Pasta is one of my all-time favorite foods. It comes in such a wide variety of shapes and forms, how could one ever get tired of it? I went on a bit of a pasta binge inspired by a recent visit to one of my favorite restaurants, Union. Their off-menu porchetta is supposed to be amazing, but I have never tried it because I would rather load up on multiple pasta dishes than spare room for anything else. Maybe one day I will taste the porchetta and be blown away by what I’ve been missing all this time. If you ever find yourself in Pasadena, do yourself a favor and visit Union, order the squid ink bombolotti (the best), also ask for the porchetta, and let m know if the latter lives up to the hype.
My first attempt at ravioli was pretty successful. I decided to go with a golden beet filling because that’s what I had left over from the farmers market that day. I roasted them, along with some carrots and decided instead of a plain ricotta filling I would add blue cheese to it since I find that blue cheese pairs well with beets.
It was DELISH. Rob came over to visit after I had just finished shooting this bowl. I gave the bowl to him, turned away for a bit to make more and when I turned back he had eaten everything. Rob is also a ravioli fiend. Needless to say, this batch didn’t last very long, but it was well worth the effort that went into making them!
Golden Beet, Ricotta, and Blue Cheese Ravioli Filling
- 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
- 2 tablespoons blue cheese, crumbled
- 3-4 golden beets
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- pinch of cracked pink peppercorn
- Optional- 5-10 small carrots, washed with tops
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash the beets, cut off their tops, and place on foil lined baking tray. I also spread out some small organic carrots, with the tops partially cut off on the sheet which I planned to add to the ravioli.
Drizzle olive oil and a sprinkle of salt over everything. Roast in the over for 30-45 minutes, or until the vegetables start to turn golden to dark brown. The beets should start to get soft.
Cool beets for about 10 min. Peel skins off the beets (they should slip off pretty easily). Dice into small cubes and place into small bowl like below. Add pink peppercorn and salt, then toss well to coat every piece.
Add the ricotta and blue cheese to the bowl, mixing in the beets as evenly as possible. The ricotta will start to turn a light yellow color. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put away into the fridge for now.
This recipe is based on the one found at SeriousEats.com. I made sort of a half recipe with an additional yolk because I wasn’t planning on making a ton of ravioli. However, you could make other thicker pasta along with your ravioli if you choose to go with a normal yield.
- 1 1/4 cup 00 flour, you can use all purpose for similar results, but 00 will yield a silkier noodle
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp salt, the finer grind the better
Create a mound with the flour, and make a well in the middle. spread it out into a wide volcano shape; wide enough to accommodate all the eggs without them spilling outside of your flour volcano. drop eggs into the center along with the salt. With a fork, swirl the egg mixture, breaking apart the yolks and mixing them with the flour in a circular motion.
When the flour absorbs enough egg that it doesn’t feel like it will run off your surface, start pushing the walls of your volcano into the wet mixture. At this point I like to mix using a scraper and the fork because it’s still quite sticky and will make a big mess clinging to your fingers. When the dough starts to feel more manageable, start kneading by hand.
Knead the dough for at least ten minutes. It can be a bit tiring but this step is necessary to activate the gluten that gives pasta its spring. It should feel elastic and smooth to the touch like below. If you throw it onto your surface and squish it, it should bounce back a bit.
Lightly flour and tightly, wrap the dough ball in plastic, then let rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes. This helps the dough relax and allows the flour to fully hydrate, so that it will be easier to roll.
Cut the dough into 6 pieces. Cover 5, and roll out the first piece with a rolling pin. If you have a pasta machine, continue to roll it out to it’s thinnest setting, making sure to flour the sheet between each roll to prevent sticking. You should be able to get a pretty long sheet or two. If you roll out one long sheet, cut it in half- one for the bottom and one for the top of your ravioli.
If you have a ravioli press like mine, set one sheet on the base, use the top of the press to create little indents into the dough. Then scoop about a half a tablespoon into each well.
Cover with the second sheet of pasta, then use your rolling pin to press the sheets together.
Pop the ravioli sheet out of the press, and cut each square. lay out to dry on a baking rack for 15-30 minutes. Do NOT leave your ravioli on a surface like below- this was for photos only. I quickly learned that the wet filling added moisture to the very thin layer of pasta at the bottom of the ravioli and would cause them to stick to the marble if they sat there for too long. You may be able to prevent this with a more liberal application of flour to your surface or to your ravioli after they’ve been cut.
Repeat the rolling, pressing, and cutting of the ravioli until you’ve used up all your filling. I ended up with a little extra dough which I rolled out thicker for a pappardelle noodle. After the ravioli has dried, you can freeze whatever you do not immediately use for up to a couple months.
When ready to cook, boil salted water in a pot big enough to cook however many ravioli you plan to make. Boil for 1-2 minutes per batch- the ravioli will start to float. Don’t overcook them! Remember they are made with very thin layers of fresh pasta which cooks faster than the dry pasta we are used to. Scoop out ravioli into serving bowls.
For the ravioli pictured, here are the remaining components of the full dish:
Ravioli with Brown Butter, Roasted Carrots, and Toasted Pine Nuts
This makes enough for about 4 bowls of ravioli.
- 3/4 cup butter (I used buffalo butter because I just happened to have some from Trader Joe’s)
- 5-10 small roasted carrots, cut in half at an angle lengthwise
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
- 2-3 cilantro blossoms per plate
- 2-3 leaves of lemon balm per plate
In a small sauce pan, heat the butter on high heat until it starts to boil. Lower to medium heat, and watch closely as it starts to brown. Once it reaches a deep golden color, remove from the stove.
In a bowl, arrange your ravioli and carrots. Sprinkle over the toasted pine nuts.
Spoon over about 2-33 tablespoons of browned butter over bowl, coating each ravioli.
Arrange lemon balm and cilantro blossoms for a pretty and aromatic plate!