Beet Pelmeni with Herb & Walnut Filling

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Serves

    6 to 8

Appears in

V is for Vegan

By Kerstin Rodgers

Published 2015

  • About

If you live near any Eastern European stores, buy a pelmeni mold (otherwise use a ravioli cutter or a pasta machine that has a ravioli cutter). This is a fusion of Polish pelmeni and a Georgian walnut stuffing.

Ingredients

  • 10½ oz [300 g] cooked beets (or 3 tsp beet powder mixed with 1 Tbsp water)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 4 cups [500 g] Italian 00 pasta flour
  • 5 Tbsp olive oil
  • 5 Tbsp warm water mixed with 1 Tbsp egg replacer
  • Extra pasta flour or fine semolina, for dusting

For the filling

  • 3 cups [300 g] walnuts
  • ½ tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp ground marigold petals (organic, unsprayed)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Handful of cilantro leaves
  • Pinch of fenugreek seeds
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • Small handfuls of mixed herbs, such as parsley, cilantro, pennyroyal, dill and tarragon

To serve

  • A little walnut oil
  • Pomegranate seeds
  • Marigold petals

Method

Put the cooked beets, if using, in a food processor and pulse to a purée. Add the salt.

Put the flour into a large bowl and make a well in the center. Pour in the beet purée and mix to a dough, then gradually add the olive oil, followed by the beet powder paste, if using, and the water and egg replacer, checking all the time to make sure you have just the right consistency for the pasta. (If using a food processor, add the hot water a tablespoon at a time with the machine running until the pasta forms large grains. Then knead together by hand.) Shape into a ball, cover with plastic wrap, and leave it to rest at room temperature.

In a powerful food processor, finely grind the walnuts. Transfer to a bowl and put the coriander seeds, marigold petals, salt, garlic, cilantro leaves and fenugreek in the processor. Whizz to a paste, then mix with the walnuts, vinegar, and mixed chopped herbs. (This paste, with added oil, also makes a good pesto.)

Divide the rested dough into 4 pieces, and work with one at a time, keeping the other pieces covered in plastic wrap so that they don’t dry out. Roll out the dark pink dough as thinly as you can (or use a pasta machine —see the pasta recipe) to a circle slightly bigger than the pelmeni mold. Lay one sheet over the mold, then spoon ½ tsp filling mixture into each compartment. Lay another sheet of pasta on top, sealing with water and pressing firmly around the sides.

Transfer the pelmeni to a large baking sheet dusted with flour or semolina, making sure they are in a single layer. You can freeze them like this, then once frozen, they can be dumped into a plastic bag in the freezer.

Fill a large saucepan with boiling, salted water. Drop the fresh pelmeni into the boiling water and cook until they start to float. Make sure they don’t overcook. Drain and serve with walnut oil, pomegranate seeds, and marigold petals.