Ever since I had been totally awed by the beautiful color of these beet ravioli they had been in the back of my mind, so I decided to go for it. They were incredible! While the beets made the dough a bit more challenging to work with than an egg-based dough, they also lent a wonderful tenderness to the finished pasta. Stuffed with a goat cheese, ricotta, and parmesan filling that melted out of the ravioli with every bite, they were a total win.
Beet and Chevre Ravioli in a Blood-Orange and Fennel Sauce
Three beets makes about 2 pounds of pasta, probably enough for 80-100 ravioli. Extra dough can be frozen, wrapped in plastic wrap, for several months.
For the ravioli:
- 3 beets
- 1 TBS olive oil
- 3 eggs
- 5-8 cups flour
- 1 tsp. salt
For the filling (makes enough for 3-4 servings of ravioli):
- 1/3 c. ricotta cheese
- 1/3 c. goat cheese
- 1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese
- 2 tsp. olive oil
- kosher salt and pepper to taste
For the Blood-Orange and Fennel Sauce (makes enough for 3-4 servings of ravioli):
- 3 TBS butter
- 1 tsp. fennel seeds, lightly toasted and coarsely ground (can leave whole if desired)
- juice of 1-2 medium blood oranges
- zest of 1 blood orange
For the pasta dough:
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Chop off beet greens, wash beets, and wrap in foil. Roast in foil for 45 minutes to 1 hour (beets should be tender). Allow to cool enough to handle, then peel off skin, and puree beets in blender.
- Mix beet puree, eggs, olive oil, and salt in a large bowl. Add 3 cups of flour, and incorporate fully with a wooden spoon. Add remaining flour 1 cup at a time, kneading by hand between additions, until the dough is elastic, does not stick to hands, and has been kneaded for at least ten minutes. I ended up using about 8 cups of flour to balance the amount of liquid that 3 beets added to the dough.
- Allow dough to rest for 30 minutes. Roll out using a pasta machine, or with a rolling pin as thinly as possible.
For the filling and ravioli:
- Mix all ingredients together until smooth. Season to taste. Place a teaspoon of filling inside a 3 inch square of pasta dough. Fold one edge over and seal edges, pressing together firmly with fingers. Trim with a ravioli cutter for presentation. Boil ravioli for 2-3 minutes in a gently boiling, salted pot of water.
For the sauce:
- Melt butter in a small saucepan until beginning to foam. Add fennel and sautee until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add blood orange juice and reduce to desired consistency. Season with salt as necessary. Serve over ravioli; top with blood orange zest.