Faustina may be Scott Conant’s new baby, but he hasn’t forgotten about Scarpetta, and neither should you. It was the restaurant that made us all believe in the simple pleasures of tomato and basil, not to mention in the skill and talent of the chef. Here, Conant shares his recipe for another of his pasta creations: Roasted Beet Ravioli With Smoked Ricotta and Poppy Seed. And for the truly adventurous home cook, his recipe for homemade pasta dough.
“I like the freshness of summer beets. They’re both earthy and sweet,” he says of the dish. “The ricotta adds a creamy depth, while the pistachios and poppy seeds give a nutty yet surprising contrast in flavor.”
Roasted Beet Ravioli With Smoked Ricotta and Poppy Seed
1 1/2 ounces smoked ricotta
4 1/2 ounces ricotta
2 pounds red baby beets
1 1/2 ounces parmigiano
1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 springs thyme
1 teaspoon peperoncino
1 tablespoon toasted poppy seeds
1/2 tablespoon toasted pistachios
1 tablespoon parmgiano
1/8 teaspoon peperoncino
2 tablespoons butter
Season the beets with olive oil, salt, pepper, thyme, and place an oven heated to 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes or until tender. Check the doneness by pricking with a fork — there should be no resistance. Remove the beets from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Peel while still warm. Place the beets in a food processor until they are roughly ground.
In a bowl, mix the smoked and regular ricotta with 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil, salt, peperoncino, and parmigiano. Mix the ricotta mixture with the beets and season as needed. Place the mixture in a cheese cloth and allow too stand overnight. The mixture must be as dry as possible, otherwise it will break the dough when cooking. Pipe this mixture (approximately 1/2 ounce per ravioli) onto the pasta sheets (recipe to follow) and proceed to make your raviolis.
Cook the ravioli in salted water, removing 30 seconds after the ravioli float to the top. Place them in a pan over medium heat with butter and some of the pasta liquid. Cook in the pan until the butter and water create an emulsified sauce. Add the poppy seeds, peperoncino, pistachios, olive oil, and cheese just before serving. Garnish with chives.
Homemade pasta recipe to follow. Fresh Pasta Dough
Yield: About 1 1/2 pounds
3-3 1/2 cups “00” or all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling and shaping
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon olive oil
Combine the flour and salt, and place onto a clean table, creating a well. Combine the eggs, yolks, and olive oil, and pour into the center of the well. Slowly start to combine the flour into the egg mixture, without letting the eggs go over the top of the well. When the dough is combined into a cohesive mass and will no longer absorb any more flour, set aside and clean your work surface of any excess bits of flour or dough.
Lightly re-flour your surface and proceed to knead your dough for approximately five minutes. You will know it is ready when it no longer sticks to the table. Wrap the dough well in plastic and let it rest in the refrigerator at least one hour before rolling it.
For rolling, let your dough warm up a bit before placing it through your pasta machine. Start on the thickest setting and continue your way down until it is about 1/32 of an inch thick. You should be able to see the shape of your hand through it. While you are putting the dough through the machine, continue to dust with flour in order for it not to stick. You can now use your pasta sheets as directed in the previous recipe.
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