Beetroot leaf and Ricotta Ravioli with Walnut Butter and Dill

Soooo I’m pretty sure this is a revolutionary recipe! I googled it and saw no other recipe the same! Pretty happy with myself over here.
I’d been eyeing off the beetroot powder in my local health food store for the last few months so I figured it was about time I used it in something! Upon googling it I was pleasantly surprised to find out that one tablespoon of the stuff has the nutritional equivalent to a whole beetroot!
I’’ve also recently discovered how easy it is to make your own ricotta, and have been loving using the beetroot leaves and stems in salads as well as the beetroot themselves. So, I thought I’d put it all together into one beautiful looking (and even better tasting) dish!

Beetroot Leaf and Ricotta Ravioli with Walnut Butter and Dill

Serves 8

Ingredients

Pasta dough

340g OOO flour
60g beetroot powder
4 eggs
2 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten, to seal ravioli

Ricotta

2 litres full fat organic milk
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup white vinegar

Filling
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely crushed
2 bunches beetroot leaves and stems, finely sliced
1 bunch curly kale, stems removed, finely sliced
450g ricotta
150g parmesan, finely grated
Zest of 2 lemons
3 tsp sumac
2 egg yolks
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper

Sauce
200g butter
1/2 cup olive oil
150g walnuts, chopped

To serve
Bunch fresh dill tips
Fresh salad, such as lemon and white wine vinegar dressed rocket or finely sliced zucchini

Method

To make pasta dough, combine the flour, beetroot powder and salt. On a clean work surface, make a mound with the flour mixture, making a hole in the middle. Add the eggs into the middle. Using a fork, start to whisk the eggs, slowly incorporating the flour as you go. When it starts to get too thick, use your hands to combine. Knead the dough for about 10mins, until it becomes smooth. Wrap in plastic wrap and leave to rest for about 30mins.
Meanwhile, to make the ricotta, heat the milk and salt over medium to high heat in a large saucepan, stirring often. When steaming, foaming, and just about to boil, take it off the heat and add the vinegar. Stir well, cover, and leave for 15mins. Pour into a muslin lined colander. Allow to strain for 20mins. Discard the whey. Take the curds from the muslin and refrigerate until needed.
To make the filling, heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat, Add the garlic, beetroot leaves and kale. Cook, stirring often, for about 10mins or until soft and wilted. Remove from heat and cool.
In a bowl combine the ricotta, beetroot leaf mixture, parmesan, lemon zest, sumac, egg yolks and pepper.
Cut the pasta dough into quarters. Using a pasta machine roll out each piece until dial 2.
Place 1 tsp of filling at 2cm intervals along the dough. Brush seals with beaten egg. Top with pasta and press down around filling to get rid of any air. Use a knife or pasta cutter to cut ravioli. Place ravioli on baking paper until all of it is done.
To make the sauce, heat the butter and olive oil in a pan over medium, high heat. Stirring often, cook until butter is melted and starting to brown, about 15mins. Add the walnuts and continue to cook for another 5mins.
To cook the ravioli, bring a large saucepan water to the boil. Add the ravioli. Cook, stirring, for 5 to 7 mins, or until cooked. Strain and then pour into a large bowl. Immediately add the walnut butter sauce and stir to combine.
Spoon into serving bowls, top with dill and serve alongside your choice of fresh salad.

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Empanadas, two ways. Ham, Cheese and Egg or Pumpkin, Basil and Ricotta.

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Empanadas….What can I say…probably one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. Especially when bought from a lovely Abuelita on the streets of Buenos Aires, or ordered from the local bar, with a beer, for breakfast at 10am; breakfast of champions!

A recent catch-up with a dear friend, that has been living in Argentina for the last few years, got me reminiscing about the food I tried while I was there. Aside from empanandas; the Asados, Chimichurri, Choripan, and Dulce de Leche, were enough to turn me into a well ’rounded’ foodie. The Argeys certainly know how to relax, and eat well; you wouldn’t expect how well they are able to party after all of this…I guess that’s why you don’t go out until 3am.

The recipes here are far removed from anything typically Argentinian, but since I’ve been on a bit of a budget, I used what I had on hand; leftover christmas ham, and roasted pumpkin being the main culprits. You don’t need to make your own pastry, store bought shortcrust pastry will work perfectly, but, if you have time and you don’t mind a bit of kitchen labour, this pastry recipe is very easy to work with and turns out beautifully. I split the recipe into two bowls and added smoked paprika to one and nutmeg to the other, but, apart from giving the pastry different colours, I couldn’t really taste the spices; so i haven’t included that method here.

Check out my Roasted Pumpkin, Pistachio and Ricotta Dip; perfect for your leftover roasted pumpkin.

Salud!

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Recipe

Makes about 30

Ingredients

Pastry

160g butter, cold, cut into cubes

250g plain flour

250g wholemeal flour

1 tsp salt

180ml water

olive oil, for kneading

1 egg, whisked with a splash of water, for brushing

Ham, Cheese, Egg and Olive Filling

Olive oil

1 small brown onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

50g olives, roughly chopped

100g ham, roughly chopped

100g tasty cheese, grated

2 eggs, hard boiled, peeled, roughly chopped

pepper

handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped

Pumpkin, Basil and Ricotta Filling

1 butternut pumpkin, skin cut off, seeds cut out, cut into large chunks

4 cloves garlic, skin on, whole

olive oil

salt and pepper

white wine vinegar

large handful of fresh basil, finely sliced

1/4 cup sunflower seeds, toasted

125g firm ricotta, crumbled

2 tbs parmesan, finely grated

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

Method

For the pastry, in a large bowl, combine the flours, salt and butter. Use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour, working until mixture resembles sand. Add the water and use a spoon to mix until it starts to come together into a dough. Turn out onto a clean, oiled work surface and knead for 10-15mins. Wrap in plastic wrap and refridgerate for 2 hours.

Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees celcius.

For the pumpkin filling, place the pumpkin and garlic cloves in a roasting tray, drizzle with a little olive oil and white wine vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Place in the oven and cook for about 45mins or until very tender. Remove from oven and set aside to cool. Turn the oven off.

In a medium bowl, combine 300g of the roasted pumpkin and 2 of the garlic cloves, squeezed from their skins. Mash with a fork until smooth. Add the basil, sunflower seeds, ricotta, parmesan, nutmeg and season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine but don’t mix too much, as you still want to have chunks of ricotta throughout.  Store in the fridge until needed.

For the ham filling, in a small frying pan, heat a little olive oil over medium heat. Fry the onion, stirring, for about 8mins, or until soft, add the garlic and fry for a further 2mins. Transfer to a medium bowl and allow to cool for 10mins. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Store in the fridge until needed.

To fold the empanadas. Working with half the dough at a time, on a lightly floured surface, use a rolling pin to roll out the pastry to approximately 3mm thickness. Use a round cutter, about 12cm across, to cut circles out. Keep them covered with cling wrap as you go to avoid them drying out.

Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees celcius. Place a heaped tablespoon of mixture into the middle of a circle of dough. With wet fingers, moisten the edges of the circle. Fold the pastry over the mixture to make a half moon shape. Press the edges together to seal. Use a fork to make a pattern on the edge, or use your fingers to fold along the edge for an alternative pattern. Or do whatever pattern you like.

Line 2 baking trays with baking paper. Evenly space the empanadas out on the trays and brush with the egg mixture. Bake for about 30-40 mins, or until golden and crisp on the edges.

Serve with tomato chutney or caramelised onion on the side. You can find a recipe for caramelised onion here.

Enjoy!

M