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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Beet & Goat Cheese Ravioli in Brown Butter Sauce



There are few things sexier than a man who cooks. Something that might be slightly higher on the list of sexy-things-a-man-can-do, is a man who cooks a beautiful Italian dinner including homemade pasta.

I based this recipe on a dish that I had last Valentine's Day at a local restaurant which mainly caters weddings, but opens up two nights a month to share their delightful Italian recipes with the general public. We scored a table there last February and I have been waiting to recreate the dish every since.

Other Valentine's Day Recipes:
Orange Chocolate Martinicocktail 
Roasted Red Pepper Crostini, appetizer
Pumpkin Soup with Chocolate & Chipotle, soup

Ingredients: Pasta
-4 cups flour
-4 eggs
-4 egg shells full of water
-Pinch of salt

Filling
-4 small beets, roasted
-Salt and pepper
-4 ounces of goat cheese
-1/4 cup white wine
-3 tablespoons of chives

To make the pasta: Combine all of the pasta ingredients until a dough forms. Flour your counter and turn the dough out of the bowl onto the counter and knead for several minutes. Then return the dough back to the bowl, cover and set aside for 5-10 minutes. If you're a visual person (I totally get that!), the first time we made homemade pasta for the blog we made a step-by-step photo blog, you can find that post here.

To make the filling: Preheat the oven to 400, and liberally coat the beats in olive oil. Season the beets with salt and pepper and roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes.


Combine the goat cheese, beets, chives and white wine in a food processor. 

Give it a whirl. 

To make the ravioli sheets.
Cut the dough you've prepared into equal pieces.
Run each through the pasta maker, changing the setting each time to make the sheets thinner.
For example: Ours started on setting one and then half of the pieces went though until setting four (that was the base) and half went through until setting seven (that was our top). 

As mentioned above, you want half of your pasta sheets to be thick to ensure a good base.

And you want half of them to be thin to ensure that the filling will shine through. 

Lay a piece of the thinnest dough on the ravioli press.
Using the top of the press, press down to create the wells of the ravioli.

We have photo-by-photo instructions for the ravioli press as well. You can find it here. You can buy ravioli presses like the one we used on Amazon, there are a wide variety of styles and brands.


Place half a spoonful of filling into each well.

Don't fill them too full or the filling will leak out while cooking!

Place a thick sheet of dough on top.

Using a rolling pin, roll the raviolis until the cut through the ravioli press and are easily removed.
Store the ravioli on a cooking sheet covered in wax paper which has been lightly dusted with flour.

Repeat this process until all of the ravioli sheets are used. If the scraps of pasta have not dried out too much, repeat the rolling process to create additional pasta sheet. Some of our sheets dried out and became unusable, so we only got 22 ravioli out of this recipe, it will easily make 48+ ravioli.

Cook the ravioli in boiling water until al dente.
Depending on how large your pot is and how many ravioli you are cooking, the cook time will probably range from 3-6 minutes.
It really doesn't take too long, it is best to stand over the pot and test them every few minutes. 

To make the Brown Butter Sauce, heat a stick of butter in a sauce pan over medium-heat until melted, continue to heat until the butter browns. That's all it takes, super easy after all of the hard work it took to make the ravioli.

Spoon the brown butter over the ravioli.
Serve garnished with some shaved white chocolate. 

Enjoy.

I loved this recipe for a variety of reasons. First, attractive men making/cooking homemade ravioli, that is always a winning situation. Second, this tasted almost identical to the dish we had last Valentine's Day and I am incredibly happy with those results. The roasted beets had a sweet, caramelized flavor which was off-set by the chives, goat cheese and brown butter sauce. The white chocolate added an additional hint of sweetness. Third, the color of this is beautiful, it is a perfect way to jazz up a Valentine's Day meal.

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