Beetroot, Goat’s Cheese and Nutmeg Ravioli

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Homemade pasta tastes amazing and if you have a pasta roller is really easy to make. These ravioli are an adaptation of a favourite midweek recipe of ours: beet and goats cheese risotto (found years ago in the Observer’s Food Monthly and written by a female chef we’ve both forgotten the name of…). It’s very simple in terms of flavours – sweet and salty with a perfumed edge from the nutmeg – but goes down well as a starter when cooking for guests. I served it here with my take on a Genovese basil pesto, peas and wilted spinach. If you don’t have a pasta roller you can use a long rolling pin like this although it’s a fair bit more effort. The recipe for pasta can be found on the Big Flavours basic recipes page. Here’s the rest:

  • For the pesto:
  1. Two large handfuls of fresh basil
  2. One large handful of shelled walnuts
  3. Two tsp of anchovy paste (or 6-8 fillets of anchovy)
  4. One garlic clove roughly chopped
  5. One and a half tsp of sea salt
  6. Plenty of black pepper
  7. 75-100ml extra virgin olive oil
  • For the filling:
  1. 150g goats cheese
  2. 2 cooked beetroot (if you have time, roast them yourself from raw)
  3. pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
  • The greens:
  1. 150g of peas
  2. 75g of fresh spinach
  3. knob of butter
  • Method:
  1. Combine all pesto ingredients in a food processor and blitz (you can use a stick blender here if you don’t have a processor) to desired consistency. I like to make it fairly smooth but it’s sometimes nice to add the nuts at the end and leave them fairly chunky particularly if your pesto is the main event! You can add more oil to loosen it a bit at this stage.
  2. Transfer your pesto to a container and set aside for now.
  3. Now combine all your filling ingredients in your food processor and blend to a smooth paste. 
  4. remove your pasta from the fridge (as per the basic recipe instructions) and roll to the second thinnest setting on your pasta roller. this should be around 2mm thick if you’re using the rolling pin method.
  5. Lay two rolled sheets of pasta on a floured surface and place teaspoonfulls of filling at regular intervals.
  6. dampen the pasta around the portions of filling with a clean pastry brush and some cold water.
  7. place the second sheet of pasta over the fillings and press down round each portion making sure to expel any excess air.
  8. Once cut, place ravioli on a clean tea towel to dry slightly. stages 5-8 should be done relatively quickly to stop your pasta getting soggy/sticky and to stop your ravioli tearing. 
  9. Add peas (I mostly just use frozen) to a small pan of boiling water and cook for 3 minutes.
  10. Drain peas, return to heat and add the butter and spinach – stirring until the butter has melted and the spinach has wilted.
  11. bring a large pan of well salted water to the boil and add the ravioli, cooking for 3-4 minutes.
  12. Finally drain the ravioli and serve on a bed of peas and spinach topped with pesto parmesan and a touch of freshly grated nutmeg.

This is a firm favourite here, I hope you enjoy it too.

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