Ever since last week's success with gluten free beet and kale ravioli, I have been dying to try my hand at ravioli once again. Today's recipe was initially inspired by some canned pumpkin left over from the other day's pumpkin muffins. The thought of pumpkin led to the idea for a beet filling. And the thought of the earthy, almost caramelized flavor of roasted beets brought me to the conclusion that I would have to include some caramelized onions as well. This is the best version I have tried to date - even better than the beet kale combination. This time, I managed to roll the dough even thinner and make room for even more of the creamy, flavorful purée. The filling was so good that I had to restrain myself from consuming it before it had even entered the ravioli shells.
In the picture above, you can see how the beautiful bright pink color of the beetroot filling began to dye the faintly orange pumpkin pasta magenta. I took this picture the day after making the ravioli, so the beet color had time to seep outward.
I served the ravioli on a plate brushed with homemade basil walnut pesto, and topped them with just a drizzle of oil, a few ground pistachios, and a sprinkling of grated pecorino. They were definitely the most interesting ravioli I have tried yet, and I would never have known they were gluten free had I not made them myself.
Pumpkin Ravioli with a Caramelized Onion and Roasted Red Beet Filling (GF)
Beet and Caramelized Onion Filling
2 medium beets
1 medium onion
2 tbsp olive oil
2 pinches of sea salt
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 cup farmer cheese (or ricotta)
1 egg white
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)
1/4 cup pumpkin purée
Beet and Caramelized Onion Filling
Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Peel the beets and slice them into rounds, about 1/4 inch thick. Toss them in a tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of sea salt. Lay them out in a medium sized ceramic or glass baking dish and bake for 30-40 minutes, until a sharp knife can easily be inserted into them. Every 15 minutes or so, push them around the dish with a spatula to ensure that they don't get too dry and are evenly roasted.
While the beets are roasting, peel your medium onion and slice it into very thin slices, 1/16 to 1/8 inch thick. Use a mandoline for this step if you have one. Add a tablespoon of olive oil to a small non-stick pan and set it over medium heat. Add the tablespoon of brown sugar and dissolve it slightly in the oil. Add the onions and mix them around so that they are evenly coated in the oil/sugar.
Lower the heat and allow the onions to cook for about 20 minutes, until tender and caramel-brown. Stir them occasionally as they cook to make sure they are cooking evenly and are not burning.
When the beets and onions have finished roasting and cooking, add them to the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel knife blade. Pulse until almost smooth, pausing occasionally to push down the sides of the processor with a spatula. Add the farmer cheese and a generous pinch of sea salt. Pulse until as smooth as possible. Add the egg white and process until well combined.
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 the canned pumpkin and mix it with the dough until well combined. I found it easiest to do this with my hands. This should moisten the dough enough that it can form a ball. When it is completely combined, the dough will be a faint orangey color.
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 10-12 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.
Garnish and serve. Bon appétit!