Fresh Ravioli Two Ways – Beetroot & Pumpkin

 

Autumn has arrived in Sydney – not to say that Summer ever really informed us it was here 3 months ago. If you mention the weather to a Sydney-sider you better be prepared for a groan and diatribe about how awful summer has been… on second thoughts, just don’t talk about the weather (which leaves little else to discuss if you’re aiming at small talk).

In case you don’t live in Australia – let me update you: Sydney has had 7 days without rain since August last year. That is big news for the city visited by a veritable army of backpackers each year due to our gorgeous summers. Needles to say, we all aren’t really coping that well, but Scotty and I have taken the situation into our own hands and booked a holiday to Fiji in June. So we are feeling OK about it all knowing that in the Aussie winter, we will have two weeks on an island snorkeling and working on our tans which we will then sport to the envy of our friends upon re-entry into Sydney.

Now, back to Autumn. Autumn began 3 days ago with a soggy start. Knowing there would be great fresh produce (and a coffee to kickstart the day) on offer at the Ramsgate Organic Foodies Market Scotty and I grabbed a pooch and leisurely headed down there before the rain set in (1 pooch = pleasant, 2 pooches = hectic).

I have mentioned before how much we love this Foodies Market! The people are lovely, the produce great and we have watched it grow over the last three years from 4 stalls to around 25 today. We feel a part of it and it is always a great feeling knowing that you are supporting local produce.

I did go to Foodies a bit of a mission yesterday, I was looking for fresh produce to make fresh ravioli (pasta and all). You see, my parents are coming over from Perth at Easter time and Scotty and I will be hosting mum, dad and Scotty’s mum for a three-course Easter Sunday lunch. With all the wonderful food mum has cooked for me over the years, I want to cook a great meal. However, I want to do things I haven’t done before, so to ensure the success of Easter lunch I’m trying all three dishes out before April.

The first dish I wanted to tackle was the ravioli I had planned. I have pasta making down pat, but I have never gotten around to making ravioli. There was some wonderful produce was on offer at the markets (especially at the Muscat Produce stall from Windsor) and so I just had to walk around and see what inspiration came to me. You can see my bounty in the photo above, I found some great pumpkin (the butternut is for the ravioli – the mini ones I have am going to stuff with rice and vegetables and bake in the oven) I got some beautiful mini beetroot, a great selection of mini tomatoes and a bunch of the most fragrant sage (pictured below).

With such great produce, I decided I just had to make two kinds of ravioli: Roasted Pumpkin, Sage and Goats Cheese Ravioli and Roasted Beetroot, Walnut and Ricotta Ravioli.

Even though I had not made ravioli before, I had a clear idea of what needed to be done, so without any recipes I got stuck in and gave it a crack – and what a crack it was! These ravioli were hands down, some of the best cooking I’ve done to date. The fillings were extremely flavorful and the pasta perfectly made, rolled and cooked.

If you’ve ever been curious about making ravioli, I would absolutely recommend it. Try making fettuccine a few times first, then give the recipes below a go (make the fillings in advance, then prepare the fresh pasta as you will need to work quickly when you start rolling the pasta into long sheets).

Roasted Pumpkin, Sage and Goats Cheese Ravioli

Ingredients (Filling):
1 medium butternut pumpkin
Olive oil
1 1/2 tbsp Maple syrup
185g goats cheese
8 large sage leaves finely chopped
Salt & Pepper

Set the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.Top and tail the butternut pumpkin then cut in half and remove seeds. Cut each half again into 6 even pieces and place on a baking tray drizzled with olive oil. Brush the top of each pumpkin piece with a little oil and season with salt and pepper and place in oven for 30 mins.

After 30 minutes, remove from oven and drizzle half the maple syrup over the pumpkin. Turn all pumpkin over and season other side with salt and pepper, and drizzle with remaining maple syrup. Roast for another 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and while still warm, transfer to a blender and puree. Remove from blender, place mixture in a bowl and cool.

Once pumpkin mixture has cooled, add goats cheese, sage leave, salt and pepper (to taste) and stir till well combined.

Beetroot, Walnut and Ricotta Ravioli

Ingredients (Filling):
1 bunch baby beetroots, peeled and cut into halves
1 red onion, peeled and cut into quarters
1 leek, cut into 3cm sections and halved
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 garlic cloves, crushed
Salt & Pepper
1 cup fresh ricotta
1 1/2 cups walnuts

Set the oven to 220 degrees Celsius.

