This is probably the most unappealing dish I’ve ever put on my blog. I’m sorry. I must have turned the dish around 50 times trying to find a side that looked better than the others and I failed.
I snapped the photos and then let out a big sigh, took the plate and went to the sofa and started to watch some sitcom on tv. I was feeling pretty sorry for myself. Then I took a bite and my heart began to soar. I decided after the first bite that I would post this recipe even though it looks like a dog’s breakfast.
A few years ago we were eating at a restaurant in Canberra and one of the courses was a beetroot tortellini filled with kangaroo bbq and served with goat cheese and brown butter. I loved that dish and this week I decided to recreate it. I did it the hard way. You can buy beetroot powder but I decided to make my own.
I parboiled 3 large beets, peeled them when they were cool enough not to burn my fingerprints off and then I sliced them using a mandolin slicer. Once they were all cut I laid them out in the dehydrator and it took more than a day to get them dry. Once cracking dry, I put them into the food processor and whizzed until I had powder but upon reflection, I could have whizzed a little bit longer.
I used the powder along with eggs and 00 flour to make the pasta dough and then rolled it out. I first made tortellini and I thought they were just too doughy so I cranked out some more pasta and just made triangles and I was really happy with them.
I had some frozen pulled pork and I defrosted that and put it in the thermomix on reverse along with some BBQ sauce and heated it to boiling and in a few minutes I had a well broken down mixture. A food processor would work just fine. Into the ravioli it went and then into boiling water for just a few minutes. Cooking longer leaches out all the color – I might have done that once when the phone rang.
To serve, I put a small layer of beetroot relish on the plate and placed two ravioli on top. Then I added some garlic and herb goat cheese and drizzled the lot with browned butter that I’d added a little ground wattleseed.
I will make this again for my next dinner party but I will make squares next time. I’m happy to call this the ugly duckling dish. My apologies for making you roll your eyes. I did think about not posting this. 🙂
- 300 grams 00 flour
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon beetroot powder (You can leave this out if you prefer)
- 1 cup pulled pork
- 3 tablespoons bbq sauce (I used store bought but homemade would be great)
- ¼ cup butter
- 1 teaspoon ground wattleseeds (I added them because I had them - optional)
- ½ cup beetroot relish
- 4 tablespoons goats cheese (I used garlic and herb)
- Heat the pork with the bbq sauce and make it as fine as you can. I put mine in a food processor.
- Whisk the beetroot powder with the flour in a bowl
- Make a well in the middle and crack the eggs in the well and beat the eggs with a fork until well blended.
- Using just the tips of your fingers, pull a little bit of flour into the center, incorporating it as you go.
- Once it's come together, pour it out onto a work surface and knead until it all comes together and the gluten is well developed. When the pasta feels smooth and silky, it's ready to roll. You can use a pasta machine or use a well floured surface and a rolling pin.
- Cut squares and dampen two sides, add a teaspoon of filling in the center and pull one corner over to make a triangle. Press the sides together and try to get all the air out as you press down.
- Heat a large pot of boiling water and add the ravioli a few at a time. Once it floats to the top, continue to cook another 2-3 minutes depending upon how thick your pasta is. Cook one and test is my advice.
- Place butter into a saucepan and heat to medium. When the butter is melted, add the ground wattleseed and cook until the butter begins to turn a nutty brown. Remove from the heat immediately. (I usually set just the bottom of the pan into some cold water in the sink to cool it down)
- Put a tablespoon of beetroot relish on the plate, place two ravioli on top and crumble goats cheese. Drizzle the brown butter sauce over the top and enjoy.
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says
I have a few recipes that I call ugly but delicious. It’s the taste that counts no? 🙂
Stephanie - The Dessert Spoon says
So much flavour!!
I love the beetroot pasta! It’s been ages since I made my own pasta. I’ll have to try it!
I see nothing ugly ducking about this dish at all, Maureen. Nothing at all! It’s glorious, and your description of the flavors has gotten me all hungry, and it’s not even breakfast time for me yet! <3
Chris Scheuer says
I don’t think it looks as bad as you think it does. And if it made your heart soar (not sore) then I’m all in! 🙂
Nancy | Plus Ate Six says
It sounds delicious! If I saw that description on a menu I’d order it in a heartbeat. That last photo is gorgeous – in any case plenty of my food gets hit with the ugly stick:)
Kathleen | HapaNom says
Beetroot powder!? Brilliant! One of my favorite things to make in the kitchen (when I have time), is to make fresh pasta. Great flavor combinations – I’ve gotta try this! And don’t worry about the photos, I think they’re perfectly lovely and they capture that wonderful rich color of the beets!
