Red ravioli with leeks filling

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I love ravioli but I am still not an expert in their preparation. However the important thing is that I keep practicing. After 3 not satisfying experiments the forth one was almost successful. I was searching for any recipe with leek and suddenly I found this one. I found it very interesting and I decided to prepare it during the same weekend. 

I should also mention that for this ravioli experience I bought special flour from an Italian shop: 00 type and semolina. The previous times when I made ravioli I had problems with the dough – it was making holes and the moisture of the filling was breaking it. Now I didn’t have this issue any more, so apparently the flour matters a lot when you prepare pasta. The only defect of my dough was that it remained a bit hard even after being boiled for 4 minutes. Still the result was pretty good and I am quite happy…
And I just forgot to say that this experiment was approved by an Italian who is very demanding on food. This means a lot!
Here is the recipe, adapted from julymooninspirations

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Ingredients:

Beet Pasta Dough:
1 medium sized beet roasted until soft and peeled
2 cups flour 00
½ cup semolina flour
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon salt
2 leaves sage, minced or ½ teaspoon dry sage
Using a food processor process the beet until smooth. Add in the eggs, the salt and the sage and continue processing for 10 more seconds. Make a well with ¾ of the flours and pour the beet mixture in the middle. Little by little mix all the ingredients until they begin to form a ball. The dough will be sticky. Transfer to a floured surface and knead the dough for several minutes. Keep adding more flour when needed, until the dough becomes smooth and elastic. Wrap in plastic wrap and let the dough stay in the fridge for at least 30 minutes (while preparing the filling).
Separate the dough into several pieces and run it through a pasta maker. Start with 0 and gradually increasing until you reach level 5. Do not process the dough past this level as it will be too thin for the ravioli. Lay finished sheets on a floured surface.
I have a special tool for ravioli, which makes them in a normal small size, but in this case I decided to make them large. For one reason because the leek filling has some big pieces, which would not fit perfectly in the small ravioli, and also because the red ravioli in my opinion have some “royal” look, therefore they just have to be big.

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Filling:
1 l whole milk
⅓ cup full fat plain yogurt
1 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon lemon juice
pinch of salt
cheesecloth
1 big leek
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 leaves sage, minced or ½ teaspoon dry sage
½ teaspoon salt
1 egg, slightly beaten

Combine the milk, the yogurt, the honey, the lemon juice and the salt in a sauce pan and gradually bring them to medium high heat, stirring constantly. Increase the heat to high and continue stirring until the curds and whey separate. Remove the pan from the heat, cover and let it cool. Once cooled, pour the ricotta mixture into the cheesecloth and let it drain. You can tie the opposite ends of the cheesecloth on the kitchen sink tap, or on a wooden spoon placed over a big pot. If you need faster result you can squeeze a bit the cheesecloth, but not too much.

Cut the leek in small pieces and cook them in a pan with the olive oil. When they are almost cooked, add the sage and the salt and remove from the fire. Combine the leeks and the drained ricotta and mix them well.
Cut the ravioli dough into squares. Place a small amount of ricotta in the center of one square. Using a pastry brush, brush around the filling with the egg. Put another square on top and press on the edges, so that they stick well together. Place the ravioli on a floured surface and leave them for 15-30 minutes to dry before cooking.
Bring a pot of water to a boil and add 2-3 spoons of salt. Lower the heat to medium and gently place a few ravioli at a time into the hot water. Boil them 3-4 minutes.
We tried them with plain tomato sauce and also with sage and butter sauce. I would say that tomato doesn’t go very well with the beet and the leeks. It’s very easy to make sage and butter sauce: for 2 people it is enough to melt 2 spoons of butter on a low fire and when it’s almost done, just add 1-2 teaspoons dry sage or 7-8 fresh leaves (cut).
This ravioli recipe makes at least 5-6 portions, so I froze most of mine.

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