Beet and Ricotta Ravioli

I used to get really frustrated trying to make homemade pasta. The dough would never be the right texture, and trying to roll out dough that’s either too dry or too wet and sticky can be infuriating.

Thankfully, it seems that all of my practice lately has finally paid off. I’m not an expert by any means, but I’ve finally found a dough recipe that I can get to work every time. The recipe actually calls for starting the dough in a food processor. Because I don’t own a food processor like working with dough, I make it by hand right on a floured counter top. An added benefit is that you can add a little more water, which I often do, depending on how the dough feels.

My pasta experimentation continued last weekend when Matt remembered the beet and ricotta ravioli he had once at Al Di La in Brooklyn. We used Al Di La’s filling recipe published on Serious Eats, but decided to use the Marco Canora dough. We also rolled out our pasta thinner than Al Di La’s version, at last from what Matt remembered. The thin dough made both the beet flavor and color shine through. A simple coating of brown butter and sprinkling of poppy seeds and Parmesan enhanced the sweet, earthy beets.

Despite the butter, they tasted so light that it was hard to stop eating them. It was one of those meals we awkwardly ate in silence because we were so in awe of our food. Even if you don’t like beets, I highly recommend giving this a try. It might just convert you to a beet-lover.

Beet and Ricotta Ravioli with Brown Butter and Poppy Seeds

Yield: 4 servings

Beet and Ricotta Ravioli with Brown Butter and Poppy Seeds

Filling recipe adapted from Serious Eats, dough recipe from Marco Canora


    For the filling:
  • 2 large beets
  • Bread crumbs, if necessary
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup thick whole milk ricotta
  • 5 ounces (1 1/4 sticks) melted butter
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 oz Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
  • For the pasta:
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 7 large egg yolks


  • Start by roasting the beets. The most common way to roast beets is to roast them whole, an then peel and chop them. I was in a hurry, so I actually peeled the beets while raw, cut them into cubes, and then roasted in a 400 degree oven until tender. This took about 30 minutes, but completely depends on the size of the cut.
  • When the beets are cooked, process them until finely chopped but not completely pureed. Stir in the eggs, ricotta, and ¼ cup of the melted butter. Season with salt. If the mixture seems a little soft, add a spoonful or two of plain breadcrumbs. (I ended up adding a couple of tablespoons.) The filling can be prepared up to one day in advance.
  • Start the dough by combining the flour and a pinch of salt. Creating a well in the middle of the flour mixture on a flat work surface.
  • Add the egg, 5 of the egg yolks, and 1 tablespoon of water into the well. Using a fork, blend the wet ingredients and incorporate the flour gradually.
  • When the dough starts to come together, begin kneading. If the dough is too tough to knead, add a little more water a tablespoon at a time.
  • Knead until smooth. Wrap the dough in plastic and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  • Dust a pasta roller and countertop with flour. Begin rolling out the dough, starting with the thickest setting and finishing with the thinnest setting possible.
  • Try to keep the sheets as straight as possible while rolling or this will happen.
  • Cut circles out of the pasta sheets using a cookie or biscuit cutter. (A glass also works in a pinch.) In a small bowl, combine the remaining two egg yolks with a few drops of water.
  • To form the raviolis, lay half the circles out on a floured work surface. Place a generous spoonful in the middle of each circle. Using your fingers or a small brush, dab a little of the egg yolk mixture around the edges of the dough.
  • Place another circle on top and carefully pick up the unsealed ravioli. Seal the edges with your fingers, pressing out any air and being careful to not tear the dough.
  • Cook the remaining butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat until lightly browned. Meanwhile, cook the raviolis in boiling water for about 3 minutes. Turn off the heat on the butter and carefully transfer the drained raviolis to the skillet. Coat in the brown butter and transfer to serving plates.
  • Top with the grated cheese and poppy seeds. Devour.

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