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Valli’s Kitchen Diary (Part 1) - Beetroot ravioli with sage & poppyseed burnt butter

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“This cheat’s ravioli, filled with a vibrant beetroot and ricotta filling, is an easy way to impress at home. The addition of crunchy poppy seeds adds texture to a classic sage burnt butter.”

In his retirement, my dad took an allotment. These days allotments, or community gardens, and the grow-your-own trend are gaining popularity, particularly for urbanites longing for a small amount of space to experience the pleasure of home grown produce. The amount of produce that came from Dad’s garden was astounding; potatoes, parsnips, turnips, swedes and Brussels sprouts in winter, and zucchini, peas, sweet raspberries and blackcurrants during summer. These days, vegetables are no longer just for the chorus, taking centre stage in restaurant menus thanks to the efforts of chefs including Nigel Slater and Yotam Ottolenghi in the UK, Dan Hunter at Brae in regional Victoria and South Australia’s Simon Bryant. Thanks to this movement, we’re more aware of seasonality and more willing to experiment with different varieties at home. Right now, I’m enjoying cooking with winter’s harvest of root vegetables, fromsweet ruby beetroot and heirloom carrots to creamy-fleshed pumpkins and gnarly celeriac, even in desserts.

Beetroot ravioli with sage & poppyseed burnt butter

Beetroot ravioli with sage & poppyseed burnt butter

Beetroot ravioli with sage & poppyseed burnt butter

Serves 4–6

·         8 small cooked beetroots

·         2 large pontiac or desiree potatoes, chopped

·         1 cup (240g) ricotta

·         1 garlic clove, finely chopped

·         1/2 cup (40g) grated parmesan, plus extra to serve

·         1 pack wonton wrappers

·         125g unsalted butter

·         20 fresh sage leaves

·         1 tbs poppy seeds

Pat the beetroot dry with paper towel, then puree in a food processor. Set aside. Cook the potato in a saucepan of boiling salted water for 8-10 minutes until tender, then drain, mash and cool slightly. Combine with the beetroot, ricotta, garlic and parmesan. Season well, then set aside.

Lay half the wonton wrappers on a workbench and place heaped teaspoonfuls of the beetroot filling in the centre of each. Brush around the edges with cold water and cover with remaining wrappers, pressing the edges to seal and remove any air. Transfer to a tray and place in the fridge until ready to serve.

Melt the butter in a frypan over medium heat, add the sage and poppy seeds, and cook until the butter is brown and sage is crisp.

Cook ravioli, in batches, in a large saucepan of boiling salted water for 3 minutes or until they float to the surface, then remove with a slotted spoon. Toss in the butter and serve with extra parmesan.

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