The heritage beetroots we grow are the star of the August kitchen garden, they come in all colours, shapes and sizes, but this recipe suits the big purple beetroots familiar to us all. Their sweet summery flavour is intensified by roasting in their skins and it marries perfectly with the sage and soft ricotta. This is an impressive sharing starter that requires time in the kitchen, but is so very much worth the effort. This month we have given you a main and a pud that are very simple to make, so all your energies can be put into this show-stopping start to your dinner party. The recipe works equally well in the autumn with sweet roasted squash and new season walnuts in the dressing.
For the pasta:
- 200g ‘00’ flour
- 1 whole egg
- 3 yolks
- Pinch of salt
For the filling:
- 3-4 beetroot
- 10-15 leaves, steamed
- 250g ricotta
- Dried chilli
- 25g finely grated parmesan
- Salt & pepper
For the sauce:
- 100g butter
- 10-12 sage leaves
- ½ lemon
- Salt & pepper
- Place the flour in a blender with the salt & eggs, run the motor until the mix resembles coarse sand.
- Tip onto a work surface and knead until smooth.
- Wrap & chill for at least 30 minutes.
- For the filling, cut the leaves away from the beetroot, 1 inch above the beetroots.
- Wash well, place in a parchment and foil parcel and drizzle with olive oil, a splash of red wine vinegar and plenty of seasoning.
- Seal the parcel and place on a baking tray on a bed of sea salt.
- Bake at 200°c for one hour.
- Divide the dough in two & run each through the largest setting of a pasta machine, fold in half and turn by 90° between each rolling, repeat 8-10 times. Run each half through the settings of the pasta machine starting at setting number 1 until you reach number 5.
- Cut three lengths of pasta large enough to fit on a clean tea towel horizontally.
- Brush the bottom 1cm of each sheet with water & lay the next sheet along this edge to stick.
- Scatter the ricotta over the pasta in large chunks, tear the beetroot into similar sized pieces & scatter over; with salt & pepper, grated nutmeg, dried chilli and finally, the grated parmesan.
- Roll up, using the tea towel, from top to bottom, like a swiss roll.
- Brush the bottom edge with water to seal.
- Roll in the tea towel & tuck the ends to form a sausage.
- Tie with string at 4cm intervals as if you were tying a fillet of beef and place in a pan of boiling salted water for 12 minutes.
- Lift out of the pan, cut the string & unroll the filled pasta onto cling film. Roll up tightly and tie the ends. Keep warm.
- Heat the butter in a small pan until foaming. Add the sage and salt & pepper. Cook until crisp. Squeeze in the lemon juice.
- To serve, cut through the cling film & place a slice of the rotolo on a warm plate. Lift off the cling film & serve spooned with the sage butter & some extra parmesan.
Follow the links below for Main & Pud