Valentine’s Day Observed: Heart Beet Ravioli

February 2012

Heart Beet Ravioli
Ricotta & Chèvre Filling w/ Lemon, Basil & Mint
(part of my Valentine’s Day Observed Menu)

A few things to know about me:

♥  I used to watch in awe as my mom would make pasta.  I can still see the sun shining through the kitchen window, onto those egg noodles, and I remember thinking how she was really making the soup, down to the very noodles most people would simply buy and boil!

♥  I had never made pasta myself.

♥  I did have a goal to make pasta myself.

♥ I have an affinity for beets, and I also got me a fella who shares my affinity.  Thankfully!

♥  I saw this recipe for beet pasta, and I thought, I could do that, and I bet I could even one up that Martha!

♥  (I’m actually not that into hearts, but I am super into themes!)

♥  I MADE PASTA!!!  Turns out, it was not as intimidating as I had perceived.  Granted, this was just me dipping my toe in the proverbial pool of pasta.  I acknowledge other varieties probably entail their own challenges, but I have been inspired nonetheless!

♥  I may relish the spotlight, but I dare say I don’t usually toot my own horn too much in the kitchen.  I was nervous until the very first bite of beet ravioli, but I am going to say this: Take this (↓) Martha…!!! (I’m also pretty competitive…all in good fun?)

Valentine’s Day Observed: Hear Beet Ravioli

♥ Ingredients

1 medium sized red beet, without greens
1 large egg (local/free-range)
1 large egg yolk (local/free-range)
1 1/2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon Yakima Applewood smoked sea salt
Flour for dusting

3/4 cup fresh ricotta cheese (about 6 ounces), drained 30 minutes
3/4 cup fresh goat cheese (about 5 ounces), room temperature
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
2 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint, plus more for serving
2 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil, plus a few leaves for serving
Coarse salt
freshly ground smoked pepper

1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons coarse salt

1 stick organic, unsalted butter
grated pecorino cheese, for serving

♥ Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Wrap beets tightly in a piece of foil, and place on a baking sheet.

Roast until tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Let cool. Use a peeler to remove skins.

Meanwhile make the filling: Stir together cheeses, lemon juice, ginger and herbs; season with salt and pepper. Keep chilled. Allow to come to room temperature before stuffing ravioli.

Puree peeled beets in a food processor.

Add eggs and yolk to puree in food processor, and process until combined.

Pour the beet puree into a large bowl. Add the flour and salt. Use a spatula to combine until dough comes together, about 20 seconds.

Transfer dough to a well-floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, 5 to 10 minutes, adding up to 2 tablespoons flour if dough is sticky. Use a rolling pin to form a sheet, about 1/8in thick.

Cut pasta dough into desired shape, using more flour as needed.

Spoon a dollop of filling onto one dough heart. Cover with another heart and pinch edges. Use water to seal the seam and pinch once more.

Transfer ravioli to an airtight container lined with parchment paper. Use additional parchment paper in between layers if the container is smaller.

To store, lightly dust ravioli with flour, and refrigerate up to 4 hours. Alternatively, freeze ravioli in a single layer on a baking sheet, about 15 minutes, and then pack as described above; freeze for up to 1 month. Do not thaw before cooking.

Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add olive oil, salt and the ravioli. Cook, stirring occasionally to separate, until edges are just tender, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a colander to drain.

While the pasta cooks, melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until butter is dark golden brown and has a nutty aroma, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and add extra mint and basil.

Combine the pasta and browned butter and herbs in a bowl.

♥ Serve with grated pecorino cheese to someone special! ♥

Stay tuned to the rest of this Valentine’s Day Observed series for the final ravioli picture.


With The Grains

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