When you hear “beets”, what comes to mind?  For me, two things.  First, Dwight Schrute (obvs.)  Second, those awful jarred beets that my mom served countless times when I was a kid.  Needless to say, I’m a bit wary of beets.  Last spring when I traveled to Charleston for a photography workshop, we enjoyed a fabulous assortment of fresh ravioli including a beet and goat cheese variety.  However, I wanted nothing to do with them due to the aforementioned biases.  (Plus, one of the other options was a short rib ravioli.  Hello?!  Incredible.)  When Josie noticed I had passed on the beet ravioli, she called foul and basically forced me to try it.  I was expecting the worst but in the end I was pleasantly surprised…and promptly ate way too much ravioli.

I’ve been wanting to recreate that ravioli ever since and when I inadvertently ended up with a few beets in my fridge, it seemed like as good a time as any to give it a shot.  People, I’m telling you right now, this is outstanding.  Roasting the beets brings out their natural sweetness and tones down their earthy quality quite a bit.  Mixed with a bit of soft, tangy goat cheese, lemon zest, and chives, this dish is totally crave-worthy.  I served mine with a simple lemon butter sauce for a little added richness.  (If you have any leftover filling, it’s also great tossed with linguine or spaghetti and makes a gorgeous deep pink dish.)  I know roasted beets are supposed to be great on salads and such but I’m not quite there yet.  For now, I’ll be eating my beets this way and loving every minute of it!   I think this would be a really lovely starter course for a less traditional Thanksgiving option, especially since the ravioli can be made in advance and frozen.

A few notes:
Think homemade pasta seems complicated?  Think again!  It’s actually really easy.  See Part 1 and Part 2 of my homemade pasta tutorial.  You can do this!  It’s fun.
Since making this lasagna, this has become my favorite pasta dough recipe.  But I still really love the old one as well.  You can’t go wrong either way.  Try both and see which you prefer.
You do not need a fancy gadget for ravioli making.  Use a cookie cutter, pastry cutter, pizza cutter, paring knife, rim of a glass, etc.  But, if you just can’t resist, I like this ravioli stamp.  Cheap and it gets the job done.

  • Yield about 4-5 dozen ravioli*


For the pasta:   
3 cups all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
1 tsp. salt
3-4 tbsp. water, if needed 

For the filling:
2 medium beets
4 oz. plain goat cheese
Juice of half a lemon (about 1½ tbsp.)
2 tbsp. fresh minced chives
Salt and pepper, to taste

For the sauce:**
6 tbsp. unsalted butter
1½ tsp. lemon zest
Coarse salt and pepper, to taste

Minced chives and freshly grated Parmesan, to finish


  • 01

    To make the pasta, combine the flour, eggs and salt in the bowl of a food processor.  Process until the mixture forms a ball that is firm, but not sticky.  (If necessary, add a drop of water at a time until the dough comes together.)  Transfer to a floured work surface and invert a bowl over the dough.  Let rest for one hour.

  • 02

    To make the filling, preheat the oven to 400˚ F.  Puncture beets with the tines of a fork sporadically over the surface of the skin.  Wrap tightly with aluminum foil.  Bake until fork tender and the skin slips away easily, about 40 minutes.  (Baking time may vary depending on the size of the beets.)  Remove from the foil to a cutting board and let cool slightly.  When cool enough to handle, peel away the skin of the beets and discard.  Coarsely chop the beets.

  • 03

    In a food processor or blender, pulse the beets until finely chopped.  (Alternatively, mash in a bowl with two forks.)  Add in the goat cheese and lemon juice.  Process once more until smooth.  Stir in the minced chives and season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste.

  • 04

    Divide the pasta dough into quarters.  One piece at a time, flatten the pieces enough that they can be fed through a pasta roller on its widest setting.  Repeat with the remaining quarters.  Continue feeding the pieces through the rollers, going to a thinner setting each time until just barely translucent and it seems too thin for ravioli.  While keeping the other sheets covered with a lightly damp towel, lay out a sheet of pasta on a lightly floured work surface.  If using a stamp, lightly press indentations with the stamp onto the pasta sheet to act as a guide for spacing the filling. Place a small amount of filling in each space (about 2 teaspoons), being careful not to overfill.  Lay a second sheet of pasta gently over the top of the mounds of filling.  Starting at one end of the pasta, gently stretch the top sheet of pasta over the filling and press firmly around the edges to seal the pasta sheets together, making sure to press out the excess air before sealing.  Cut out each ravioli using your desired cutting tool (ravioli stamp, cookie cutter, pastry cutter, pizza cutter, paring knife, rim of a glass, etc.)  Transfer to a lightly floured surface.  Repeat with remaining pasta dough and filling.

  • 05

    Bring a pot of water to a boil.  Cook the ravioli in a pot of boiling water until al dente, about 3-5 minutes.  While the pasta cooks, make the sauce.  Add the butter to a small saucepan and melt over medium-low heat.  When the solids have collected on the top, skim them off with a spoon and discard.  Stir in the lemon zest, and season with salt and pepper.  When the pasta is finished cooking, drain well and serve tossed with a bit of the lemon butter sauce.  Top with minced chives and fresh Parmesan, if desired.

  • 06

    *You may be thinking, who needs 5 dozen ravioli?  You do, that’s who!  If putting in the effort to make ravioli from scratch, do yourself a favor and make the full batch so you can freeze half for later. 
    **This is about enough sauce for about 4 servings of ravioli.  Multiply as needed.