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