The best €3 I ever spent – Smoked salmon, goats cheese and chive ravioli.

Smoked salmon, goat's cheese and chive ravioli (9 of 14)Any of you enthusiastic cooks or chefs reading this know the feeling. My eldest talked me into driving her to T K Maxx so she could get (I could buy) some clothes. I found myself willingly agreeing. That store always has an eclectic mix of cooking stuff. There are often interesting end-of-line items at a decent price. It’s a great place to find something that will make a difference to the cooking. While eldest daughter worked the rails downstairs, sucking the life out of my current account, I was upstairs, spending the princely sum of €3 on my latest culinary treasure, a ravioli cutter. 

Side note of reality: The purchase of the cutter caused me some problems. My utensil drawer, otherwise known as the drawer of shame, had already reached overflowing. I was forced to make room for the new toy. This led to me getting rid of two large meat forks, five Chinese spoons, two cheese knives, two garlic presses, three tea strainers, an olive oil pourer and one or two unused Christmas presents over which I recall feigning delight. 

That led me to think a bit about cooking some ravioli. I had some success with my hand cut crab and spinach version. This and available herbs in the garden led me to thinking of Smoked Salmon, Goats Cheese and Chive Ravioli.

Smoked salmon, goat's cheese and chive ravioli

Everything one needs for this simple, delicious dish. Including the €3 cutter.

The ingredients to feed three of us includes:

  • 200 grammes of smoked salmon
  • 100 grammes of soft goat’s cheese
  • A handful of chives from my garden (Don’t let me catch you.)
  • 200 grammes of plain flour (The packaging doesn’t get much plainer than this!)
  • 2 eggs
  • Some polenta flour to stop the pasta sticking and to improve the quality of the ‘work’ photos.

The first thing to do is to make the pasta. I took a leaf from Stefan’s Gourmet Blog on this. I put the flour and eggs into a mixer and mixed it until I had a stiff dough. I then changed to a dough hook and beat it for 15 minutes. Then I wrapped it in cling film and left it in the fridge for a half hour.

I used the half hour to chop the chives.

Those are not reflections on the knife. I wish I could get my knife that polished!

Those are not reflections on the knife. I wish I could get my knife that polished!

Then chopped the salmon into small pieces.

Gratuitous salmon chopping shot. There is not much to show you in this post so I have to use ever shot I have.

Gratuitous salmon chopping shot. There is not much to show you in this post so I have to use ever shot I have.

Then mixed the salmon, chives and goat’s cheese into a nice paste.

This is a beautiful combination. I would gladly (did) eat it with a spoon.

This is a beautiful combination. I would gladly (did) eat it with a spoon.

Next, I flattened the pasta and cut it into two pieces.

That is the polenta flour spread on the table. It does a great job of stopping the pasta from sticking.

That is the polenta flour spread on the table. It does a great job of stopping the pasta from sticking.

Each piece was rolled out into long strips. When the pasta was rolled nice and thin, I placed blobs of the salmon mix on the pasta and folded it.

Smoked salmon, goat's cheese and chive ravioli

Nice blobs of salmon mixture placed to one side and evenly spaced.

Next I dabbed out any of the remaining air.

Dabbing out the air. Perhaps there is a kitchen gadget for that?

Dabbing out the air. Perhaps there is a kitchen gadget for that?

Next my new baby went into action, allowing me cut out perfectly formed pasta parcels. Any polenta flour that remains falls off in the boiling.

My best spent €3 in action. Get down to your nearest TK Maxx and blow €3 ($4).

My best spent €3 in action. Get down to your nearest TK Maxx and blow €3 ($4).

A gratuitous ravioli cutting shot with the new toy artistically posed.

A gratuitous ravioli cutting shot with the new toy artistically posed.

The ravioli were dropped into a big pot of boiling water, removed when they floated to the surface (about 2 minutes) and served.

The plate is new too. €5.35 in Debenhams. But, that's another story...

The plate is new too. €5.35 in House of Fraser. But, that’s another story…

A simple white sauce with chives completed this wonderful treat. I look forward to getting even more value out of the new cutter. The ravioli worked extremely well. Give it a go. You will regret it even less than I regret buying my new toy.

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Latest comments
  • I want one of those! I started making my own pasta this summer and it’s pretty awkward cutting them out with a knife, off to TK Maxx I go! Great looking ravioli 🙂

    • Really tasty too. That mixture is pretty potent. A case of the sum of the parts etc.

  • What a great find!

    • I was back there last week and they had another device for making them in bulk. At €10, I resisted, for now.

  • My husband loves TJ Maxx and I love your récipé and ravioli cutter. Face it Conor, you need more drawers 😉

    • No question. I might throw out some of the Wife’s clothes. However, I don’t miss any of the discards.

  • Another great post, Conor! Like the ravioli cutter. Nice to make them all the same size. Like the filling as well. Reminds me of ravioli I did with ricotta, thyme, lemon zest, and hot-smoked salmon. Thx for the link! Writing this from the worst pub I’ve ever been to, in Alice Springs.

    • I have a great mental image of you in a wooden shack necking a tin of Fosters with some hairy outbackers.

  • The idea of throwing away utensils never occurred to me. I’m not sure I could do that. I just get more hooks to hang anything I can from the pan rack. I do like the look of that ravioli gadget though (does something as beautiful simple and low tech count as a gadget?). A very elegant post Conor. Tasteful and tasty no doubt.

    • I have a pot rack over the island unit. It’s full to beyond capacity. I have to take stuff off it when I am photographing. Two reasons, I keep hitting my head on the cast iron pans and they also absorb all my light.

  • Home made ravioli Conor? I hope your wife appreciates you! They’re gorgeous!

