I am not quite sure what drove me to make pink ravioli today. Perhaps it was my last less-than-successful attempt at gluten-free ravioli gnawing at my subconscious. Perhaps it was the enormous bag of beets in the refrigerator. Perhaps it was pure spontaneity.
Regardless of the cause, today I decided to make beet ravioli filled with a deliciously garlicky kale and ricotta filling. I began with Tartelette's adaptation of the Gluten Free Girl's ravioli dough. Last time I tried this recipe, the dough's flavor was perfect but the dough was not very flexible and would not roll out as thin as I would have liked. The ravioli were too thick, too tough, and had not enough filling. This time around, I threw caution to the winds and began an experiment of my own. I replaced one of the 4 egg yolks with 1/4 cup of finely chopped beets and added an extra tablespoon of sweet white rice flour when my dough was a little moist. I ended up with exactly the texture I was seeking. The dough rolled out easily, and I managed to get it almost paper thin before filling and forming my raviolis.
If you are gluten-intolerant and are craving good fresh ravioli, I highly recommend this recipe. If are not gluten-intolerant and are craving good fresh ravioli, this recipe is the one for you.
The filling was also an experiment and also worked wonderfully. If you do not have kale on hand, you could easily substitute beet greens or spinach.
Perhaps my only real disappointment was that the ravioli lost most of their color while cooking. They came out with a faint pink tint - not the miraculous magenta with which they had entered the pot. Luckily the taste made up for it.
Beetroot Ravioli with a Kale Ricotta Filling (GF)
Kale Ricotta Filling
4 large stalks kale (each stalk about 1 packed cup)
2/3 cup farmer's cheese (or ricotta)
1 large garlic clove
3 tbsp grated parmesan or pecorino romano
Sea salt and pepper to taste
2/3 cup millet flour
1/2 cup sweet white rice flour
1/2 cup potato starch
3 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp sea salt
3 egg yolks
1 egg white (to help the raviolis stick when forming them)
Kale Ricotta Filling
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the kale and turn down the heat slightly. Let the kale cook in the pot with the lid on for 10-15 minutes, until the kale is tender. Strain the kale and cut the leaves off of the stems. Discard the stems. Finely chop the leaves and press them between paper towels until most of the moisture has been removed.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl if you are mixing by hand) combine the kale, farmer's cheese/ricotta, egg, and parmesan. Squeeze in one garlic clove using a garlic press and season with salt and pepper.
Once the ingredients are well incorporated, cover the bowl in plastic wrap and refrigerate until your ravioli dough has been prepared.
Process your cooked and peeled beet with the steel knife blade of a food processor. Use a spatula to push it down off the sides of the processor and process until finely chopped.
Beat together your eggs and egg yolks with a whisk until combined.
Sift the flours, starch, xanthan gum, and sea salt into a bowl. Dump this mixture into a large mixing bowl and make a well in the center. Pour the egg mixture into the well and slowly combine the egg with the flours until a dough starts to form. The dough at this point will be fairly dry and won't stick together very well.
Add about 1/4 cup of your chopped beet and mix it with the dough until well combined. I found it easiest to do this with my hands, even though they got a little pink in the process. This should moisten the dough enough that it can form a ball. When it is completely combined, the dough will turn a nice magenta color. Mine was a little too moist at this point, so I added an extra tablespoon of sweet rice flour. You may or may not need to do this, depending on how moist your beets are.
On a surface well-floured with sweet white rice flour, roll out the dough until it is almost paper thin. (Using a pasta maker would probably be more effective). Roll it into a wide-ish rectangle as this will be the most convenient shape for forming your raviolis. I then cut the dough into strips that were 5 inches wide, and as long as I could make them given how long my rolled rectangle of dough was. Measure at increments of 2.5 inches along the dough and mark the dough with a knife. On the right side of the rectangle (with the short side of the rectangle facing you), add about 2 teaspoons of your filling in each of the marked sections. Brush a bit of egg white along the right edge of the dough and between each of the scoops of filling. This will help the dough stick together and keep your raviolis from falling apart. Fold the left side of the rectangle over top of the right and press down along the meeting edges with your finger. Press down between each of the scoops of filling. Slice your almost formed raviolis apart. Crimp the edges of each ravioli with a fork, making sure that they stick together and do not come apart.
Continue this process until you have used up all your dough. You make have to roll out scraps a few times to get as many ravioli as possible out of the dough.
Cover the ravioli with plastic wrap and store them in the refrigerator until you are ready to cook them.
When you are ready to cook the ravioli, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Put your ravioli in the pot (I lowered them in with a slotted spoon to avoid getting splashed by hot water) and cook for 8-10 minutes. The length of time they take to cook will depend on how thin you rolled your dough. Thinner dough will take less time, and thicker will take more. The dough in my last batch was much thicker and took over 15 minutes. If you use a pasta maker to get your dough extremely thin it will probably take closer to 5.
When they have finished cooking, remove the ravioli with a slotted spoon. I served mine with thinly sliced beets, pesto, grated parmesan, and chopped pistachios.