Homemade Pasta No. 3: Beetroot and Pea Ravioli

I’m getting so into my pasta machine that I think I will start turning my nose up at dried pasta soon! These ravioli were really good and a real authentic genuine Italian ate them and said they were “buonissimi” so they have had the stamp of approval. Phew! When I served them everyone said that they had never tried beetroot or pea ravioli before (nor had I). I have often made a risotto with random ingredients and Italian friends have said “Oh, I’ve never heard of that one”. There are lots of standard dishes in Italian food and I got the feeling when living there that veering from the normal recipes was seen as a bit quirky! As long as the colours look good (green/ pea and purple/ beetroot) and the taste is great, I’m satisfied! (I especially love how the purple juice of the beetroot bled into the pasta dyeing it a bit.)

Serves 6.

What you need:

240g 00 flour

100g semolina

4 eggs

150g frozen peas

2 medium sized beetroots

Freshly ground black pepper

Extra virgin olive oil

Pecorino, to grate at the table

What you need to do:

1. Wash the beetroots then boil them (whole) until tender in a pan with enough water to cover them generously. This could take about 30-40 mins.

2. In a large bowl mix the flour and semolina together, create a well in the middle and crack the eggs in.

3. Gradually bring the ingredients together with your fingers working them until you form a ball of dough.

4. Place the ball on a floured surface and knead it for a good few minutes.

5. Divide the ball into 3. Take each piece of dough and roll it out with a rolling pin into a long strip.

6. Feed the lengths of pasta into the pasta machine set on a thin setting, flour a surface and lay the thinned strips on it. You may need to cut the strips in half if they are too long to handle.

7. Put each strip through the machine twice, then leave on the floured surface to dry a little whilst you prepare the other ingredients.

8. Boil the frozen peas for 3 minutes, drain and place in a blender with a glug of olive oil. Blitz them briefly until they form a purée and tip them out into a bowl.

9. When the beetroots are tender, drain them and slice into chunks (be careful with their seriously purple juice! It can be very tricky to get off clothes) and blitz until they form a purée.

10. Now you can put the ravioli together. Lay two lengths of pasta side by side and put small blobs of the pea or beetroot purée down it spaced evenly with about 2cm space between them.

11. Then take the other strip of pasta and place it on top of the one with the purée. Gently pat down the top strip between each blob of filling making sure you expel the air. Then cut out each raviolo.

12. Put a large pan of lightly salted water on the hob and boil while you repeat this process until you have used all the filling and strips of pasta.

13. Once all the ravioli are ready put them in the boiling water for 4 minutes.

14. Serve the ravioli with a scrunch of black pepper, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and some grated pecorino.

p.s. Homemade Pasta Number 1: Trofie

Homemade Pasta Number 2: Spaghetti

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