Beet Ravioli With Herbed Ricotta Filling

Beet Ravioli With Herbed Ricotta Filling

Beet ravioli with herbed ricotta filling

I have a confession to make.

I’m crazy about colors. Actually, I’m almost religious about it. For instance, I will obsess for weeks about choosing the right paint colors for our apartment walls.  Then I’ll obsess some more about whether I’ve made the right decision. It’s a curse, really. A curse I both despise and secretly enjoy at the same time.

Beet ravioli with herbed ricotta filling

Colors have such an important place in my life, and I’m no different when it comes to food. A colorful, vibrant and fresh looking plate will boost my mood and apetite. I especially love brightly colored food that can be used for coloring other food. That’s just awesome! So, both the color freak and the kid in me rarely miss out on an opportunity to play around with natural food coloring, thus creating a pretty and healthy meal.

Beet ravioli with herbed ricotta filling

I’ve been meaning to make pink pasta for ages  now. It just looks so sophisticated and elegant, almost unreal. When I realized I had some some leftover beet juice from another recipe (you’ll find out about it soon enough), I knew the time has finally come to roll up my sleeves and make pretty pink ravioli. Oh, the joy!

Pink ravioli

The beet juice made an exceptional job coloring the pasta dough, although the ravioli almost completely lacked the earthy beet flavor I was hoping for.  Next time I’ll try one of the many recipes that ask for roasted beet puree instead of the juice. I suppose the puree will give it a stronger taste. Nonetheless, the ravioli turned out really good. I especially loved the herbed ricotta filling. The addition of lemon zest in the filling gave the dish a lovely refreshing note and a nice zing.

Beet ravioli with herbed ricotta filling

At last, here’s a handy tip that I’ve discovered while cooking the ravioli. It’s inevitable that ravioli will lose some of the color during cooking. However, I noticed that they are less likely to lose their color if cooked slowly in just a barely simmering water. This works even better if you add some milk to the cooking water.

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Beet Ravioli With Herbed Ricotta Filling

Serves 2
Prep time: + resting time
Cook time:
Total time:
Difficulty: Intermediate

Category: Pasta, rice & grains, Vegetarian
Add some milk to the water when cooking the ravioli and let them simmer lightly. That way they will not loose their pretty color as much.
For the beet pasta dough:
Ingredients
300g flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 eggs
100ml beetroot juice, reduced to about 50ml
Directions
Cook the red beet juice until it gets thick and is reduced to about half of the original amount. Cool sligthtly before proceeding with the dough.
Sift the flour onto a clean work surface and make a well in the center. Break the eggs into the well and add the oil, salt and reduced beet juice. Gradually mix the egg mixture into the flour using the fingers of one hand, bringing the ingredients together into a firm dough. If the dough feels too dry, add a few drops of water; if it’s too wet, add a little more flour.
Knead the pasta until smooth and evenly colored, 5-10 minutes. Wrap in a plastic wrap, and allow to rest about 30 minutes. If the dough feels still a bit soft, put it in the refrigerator for 30 – 60 minutes. Meanwhile, make the filling.
Remove dough from plastic wrap, knead a few times and either roll out thinly by hand or use your pasta machine. I find it easier to cut the dough in half and roll each half separately. Cut out 8cm circles with a cookie cutter or a glass and place a small amount of filling in the center of each circle. Brush the edges of pasta circles with some water, fold and seal the edges making sure you squeeze all the air out. Place the ravioli on a tray dusted with some flour.
Boil plenty of water in a large pot. Add a generous amount of salt and some milk (about 100ml). I found that if you cook ravioli in just barely simmering water with some milk, the ravioli will not loose their color as much during cooking. When they float on top, they are cooked. This will take approximatelly 4-5 minutes, depending on their size. Remove them with a slotted spoon and transfer to the sauce.
Fot the filling:
Ingredients
180g ricotta
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
2 teaspoons chopped parsley
1 teaspoon thyme leaves
pinch of salt
freshly ground black pepper
Directions
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, season to taste and mix until incorporated.
Fot the sauce:
Ingredients
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 garlic clove, sliced
1 tablespoon chopped pistachios (or almonds)
some pasta cooking water
pinch of salt
freshly ground black pepper
some parsley leaves, to serve
Directions
Heat the butter and olive oil in a frying pan. Add sliced garlic and fry about 2 minutes. Add chopped pistachios, season with salt and pepper and add a tablespoon or two of pasta cooking water. Add cooked ravioli and toss them around the pan until they are covered in sauce.
Remove from heat and sprinkle with fresh parsley. Serve immediately with some grated parmesan cheese.

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