Beetroot ravioli with spinach, goat cheese & pear filling, grilled pistachio, rocket leaves and balsamic vinegar

When I first bought my pasta machine I was all ‘oh yeah I’ll be making my own pasta every week!’. Nope. It was one of the first things I moved to Ireland and yet I haven’t used it in the last 2,5 years. So when I decided to make my own pasta again, I didn’t just go for the easier ones, nope I went straight for coloured and filled ravioli! First time I made it, it didn’t go too well, it took me forever to get them made, they kept on tearing apart and I couldn’t quite figure out how long they had to boil for and the colour disappeared while I was boiling it, turning it into really odd looking flesh-coloured ravioli. Absolute disaster! So I threw it all in the bin and tried it again the next weekend and now I feel like I finally perfected it. Keep in mind that the ravioli will look red but won’t taste like beetroot too much, it’ll only be a small hint of beetroot.

There are quite a few tips and tricks I can give you from my own trial and error experience, so first of all to keep the colour as red as possible, you can leave the dough overnight in the fridge or even keep it in the freezer for a longer time. The longer the dough has rested, the longer it will hold it’s colour when you boil it.

Beetroot ravioli with spinach, goat cheese & pear filling, grilled pistachio, rocket leaves and balsamic vinegar
Next up was the thickness of the dough and the filling. This one really depends on your pasta machine. However, you don’t want to have ravioli’s that have a thick layer of pasta, it’ll not taste nice at all. You really want to go for something paper thin, about 1-2 mm. In my pasta machine (Mercato) this was number 6 on the thickness knob.

However, if you make it too thin, it won’t hold the filling and it might burst. So all I can say here is try one, boil it, and if it doesn’t rip you’ve found your perfect thickness. Next up is the filling. It may sound a bit weird to add pear to it, but it really is so tasty and it’ll only give off mild flavour. The only problem here will be if you get a very ripe pear, which will be really liquid and will make your filling very runny. It’s not a problem for the taste, but it’ll be harder to fold the ravioli.

There are a few ways to make the ravioli:
    • Use a 7cm cake ring to cut out circles from the pasta sheet. Set them aside and then get a single ravioli press, dust it with some flour regularly. Place one pasta circle into the press. Then add a teaspoon of the filling and make the edges around it wet using plain water or egg wash. For beautiful round ravioli add a second circle on top and press the edges of the sheets together with your hands. Take it out of the press, press it down from the center. Work your way to the edges to get as much air out as possible. The less air, the less chance that it might burst in the water or cook unevenly. Don’t mind the shape being perfect? You can simply add one sheet, add the filling and then close the press so you have a half moon ravioli.
    • Another technique you can use if your filling is quite thick is to cut two sheets of pasta dough, same thickness (1mm), then put the filling along the middle of one of your pasta sheets, 7 cm apart, then again use water or egg wash to mark the edges of your ravioli (square or round) and place the second layer on top. Again, place your fingers around the center and press down until you reach the edge of your ravioli. Then use a cutter to cut out your ravioli from the sheet. You can use a ribbed cutter to create beautiful edges or just use a round cake ring or just a knife to cut them into squares.
    • Last but not least you can use a long ravioli plate (dust it with flour) and place one pasta sheet on it, then fill the center with filling, place the top sheet on it and use a rolling pin to get the edges together. I found this one the hardest, as my pasta kept sticking to the plate and burst once I got the ravioli out.

The last issue I had to tackle was boiling time. I checked a dozen of other recipes for fresh ravioli, one said 10-15 minutes, the other 10 seconds. I ended up trying everything and found that +- 2 minutes was the perfect time. However, it all depends on the thickness of your pasta. So again, I recommend making just one before making them all.

Beetroot ravioli with spinach, goat cheese & pear filling, grilled pistachio, rocket leaves and balsamic vinegar

Reviews

Ingredients:

Adjust Servings
2 large eggs
400g durum flour/pasta flour
200g cooked beetroot
150g spinach
300g goat cheese
1 pear
100g rocket leaves
300g roaster and salted pistachios - shells removed
few tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
Parmesan to serve

Directions

1.
Let's start with the beetroots.
Add them to a blender, along with their juice and blend until you get a smooth liquid, then add the eggs and mix again.
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2.
Put the flour with a pinch of salt onto a lightly dusted dry work space
This can be a big chopping board, countertop, .. and make a well in the middle. Add the beetroot liquid in the middle. Use a fork to gradually add in the flour into the beetroot, and keep stirring to mix the liquid with the flour. You can of course also use a stand mixer to mix it all together.
Keep going until all the flour has been added, then use your hands to knead the dough until you get a silky smooth elastic dough. The Italian Chiappa sisters describe it as similar to play-doh, which I think is the best way to put it. The dough might be very sticky because of the moisture of the beetroot, so if the dough keeps sticking to your hands, add a bit more flour.
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3.
Wrap in cling film and set aside for at least 1 hour in the fridge
You can leave it in for longer if you want them to keep their vibrant colour. If you want to keep it overnight or for more than a day you can place it in the freezer as well.
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4.
Let's move on to the filling
Simply mix the spinach and pear and add it to the goat cheese, mix with a fork and set aside in the fridge.
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5.
Dust a workspace with flour and divide your dough into balls.
Run them through your pasta machine, starting at the thickest option, working your way down to about 1-2 mm thickness.
If your dough feels stick, dust it with a bit of flour to prevent it from sticking to your machine. There are a few ways of making ravioli now, you can make them square or round and you can use a ravioli press or make it without one. Because my filling was runny and not solid, I used a press to prevent the filling from running everywhere.
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6.
Ravioli time!
Make the ravioli following the tips in the post above.
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7.
Boil water with a pinch of salt
Meanwhile heat up a bit of olive oil in a frying pan and add the pistachios. Cook them for 3-5 minutes while you water is getting ready.
Now boil your ravioli for about 2 minutes. If they are quite big, go for 3 minutes. Again, try one first and see if the texture is perfect and adjust your timing before boiling them all.
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8.
Plating
Add a few ravioli to a plate, drizzle a pinch of balsamic vinegar on top, add a bit of fresh rocket leaves along with our warm pistachios and drizzle some leftover filling on top. Sprinkle parmesan on top and enjoy!
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Notes
Needed: a single ravioli mould/dumpling maker, like this one on Amazon for example.
Needed: a blender
Optional: pasta machine

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