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Casunziei all’ampezzana – beetroot-stuffed ravioli with poppy seeds

Casunziei all’ampezzana – beetroot stuffed ravioli with poppy seeds
  • Main
  • medium
  • 4
  • 40 minutes, plus 30 minutes to rest the pasta dough

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Originally from Cortina d’Ampezzo, a town of the North-Eastern Dolomites, casunziei all’ampezzana are hearty beetroot-stuffed ravioli seasoned with oozing butter, Parmesan cheese and poppy seeds.

The simple filling consists of roasted beetroot and ricotta cheese, while the shape of the paper-thin, fresh pasta dough that envelops it is that of a half moon.

What’s special about this dish, beyond the unusual combination of flavours and the beautiful colour, is certainly the texture, which benefits from the contrast between the melt-in-the-mouth feel of the stuffed pasta and the nice crunch of the many tiny poppy seeds.

Ingredients

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Method

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1
Start by making the pasta dough. tip the flour onto a work surface and make a well in the middle. Crack the eggs inside the well and beat with a fork, incorporating the flour a little at the time, until you see some lumps of dough coming together. Carry on with your hands, kneading the dough until you have a smooth, elastic ball. Flatten it into a disc, wrap in cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for half an hour
2
Meanwhile, make the filling. Steam the beetroots until tender all the way through – about 30 minutes. Place in a food processor and blitz to a purée. Place them over a fine-mesh sieve lined with muslin to drain for 10 minutes
3
Transfer the beetroot purée to a bowl. Add the ricotta and eggs and as many breadcrumbs as needed to thicken the mixture – it should be creamy but not runny. Season with salt and pepper and set aside
4
Divide the pasta dough into three pieces and roll out using a pasta machine – I normally stop at to the second-to-last setting
5
Using a round, 7-to-8 cm ravioli cutter, cut out as many circles of pasta as you can get. Ease a teaspoon of filling into the centre of each circle then gently fold it over to form a half moon, smoothing down to remove any air pockets. Press the edges together using a fork
6
Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Next to it, heat a large skillet and melt the butter for the sauce
7
Cook the casunziei in boiling water for 3 minutes, or until they float to the surface. Drain them with a slotted spoon and transfer to the skillet with the melted butter. Sauté for 30 seconds, until evenly coated in butter
8
Sprinkle with poppy seeds and Parmesan cheese and serve immediately
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