30 March 2007

Beet Ravioli in Poppy Seed Butter

If you think ravioli is cheesey, bland, and heavy, or that it is very difficult to make, than I have the recipe for you. Many raviolis are unfortunately leaden or labor-intensive, but this one is neither. With bright red beet filling and bathed in a swath of poppy seed butter, these are positively ethereal. Each time I make these, I think I don’t make them nearly often enough. And the thing is, they’re not that difficult. You can certainly make your own pasta dough, if you’re into that sort of thing. Me, I’m perfectly happy using one of two shortcuts: purchased fresh pasta dough from my local pasta shop, or wonton wrappers. My only word of advice would be that these are light, so if you plan on serving them as a main course you may want to plan another hearty dish alongside. That doesn’t mean these little raviolis won’t steal the show, though.

Beet Ravioli with Poppy Seed Butter
These would make an elegant first course or light lunch.

2 large red beets (about 14 ounces)
1/2 cup fresh ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons dried breadcrumbs
1 1/4 pounds fresh egg pasta or wonton wrappers
4 tbl (1/2 stick) butter
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Wrap beets individually in foil; place on baking sheet. Roast until tender when pierced with knife, about 1 hour. Open foil carefully (steam will escape). Cool. Peel beets; finely grate into medium bowl. Add ricotta cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in breadcrumbs.
2. If necessary, roll pasta dough into thin sheets. Place 1 dough sheet on work surface. Using 3-inch round biscuit cutter, cut sheet into 7 rounds. Transfer rounds to lightly floured baking sheet; cover with plastic wrap. Repeat with remaining dough.
3. Place a few of the pasta rounds on your work surface, keeping remaining dough covered with plastic. Place a small bowl of water nearby. Spoon 1 teaspoon beet filling onto half of each round. Dip fingertip into water and dampen edge of 1 round. Fold dough over filling, pushing out as much air as possible and pressing edges firmly to seal. Repeat with remaining rounds.
4. In a wide skiillet, melt the butter with the poppy seeds, keep warm over very low heat. Working in batches, cook ravioli in large pot of boiling salted water until just done, about 2 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer to skillet with melted butter; toss to coat. You may need more butter. Place ravioli on plates; sprinkle with Parmesan if desired.


Freya said...

Absolutely beautiful!

Brilynn said...

They're so pretty!

Unknown said...

I absolutely love that you've made these. I've had my eye on the recipe for so long, wishing I was a beet-eater, wondering if I was a good enough person to make something I didn't like because my husband would adore it. Insofar, I have no been. But your confirmation of the recipe's awesomeness may convince me yet! Lovely pics, as always.

Mercedes said...

Thanks everyone. Oh, Deb, how could you not love the beet? Maybe you could make them and make half with beet filling and half with another filling (radicchio, red cabbage, spinach?) as a compromise.

Anonymous said...

What an interesting recipe, very unique with such pretty results!

Ari (Baking and Books)

Unknown said...


Anonymous said...

i made these for dinner just the other night. delish!

Stuart@MyToque.com said...

I make something very similar, but I never cook the beets, I just shred them finely on a grater. They still have a little bit of a bite, but would work perfectly with the poppy seeds.

Pille said...

I love beetroot in any shape and form - and combining with pretty poppy seeds is a great idea!