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Pretty in Pink: Beet & Goat Cheese Ravioli

July 27, 2006

Beet Mezzaluna

There isn't much to tell about this dish; its inspiration is a mystery to me. I just decided to make beet ravioli. Like I've said before, I will take just about any opportunity to persuade people that beets are delicious, especially when paired with goat cheese. My sister was in town and I made this meal for her and some other friends (beet and goat cheese mezzaluna, lemon and thyme pork meatballs with sage, and wilted spinach with garlic).

My sister was skeptical about the beets, not being of the beet persuasion (yet). She dubiously eyed my pasta-making efforts as I cut, filled, and sealed the little rounds with juicy, creamy beet goodness, and cautiously agreed to eat them.

But fortunately they were a success - I may not have quite won her over wholeheartedly to the side of the beet-eaters, but this was a step in the right direction.

I used the pasta wraps you can get in the produce section of the grocery. Initially I was going to only use goat cheese but found the combination to be a little too aggressive; I am happy about the ricotta addition. Also, I froze these overnight to keep them fresh and found that the flavors melded even better after they had chilled for a day or two. The poppy seeds are a must, for the sauce - they lend a piquant texture to the rich and creamy pasta.

Beet Mezzaluna

Beet Mezzaluna

Beet & Goat Cheese Ravioli
Adapted from Epicurious

4 beets
Fresh sage
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
4 oz. goat cheese (I used a log that had been crusted with pepper)
1 cup of ricotta
Salt and pepper to taste
Ground nutmeg if desired
Pasta wraps - I used 2 packages, or 28 squares total. I got four ravioli out of each square, so about 112 total

For sauce
1 stick of butter (1/2 cup)
A couple tablespoons of poppy seeds
Fresh grated Parmesan

1. Heat oven to 400F. Wash and dry the beets and cut off their tops and root ends.
2. Place a large square of foil in a heavy baking pan and put the beets in it, then drizzle them with olive oil and sprinkle them fresh sage leaves, salt and pepper.

Beet Mezzaluna

3. Seal the foil and roast for about an hour, or until beets are tender and can easily be pierced with a knife.
4. Let beets cool completely, then rub the skin off with paper towels.
5. Grate the beets into small shavings.
6. Crumble the goat cheese in and mix well.
7. Add the ricotta and season to taste with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Place in the fridge until ready to use.
8. Cut rounds out of the pasta wraps with a cookie or biscuit cutter. I stacked several sheets on top of each other for maximum cutting efficiency. Keep slightly moist and covered until ready to use.
9. Prep your pasta assembly area with your pasta, the beet mixture, a cookie sheet lightly dusted with flour, and a small bowl of water. Also, a movie or a good TV show helps here too. This isn't exactly quick cooking.
10. Take each round and put a small dollop of the beet/cheese mixture in the center. Then close the round into a half moon shape and seal the edges with water. Rinse, repeat.
11. Watch out - beets seriously stain, as you probably know by now. It took me awhile to get the hang of the right amounts.
12. When you are finished, you can either cook the pasta immediately in a pan of salted boiling water for 2-3 minutes, or you can freeze them. Put them in the freezer, still on the pan, for about six hours then take the frozen pasta out and put in plastic bags. I did this and it worked great. Frozen they need to be cooked for about 4-6 minutes.
13. For the sauce: While the pasta is cooking, gently warm the stick of butter in a large shallow frying pan. Add the poppy seeds.
14. Add the drained cooked pasta and toss quickly then serve, garnished with a little bit of fresh Parmesan.

Posted by Faith at 27 July 2006

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That is really creative, I would have never thought to make ravioli with beets. I had a garden full of beets and I just pickled them, quite boring when compared to ravioli. Although, I can't go wrong with pickled beets, I eat them like candy.

Posted by: Alison at July 28, 2006 12:10 AM

I have made beet ravioli a while ago and absolutely adored it! Your version looks very appealing!

Posted by: Bea at La Tartine Gourmande at July 28, 2006 09:15 PM

Thanks Alison and Bea. I had a little bit of leftover beet mixture and pasta wraps and so I folded them like wontons and pan fried them. Terribly indulgent, I know, but yummy!

Posted by: faith at July 29, 2006 11:03 PM

I love fresh beets simply boiled and then slathered with butter. But this ravioli does sound good and just the thing to freeze for quick suppers.
Now about that macro photo of the severed beet root: That scared the #*^& out of me! :-)

Posted by: PHXcook [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 29, 2006 05:53 PM

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