Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Beet Goat Cheese Ravioli

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After many nights of Chinese food, it's time for a change. VB mentioned some beets ravioli that he had at a restaurant. I thought, why not?

*Warning: This takes a lot of work. Just saying. But it sure looks pretty. And tastes good!

For this beet goat cheese ravioli recipe, you'll need:
  • 5 small (or 3 medium) beets
  • 1/2 cup goat cheese
  • 3/4 cup ricotta cheese
  • juice from 1/2 lemon (about 1 tablespoon)
  • zest from 1 lemon (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 4 tablespoons butter or butter substitute
  • salt to taste 
  • freshly grated parmigiano reggiano
  • chopped chives as garnish
  • 1 portion of pasta, recipe below
For fresh pasta, you will need:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 extra large (or 4 large) eggs
  •  pinch of salt
Begin by dumping flour on a clean work surface. Make a well in the flour and add eggs to the well. Using a fork, lightly beat the eggs and slowly incorporate enough flour to make a slurry. Then cut the flour to incorporate all the eggs into a shaggy dough. Knead the dough until smooth, about 5 to 10 minutes. Place dough in a large bowl and cover with damp paper towel. Allow dough to rest for 30 minutes. For more details on how to make the pasta dough, check out my previous pasta making adventure.

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Clean and trim ends off beets. Wrap them in aluminum foil and place into a baking pan. Bake for 45 minutes. At that time, check the beets by inserting a pairing knife into the beets. If the knife goes through without resistance, beets are done. Otherwise return them to the oven and continue to check every 10 minutes. Unwrap cooked beets and allow them to cool until they can be handled. Peel beets and quarter them.

Add beets to a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. Add goat cheese, ricotta cheese, lemon juice, lemon zest and salt. Pulse until mixed. Do not over process. Set aside.

Cut the pasta dough into approximately 8 equal pieces and pass each though a pasta machine. Make sure that each piece and the pasta machine are well floured. I did not get the pasta to the thinnest setting because I like my pasta with more bite to it. You should get 8 2-foot strips. Brush the surface of 1 strip gently with egg wash. Place about 1 tablespoon of beet mixture about 2-3 inches apart. You can get about 5 dollops on each strip. Gently layer another strip on top, pressing the air out of pockets one raviolo at a time. Cut out each raviolo. I used a biscuit cutter, but a knife and square ravioli will do just fine. Gently press out any air pockets. Repeat the process until you use all the pasta strips.

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Season with salt. Drop 5 ravioli at a time. In a non-stick skillet, melt 1 tablespoons of butter or butter substitute over medium heat and allow it to brown slightly. After about 5 minutes, strain out ravioli and place into skillet with browned butter. Toss quickly to coat with butter. Serve with grated parmigiano reggiano and chopped chives. Repeat until all ravioli are cooked. You should be able to make about 20 ravioli with this recipe, but you will get more if you do not discard your scrap dough.

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