatoes and chives throughout. Drizzle 1 teaspoon olive oil into each serving.
On the base plate that the soup is served on, place the soupspoon and fill each spoon with the croutons. This will give guests the pleasure of stirring in the crunchy bits on their own and ensure that the croutons remain crisp.
Chef’s notes: make the consommé and ravioli a day in advance.