When a recipe produces an incredible tasting dish that’s also beautiful to look at, you know you have a winner.
Talking about beautiful. I’ve never been a huge fan of pink, until this year.
They deemed it “millennial pink” for a reason.
I wouldn’t dare to suggest it as the trend of the year but as someone who’s never been bothered by pink (in fact I’ve always tried to steer away from it), I found the colour’s new positioning quite refreshing. Not to say that I’m obsessed with it but if I had a couple hundred pounds lying around I’d probably buy a dusty pink loveseat just because…
I was having dinner with a friend when she explained a beetroot-dyed fresh pasta recipe she’d seen on TV with so much enthusiasm I knew I had to give it a go. And here we are.
Prepare yourself for the daintiest of lunches, this one is one to be shared.
🕑 1 hour
- serves 4
for the pasta
- 100 g 00 flour
- 100 g fine semolina
- 2 large eggs
- splash of olive oil
- 1 tbsp beetroot juice
for the filling
- 2 medium pears (grated)
- 50 g Roquefort
- 100 g Ricotta
- 30 g walnuts
- sprigs of thyme
- 50 g butter (melted)
For the pasta
1. Start by getting all your ingredients weighed and ready to use. You will need 00 flour for this recipe. 00 (doppio zero) means that the flour has been milled several times to acquire a thinner consistency. If you were to use regular flour or strong bread flour; you would be left with – quite literally – a stodgy pile of a mess.
2. Make sure your working surface is clean. Mix the flour and the semolina together in a bowl, then tip onto your worktop. Create a well in the centre with your fingers and crack two eggs in the well, followed by a splash of olive oil.
Whisk the eggs vigorously with a fork. Don’t incorporate any of the flour just yet, you want the egg mixture to fall in a steady stream when you pull it up with your fork. This should take a minute.
3. Begin combining the flour with the egg, you want to incorporate both wet and dry ingredients with your fork until it becomes a dough. Use your hands to bring everything together nicely and begin kneading.
4. To knead your dough: Using your dominant hand, bring the fingers to your palm, exposing the base of your hand (a.k.a the carpus). You will be kneading the dough with this part of your hand and steady wrist movements. Stand straight in front of your dough and begin kneading using your shoulder muscles.
5. Your dough is ready when you poke it lightly and it springs back. It may take around 6-8 minutes of kneading to get to this stage. Once done, flatten it up slightly and cover it with film, then place it in the fridge for 10 minutes to rest.
6. Grab a bowl and place some semolina in it so you have easy access when you need it. Grab your rolling pin and let’s get this pasta rolled out! Begin by taking half the dough you made, leave the other half on the counter. Each half serves 2.
7. Sprinkle semolina on your worktop and place the first half of the dough on top. Start rolling it out making sure you have a nearly-perfect rectangle. From now on you will have to keep rolling the dough out and sprinkling semolina on it as you go. You may want to let one side hang off your worktop to allow gravity to help you out. Then work on the other side and so on.
The pasta sheet rectangles should be wide enough that you can fold them in half and simultaneously allow you to stuff them with enough filling. The sheets should be thin 1-2 millimetres thin.
For the filling
8. Making the filling consists of weighing and measuring the ingredients, grating the pear and combining everything together in a bowl.
Cover the bowl with film and place in the fridge to firm up slightly. You can leave it in the fridge to rest until you are ready to assemble the ravioli.
Assembling the ravioli
9. Take the filling out of the fridge and have a bowl of water on the counter. Working with half of the pasta sheet, add a tablespoon of filling in the middle of the sheet. Continue adding tablespoons of the filling living 1 inch (2cm) between them.
10. Wet your finger with the water and run around the filling mounts, this will help the top stick with the base of the ravioli. Fold the other half of the pasta sheet over the half with the mounts of fillings and press lightly around the filling.
Cut the ravioli with a pastry cutting wheel, you can choose to have square-shaped or round ravioli.
11. Meanwhile, fill a large saucepan with water and let it boil. Once you have made all the ravioli, set them aside to be cooked. In a small saucepan, melt some butter, then proceed to pick the leaves off the thyme and cutting some tiny chunks of Roquefort for serving.
12. When the water boils, add a handful of rock salt and mix well. Then boil the ravioli until they come up to the surface of the water – this should take about 2 minutes.
With a perforated ladle, fish out the ravioli that are cooked, draining as much of the water as possible, then add them to the saucepan with the melted butter. Swirl them around so they are nicely coated with butter and serve them on a shallow plate.
13. Sprinkle some small chunks of Roquefort on top, followed by some thyme leaves and arrange some thinly slices of pear around the plate for contrast. Sprinkle with a tiny pinch of salt and serve.
Enjoy with a glass of rosé like Mirabeau en Provence, it complements the pear in the filling and refreshes your palate from the sharpness of the Roquefort. ◼