Put the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper into a small bowl and mix well. In a separate bowl place the beetroot, onion and leek and then pour the olive oil mixture over the stirring gently to coat.

Transfer the beetroot, onion and leek into a roasting dish, cover with foil and place in preheated oven leaving to roast for about 40 mins. After this time use a small sharp knife to check if the beetroot is ready. It needs to be tender but still slightly firm in the centre.

Remove from oven and while still warm, transfer to a blender and puree. Remove from blender, place mixture in a bowl and cool.

Heat a small fry pan until hot and add walnuts until toasted. Once toasted (but not burnt) transfer to the blender and blitz until walnuts are the same consistency as breadcrumbs.

Once beetroot mixture has cooled, add walnuts, ricotta, salt and pepper (to taste) and stir till well combined.

Fresh Pasta

Ingredients:
700g “00″ Flour (bread and pasta flour)
7 eggs
1 tbsp olive oil

NB: The flour to egg ratio for pasta is as follows: 100g flour = 1 egg.

Place the flour on a clean bench. Make a well in the centre and crack the eggs into it. Beat the eggs with a fork until smooth. Using the tips of your fingers, mix the eggs with the flour, incorporating a little at a time, until everything is combined.  Then add the olive oil.

Knead the pieces of dough together until one large lump of dough forms.  You then need to work it until the dough become smooth and silky. I should warn you, it won’t feel like the dough will ever come together and you will need to work it hard but keep persisting until it does. What you are doing is developing the gluten in the flour and if you don’t do this properly, your pasta will become mushy when you cook it instead of al dente.

Once you have worked the dough sufficiently wrap it in glad wrap and put in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Remove dough from fridge and cut a lump of the dough (about the size of a small orange) flattening it out with the palm of your hand. Set your pasta machine at the widest setting and roll the lump through. Then set the machine down a level and roll the dough through again. Continue this process going down a level each time until you get it as thin as you desire (the thinnest setting is better for ravioli). Repeat with all of the dough until you are left with fresh lasagna sheets.

You are now ready to make the ravioli. Taking one long lasagna sheet, lay it on a floured bench and brush the side facing up with water, then place teaspoon sized portions of one of the fillings 3 cm apart. Take another lasagna sheet the same size and lay it over the first sheet working from one end to the other pushing the sheets together and working around the filling as you go ensuring there are no air bubbles. Once the filling is covered and the pasta sheets firmly together it is time to cut them into ravioli. I started trying to make them square but didn’t like that they came out all different sizes. So I took a small chef’s ring and used it to cut circular ravioli out of the pasta. Repeat this step of filling and cutting the ravioli with all of the pasta and alternating the fillings until you have used up the pasta.

Make sure you flour all your surfaces well and also make sure you don’t lay the finished ravioli on top of each other, they will stick together otherwise. Now, at this point you can either cook them, or freeze them to have at a later date!

Because the filling is so flavourful, I recommend cooking and serving them very simply with a burnt butter and crispy sage sauce.  To cook the ravioli, add them to a pot of salted boiling water and they will be al dente when they have floated to the surface of the pot. Once you have put the ravioli in the pot, melt about 150g butter in a fry pan and when the butter has started to brown, add in a small handful of roughly torn sage leaves. Once the sage leaves are crispy and the butter browned (with a nutty scent) the butter is ready to be served.

Drain pasta and serve on individual flat plates with a healthy drizzle of the burnt butter and crispy sage.

Comments

  1. Chewtown says

    Thanks Anna! They were so tasty and both flavours worked really well together with the burnt butter. :)

  2. Chewtown says

    Thanks Alyssa. Making the pasta dough is easy once you've tried it a couple of times. I'd recommend making plain fettucine a few times first then trying ravioli.

  3. Chewtown says

    Hi Deesey, the pasta ratio is usually 100g flour for every person and 1egg per 100g. You would be safe with 800g and 8 eggs.

  4. says

    These raviolis look gorgeous. I'm amazed at your ability to pull off multiple fillings. Can't wait to give these a try, although I'm pretty sure it will be one at a time for me…

  5. Chewtown says

    Thanks Suzanne! Multiple fillings is all about time management! But that being said, it is stressful trying to get it all happening at the same time.

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