  • Delicious! It’s called T J Maxx stateside. Never knew why they had to call them differently. Like Olay and Ulay. Why?

    • No idea. You guys also have TJ Hooker. Not that we have a TK Hooker (thanks be to goodness).

      • Oh lord, I’d forgotten about that show! Even back then I knew he couldn’t act. 🙂

  • You make it look so easy! Certainly love the thought of smoked salmon in ravioli’s. And your simple white sauce looks wonderful too.

    • It was one of the easiest dishes I have prepared in ages. You should give it ago, if the ingredients are handy.

  • Lovely meal, Conor. I keep putting off buying ravioli dies and cutters. Your post reminds me that I really need to move them to the top of the list. I imagine the flavor of the ravioli was over-the-top. Well done, my friend.

    • Thanks Richard. My advice; Spend the money!

  • “…over which I recall feigning delight.” Ha! Ken

    • Thanks Ken. I hope the gifters are not reading.

  • I want a pasta maker. But it seems rather silly to have one for just one person.

    • Not silly at all. When not using it for pasta, one can iron ties and squeeze dry socks. A very versatile piece of equipment.

  • The Iron Chef is in ravioli-action again! Your Salmon, chive filled fancy raviolies look provocative and irresistible 🙂
    Another great post. Thanks a ton for sharing the step-by-step pictured recipe.

    • Thanks Nusrat, a pleasure to hear from you, as always.

  • wonderful and i love the drawer of shame, we all have them )

    • Yes we do. But I have a secret drawer of shame elsewhere too. And a shed…

  • Looks delicious as always. May have to make a special trip to our local TK Maxx.

    • I’m not promoting them particularly but, go alone and don’t go into the fashion section.

      • You have a daughter. I have nieces. Lots of them. I am almost certainly doomed.

        • Nothing like a susceptible aunt to buy outfits for the needy.

          • Well, at least it’s not Bond St/Grafton St/5th Ave.*

            *delete as appropriate

          • LOL

  • Really must make fresh pasta one of these days. I happen to enjoy working with flour – it’s my kitchen that doesn’t!
    I’d still buy that cutter, though.

    • A great investment of €3. I’ll get plenty of value from it. Do try the fresh pasta. It’s hard to go to the shop bought after.

  • A fantastic recipe, Conor, and absolutely gorgeous ravioli! Smoked salmon with pasta is a favorite and I can only imagine how delicious these ravioli were. I can so identify with trying to find a home for my latest purchase. Even something small, like a ravioli stamp, can throw the whole storage system out of whack. 🙂

    • It was the Wife that threw everything out of whack. One of her looks that caused me to see into my own soul and realise that I had gone too far…

  • A tale to which I completely relate, having returned last weekend with a stock skimmer and 4 mini retro enamel pie tins. I JUST managed to resist a rice cuber (yes, they exist – just Google it). Love bit of ravioli there Conor, that gadget looks like a ‘must-have’!

    • Thanks Phil,
      We are obviously kindred spirits.

  • Oh my lord – I always go to TK MAXX, but I’ve never seen a ravioli cutter… I want one. They look great by the way.

    • Thanks Nick, There is always something unusual amongst the bargains.

  • haha Conor, what a classic : she could get (I could buy) !!!

    I have never made my own pasta, while I eat it very frequently and I have heard that home made pasta beats any other version… Maybe I should give it a go…
    In any case, this looks delicious 🙂

  • Darn it, we don’t have that store here in Australia. I bought a pasta cutter (like a mini pizza wheel with a crinkled edge) but I actually have to roll the darn thing in a cross-hatch pattern to get my parcels. And it doesn’t seal as nicely as yours does. Love the combination of the salmon and goats cheese. Divine. As always, your writing is in the best class of wit!

    • Thanks Laura,
      That wheel will have its uses. You can make some excellent raggedy pasta with this. Thanks for the kind comments too.

  • My wife just read this post and she told me to read it because its funny. I thought well he has a GSOH I know but as I was busy writing my own post i left it a while. Now I’ve read it and it is funny but it strikes a terrible chord – the child/parent dynamic where somehow they manage to get you to part with cash for things they don’t need and you don’t understand – for you its women’s clothing, for me it’s computer games (which I cannot play and am ritually humiliated at if I dare try). But we will get payback. In the end.

    • We’ll only get a form of payback when we spend their expected inheritance on 20 or so years eating baby food and drooling in a home.
      The computer end of things got me when I found that my arthritis prevented my thumbs working the PSP. Darnation!

      • I just watch them doing their thing, making the odd comment about ‘failing’ and so forth

  • This looks yum! I hope Happy Stan can recreate at somepoint… I’ll mention the ravioli cutter and hopefully get a trip to the shops!

  • An excellent post, Conor. I’ve just defrosted some smoked salmon so will give your lovely recipe a go. But first a trip to TK Maxx heading straight to the best part of the shop right at the back to get me a ravioli cutter. I must see if they’ve a zester while I’m there. Now that’s another story…..

  • Wow, €3 goes a long way. (Sidebar, do you know how hard it was for me to find the € symbol?) Looks really great. I’m going to try and find one of those ravioli cutters at TK Maxx’s American cousin TJ Maxx. Wish me luck.

    • Good luck. I think I got the last one in Europe!

  • I’m very close to making my own pasta…thanks to the inspiration from you. This is a gorgeous meal.

    • You have to do it. If your experience matches mine, it just keeps getting better and better as one gets used to the dough and equipment.

  • Looks yummy! And, such a lovely combo!

    • Thanks Barb. It’s a great and simple combination.

  • Loving your photos, and your recipes!

    • Thanks Lis. Many thanks for the follow too.

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