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Recipe

Beet and Blue Cheese Ravioli with Butter Sauce

Ed Anderson

Yield: Yields 40 to 50 ravioli

Servings: 4 as a main course; 6 to 8 as a first course

Pungent blue cheese and creamy mascarpone provide a counterpoint to the sweet roasted beets in these delicate ravioli. See the How to Make Ravioli article for step-by-step photos of how to make and roll the dough and fill the pasta.

 

Ingredients

For the dough

  • 7 oz. (1-1/3 cup plus 2 Tbs.) 00 flour; more as needed
  • 1-3/4 oz. (1/4 cup plus 1 Tbs.) semola rimacinata (fine flour) or unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1 large egg
  • 1-1/2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt

For the filling

  • 3/4 lb. red beets, well washed (about 5 small)
  • 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 oz. (2/3 cup) Gorgonzola
  • 1-1/2 oz. (2-1/2 Tbs.) mascarpone

For cooking and serving

  • Kosher salt
  • 4 oz. (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
  • Chopped parsley, for garnish (optional)

Preparation

Make the dough

  • Dump the flours on a work surface and mix to combine them. Make a deep, wide well in the center, making sure there is some flour on the bottom so the eggs are not directly on the surface. Add the egg yolks, whole egg, oil, and salt.
  • Using a fork, beat the wet ingredients until combined, staying in the center and being careful that the eggs don’t breach the wall. (If any does, gather it up and reinforce the wall.)
  • Begin mixing in the flour from the inside of the wall, a little at a time, until the dough is too stiff to mix with the fork. Scrape the dough off the fork and continue mixing by hand, folding it and forming it into a single mass. If necessary, use a bench scraper to move the dough and to scrape any dried bits to the side.
  • Lightly flour the work surface and knead the dough for at least 5 minutes, adding more flour if needed to keep the dough from sticking to your hands. Continue kneading until the dough is a smooth ball that feels soft like your earlobe. Wrap the dough loosely in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. (Let it warm up a little before rolling, if necessary.)

Prepare the filling

  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 375°F.
  • Put the beets in an 8×8-inch baking dish and toss with the olive oil. Add the thyme, bay leaves, and 1/2 cup water. Season with salt and pepper and cover tightly with foil. Roast until easily pierced with a fork, about 1 hour.
  • Cool in the baking dish for 15 minutes. Peel the beets and transfer to a blender or food processor. Strain the liquid through a fine-mesh strainer and reserve.
  • Pulse the beets into a thick purée, adding a little of the reserved cooking liquid, if necessary. Transfer to a medium bowl and mix with the Gorgonzola and mascarpone. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Roll the dough

  • Set up a pasta machine on a large work surface.Set the machine to its widest setting.
  • Flatten the dough with your hand or a rolling pin and divide it into pieces. (If you’re comfortable rolling dough, in half is fine; otherwise divide it into 3 or 4 pieces to get shorter sheets.)
  • Working with one piece at a time and keeping the other pieces wrapped in plastic or a cloth, run the dough through the widest setting on the machine a couple of times, flouring as needed, to work the dough.
  • Move the rollers to the next setting and pass the dough through. Continue notching down by one setting and passing the dough through each time. Stop rolling when you can see the outline of your hand thorough the dough; this may not be the thinnest setting on some machines.
  • Cut the sheet crosswise into 2-foot lengths to make them easier to work with and trim the long sides to make neat rectangles. (If you need to stack them, very lightly flour them.) Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel. Repeat  with the remaining pieces of pasta.

Make the ravioli

  • Lightly flour a rimmed baking sheet or tray.
  • Working with one pasta sheet at a time, very lightly moisten the entire strip with water using a spray bottle or a pastry brush.
  • Spoon rounded teaspoonfuls of the filling 1 inch apart along the center of the sheet. Lift the top edge of the strip and bring it down to meet the bottom, letting it fall loosely over the filling and lining up the edges. Using your fingers, gently press on the dough close to each mound to coax out any trapped air, and then press on the edges to seal completely.

  • Using a fluted pastry wheel or a knife, trim the long, unfolded edge of the ravioli if you like. Then cut the pasta between the mounds to form individual ravioli. Transfer the ravioli to the prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling. You can cook the ravioli right away or cover and refrigerate for up to a day (you can also freeze them; see Make-Ahead Tip, below).

Cook and serve the ravioli

  • When ready to serve, bring a pot of well-salted water to a boil. Gently slide the ravioli (fresh or frozen) into the water and cook until tender, 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, melt the butter along with 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water in a skillet or saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk to emulsify and season to taste with kosher salt.
  • Use a skimmer to remove the ravioli from the water as draining them in a colander can damage them. Serve the ravioli with the butter sauce, garnished with parsley, if you like.

Make Ahead Tips

The dough can be refrigerated, wrapped in plastic, for up to 2 days before rolling and shaping the ravioli.

The filling can be refrigerated, covered, for up to 2 days.

The uncooked ravioli can be frozen for up to a month: freeze them uncovered on their tray until rock hard, then transfer to zip-top bags and return to the freezer. There’s no need to thaw them before cooking.

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