Sunday, October 7, 2012

Beetroot Ravioli with Spinach Pesto

My first foray into real cooking was egg pasta, specifically Bolognese style lasagna. It was my last year of college and since no rolling pins were to be found in my corner of Atlanta, I used an empty wine bottle to roll out my egg pasta - it was spectacular!

Since then I have made lots of pasta, but all of it was egg based. Faced with VeganMoFo's Iron Chef challenge of making a post with Beetroot, I knew that it would make the perfect substitute for eggs in fresh pasta, and boy was it ever! Just looking at the color of the dough it produces made me want to eat all of this! And tossing it with a fresh spinach pesto was the perfect color and flavor match.

I have to confess that when I make pasta I never measure anything, just adding a little more flour, a little more milk as I go until the consistency is correct. The same is true of my pesto, and sometimes your measuring eye is off, as it was this time around. After adding in too much salt (yikes!) the beet greens were added to the spinach to absorb the salt. No harm, no foul, and it didn't discolor the pesto or change the flavor as I feared! So if you're feeling thrifty, make beet green pesto.

Yes, this does take time but it is so worth it! Looking to wow dinner party guests? Make fresh pasta, and when it looks like this, people will love it before they even taste it. While having a ravioli press lying around is probably not that common, nor are donut pans but having awesome toys for the kitchen are what keeps it so much fun!

Beetroot Ravioli with Spinach Pesto
(makes 24 ravioli)

2 cups all purpose unbleached flour
1 whole beet, peeled
3-4 tablespoons almond milk
1 whole beet
1 cup cashews, soaked at least 4 hours
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 bunch spinach, well washed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup pine nuts (or walnuts)
1 clove garlic
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
black pepper to taste

Cut up the peeled beet and place in blender with 1 tablespoon of water and pulse to puree, scraping down the sides to puree all. Set aside.

Place other beet in deep pot of water and bring to boil and cook until tender. Drain and rub off skin. Cut into small pieces and mash well. Drain cashews and add 1 cup of cashews to blender along with mashed beet and 1 tablespoon of water and puree to create filling. Add pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Pour flour out on clean counter and make well in the middle of the flour. Add pureed raw beet and 3 tablespoons almond milk. Using a fork carefully combine the mixture, adding more almond milk as needed to create soft but non-sticky dough. Knead for 4-5 minutes until dough feels smooth and elastic. Sprinkle counter with flour and roll out dough as thin as possible using rolling pin. If you have a ravioli mold, make ravioli according to instructions. If not, dot 1 teaspoon of cooked beet filling on dough, 1 inch apart from each other, fold over dough and press to close. Use a knife to cut ravioli into squares or fluted wheel if you have it. Repeat until all of pasta is used.

To make pesto, combine all ingredients in blender and pulse until very well blended. Taste for salt and pepper. Cook ravioli in large pot of salted boiling water. When pasta floats to top and turns a darker color, it is done. Drain, saving a little of the cooking water and toss with pesto. Serve immediately.


Recipes currently inspiring me:

Homemade Double Stuf Oreos at Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice
Carrot Apple Latkes at An Edible Mosaic
Grilled Halloumi and Peaches with Dukkah at My New Roots


Cara said...

The colors are amazing and your recipe sounds really awesome! What a clever idea to make pasta...

KitteeBee said...

I love the colors!

Erinwiko said...

This is beautiful!

Kate said...

Love the colour combo, I'm bookmarking this one to try!