Ravioloni Rosa

Giant Beetroot and Mascarpone Ravioli

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Serves

    4

Appears in

The Italian Regional Cookbook

The Italian Regional Cookbook

By Valentina Harris

Published 2017

  • About

This dish always looks so beautiful with the brilliant heliotrope pink of the beetroot against the white of the pasta, sitting in a little pool of melted butter studded with poppy seeds. This unusual pasta dish comes from the Trieste area, and really does taste as good as it looks. Make sure the pasta isn’t too thin, so that the filling doesn’t bleed through too much, as it would spoil the surprise of cutting the ravioli open once it is on the plate.

Ingredients

  • 400 g/14 oz/ cups plain/all-purpose flour
  • 4 large/US extra large eggs, beaten
  • 2.5 ml/½ tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt

For the filling

  • 2 large beetroot/beets
  • 150 g/5 oz/ cup mascarpone
  • 30 ml/2 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra to serve
  • large pinch of ground cumin
  • sea salt and ground black pepper

For the dressing

  • 115 g/4 oz/½ cup unsalted butter
  • 7.5 ml/ tsp poppy seeds

Method

  1. To make the filling, cook the beetroot in a large pan of water for 1 hour. Remove from the heat and leave to cool in the water until just warm. Drain, peel and cut into cubes. Process or blend until smooth.
  2. Add the mascarpone to the beetroot to make a smooth, fairly thick paste. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and the cumin, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Chill until required.

  3. Pile the flour in a mound on the work top, make a hollow in the middle and pour the eggs into it.
  4. Mix the eggs into the flour with your fingertips, then knead the dough with both hands for at least 10 minutes, gradually adding the oil as you work.

  5. Roll out the dough thinly. (If you have a pasta machine, roll it out to the penultimate thickness.)
  6. Cut the rolled-out dough into eight sheets approximately 10 cm/4 in wide and 24 cm/ in long. Drop four 15 ml/1 tbsp heaps of filling evenly spaced along four of the sheets, leaving even gaps all the way around the filling.
  7. Lay the remaining four sheets on top and, with a pastry wheel, cut each strip into four across the width, then trim around the edges, well away from the filling. Make sure you seal the edges very thoroughly as you cut. This will make a total of four ravioli per sheet, for a total of 16 ravioli; four per portion.

  8. For the dressing, melt the butter in a small pan until brown. Remove from the heat, stir in the poppy seeds and leave to stand for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil.
  9. Slide the ravioli into the gently boiling water and cook for 4-5 minutes, or until they float on the surface and the pasta is just tender. Scoop out with a slotted spoon and arrange four ravioli on each of four warmed plates. Spoon over the warm butter. Serve immediately, with Parmesan offered separately.