Beet ravioli with brown butter and poppy seed sauce

CHICOPEE, Mass. (Mass Appeal) – When you think of ravioli your mind likely wanders to ricotta filled pasta with a red sauce. Claire Morenon, Program Coordinator at CISA, and Belle Rita Novak, Market Manager at the Farmers’ Market at Forest Park in Springfield, showed us how to make beet ravioli.

Casunzei (Beet Ravioli with Brown Butter & Poppy Seed Sauce)

Ingredients:
1 batch of fresh egg pasta OR (if easier, but I’ll shed a bit of a tear) wonton wrappers
2 beets, peeled and boiled til soft
1 large potato, peeled and boiled till soft
7 oz of ricotta
1/2 cup of grated parmigiano reggiano
3 tablespoons of milk
1/4 teaspoon of fresh nutmeg
pinch of salt to taste
(This makes enough filling for a LOT of ravioli)

Ingredients for Sauce:
4-6 tablespoons of unsalted butter
optional: 6 sage leaves
1 to 2 tablespoons of poppy seeds
freshly grated parmigiano reggiano
(optional) pinch of salt
(optional garnish) chopped chives

Directions:
1. Boil your beets and potato until very soft. Remove and allow to cool for a bit. When cool, mash by hand or blitz in a food processor till pretty smooth. Add to a bowl.
2. Once the beet/potato mixture is cool, add your ricotta, cheese, nutmeg, salt and milk. Stir to combine. Taste for seasoning.
3. Using a glass or ravioli cutter with a 4-inch diameter, cut your ravioli circles. Fill the middle of each ravioli with about 1 teaspoon filling. Wet the outer diameter of the ravioli with water using your finger. Bring one side of the circle to meet the other and pinch all of the sides closed. Dust with a bit of flour and allow to await its fate in the boiling water. Note to self – start boiling your pasta water. Don’t forget to add some salt!
4. Continue making all your ravioli until you have enough.
5. Add your ravioli to the boiling water and allow to cook (about 2 to 3 minutes). They should raise to the top when they are done.
6. In a separate pan, heat up your butter on medium-low and allow to cook until butter begins to get a bit of color. Add your sage leaves and continue to get a bit more color. Add your poppy seeds and toss a bit. Add your ravioli’s to the pan and toss in the butter sauce.
7. Plate ravioli’s with some of the butter sauce on top along with a pinch of (optional) salt and a dusting of freshly ground parmigiano reggiano and chives (optional).

BEETS 101

Storage
Remove beet greens from roots and store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for 1 week. Store washed or unwashed roots in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for a month or more.

Freezing Greens
Blanch pre-washed (and chopped, if desired) greens in boiling water for 1 minute. Plunge into an ice water bath to cool. Drain and wring out as much water as possible. Form into convenient serving-size balls. Wrap balls in plastic wrap and freeze in quart or gallon-size freezer bags.

Root Cellar
Store unwashed roots in a cold, damp cellar (32-34 degrees and 90% humidity) for several months.

Northampton Winter Farmers’ Market
Saturday, January 17th
9:00AM – 2:00PM
Smith Vocational and Argicultural High School

Amherst Winter Farmers’ Market
Saturday, January 24th
10:00AM – 2:00PM
Amherst Regional Middle School

Springfield Winter Farmers’ Market
Saturday, January 24th
10:00AM – 2:00PM
Old Monkey House at Forest Park
Park entry is free for the farmers’ market.

Greenfield Winter Farmers’ Market
Saturday, February 21st
10:00AM – 1:00PM
Greenfield Middle School

For more information visit BuyLocalFood.org.

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