When you leave a cooking date laughing and smiling you know it’s been a good one. After lunching with Lou a few weeks ago and being served some fantastic handmade golden beet ravioli, I had been itching to make a batch myself.
Beets in vibrant hues are peaking at the farmers’ markets beckoning home cooks to get creative. So I bought a bunch this last Saturday at the Montclair Farmer’s Market, roasted them in aluminum foil for an hour and then texted Lou I was ready whenever he was to make some for myself. He’s always so agreeable to cook together and yesterday was the day. I invited Suzy, my beet loving friend, to come along. One, I knew she’d be interested in learning how to make homemade ravioli, a food she’d never made before. Two, she’d never turn down an opportunity to get dinner made. And three, I really wanted her to see how very easy it is to make ravioli by hand, especially when under the expert guidance by a pro like Lou.
And Lou certainly made things easy. As usual, he had the dough ready and the pasta crank out when we arrived. In fact he had already made a tray of bright red ravioli for himself before we got there. All we had to do was grate our beets (but he did that for us too!), mix in some ricotta cheese and start cranking.
Lou and I were like Vanna White and Pat Sajak from Wheel of Fortune as we showed Suzy how it’s done. And yes, I was the blond doing what I was instructed to do! Forty two plump raviolis later, with a chance to sit down and sample the fruits of our labor, in an hour and fifteen minutes. I’d call that a successful time cooking! Even Lou commented on the efficiency, remarking that we had three people to do the job of one.
Beet Ravioli Filling
3 large golden beets, roasted and skins removed
1/3 cup ricotta cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Using a course metal grater, grate the beets and transfer to a bowl. Mash with a fork and blend in the cheese while seasoning with salt and pepper.
Lou’s Pasta Dough Recipe
6 cups all-purpose flour
4 eggs, mixed
6 ounces water
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 teaspoons salt
Using a mixer fitted with the hook attachment, mix eggs into flour with salt and olive oil, gradually adding the water until the dough comes together. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest for at least a half hour before using.