Mary Frances says
Maureen, your ugly duckling recipe looks beautiful!! Seriously! It’s one of the most creative recipes I’ve seen in a while. I will have to try beetroot pasta soon. Yum!!
Maureen, you crack me up, every single time… THE DOG’s BREAKFAST! Oh, my… the number of times I’ve felt the same way, turning the dish in every single possible angle! And, more often than not I give up and tell myself I must make this again and hope for some type of cosmetic miracle…
brown food is impossible, and pulled pork one of the worst. Well, beef stew is probably my nemesis…
you know, I tried to make beet pasta once and my darn pasta faded during cooking – turned as a horrible pink, with no appeal whatsoever
You are inspiring me!
If it tastes good that is all that maters! That is all! 🙂
Suzy @ The Mediterranean Dish says
Maureen, you make me laugh! You should give yourself a little more credit for the photos, friend. We all have those dishes we struggle styling and taking pictures of. And many times, those are often the dishes that are so delicious and hearty. Glad you decided to post this one after all.
Ciao Florentina says
That cool raspberry color tough, the bomb !
Shashi at RunninSrilankan says
Maureen – you boiled and dehydrated and powdered beetroot and used it in pasta??? That’s beyond brilliant! Usually, I am not too fond of pasta – but this one I could eat! Such a gorgeous color and paired with pork and beetroot relish! YUM! 🙂
RunninSrilankan Shashi says
Maureen – you boiled and dehydrated and powdered beetroot and used it in pasta??? That’s beyond brilliant! Usually, I am not too fond of pasta – but this one I could eat! Such a gorgeous color and paired with pork and beetroot relish! YUM! 🙂 🙂
Rachel (Rachel's Kitchen NZ) says
Photographing beetroot or anything made with it has be one of the most difficult – red cabbage can be psychedelic too! Recipe sounds great – ymmo:-)
John@Kitchen Riffs says
Gorgeous color! And it sounds like the flavor is outstanding. I can see how that’s not the easiest subject to photograph, although that last photo is quite nice. (when in doubt, always get in close!). Really fun recipe — thanks.
Hotly Spiced says
This isn’t ugly. It has beautiful colour. I’m glad you had some time off watching a sitcom after all the effort you went to to make beetroot powder and then your own pasta. Wonderful! I like the sound of the pulled pork with the goat’s cheese and the burnt butter. Must add wattle seeds to my shopping list xx
Veronica (Roni) says
Oh my goodness Maureen, I reckon you are to be congratulated on the process alone!!
A well done labour of love….& what drive in that taste anticipation!!!
The colours are beautiful & I am delighted your mouthfuls evoked the desired result…:))
Your pasta is a beautiful bright colour with the beet powder. And the pulled pork filling … delicious.
Tricia @ Saving room for dessert says
The color is amazing! So glad you posted it – if you can eat it and would make it again – it is blogable!
Dog’s breakfast?? Hahahahahaha!! It so cracked me up, LOL! You are such a funny bone. IMHO, it’s the tougue who is the master, eyes are just its valet. I believe you when you say it’s awesome.
Laura (Tutti Dolci) says
That color is so striking, what an impressive pasta!
This is absolutely gorgeous <3
The color was quite special but I know I could have done better. 🙂
Lizzy (Good Things) says
Sounds like a lot of work but well worthwhile, Maureen… sometimes our food isn’t pretty, but tastes great. Happens!
I don’t think it’s unappealing at all! the colours are delightful and it reminds me of a fancy dish I had at a posh restaurant quite recently. 🙂
Marilyn Lesniak says
Oh, I love beet root. Saved and on my list to make!
Nought unappealing presentation-wise in my book! Reads ‘unusual’ and looks ‘v appetizing’. Well, don’t have a magical parcel of pulled pork in the freezer so am adding time factors together but really want to try this 🙂 !
It is a very interesting dish and what brilliant colour the beetroot powder added to the pasta. I have no doubt it is totally delicious and admire you for ploughing on and posting this clever combination.
Lell Trogdon says
I think this is beautiful! And maybe if you are going to call it Ugly Duckling the next batch might need to be filled with some Duck Confit! I’m so impressed that you dried your own beet root! What would I do without my uplifting and fun posts from you? Reading your blog has kept me sane during all the crazy days I have had of late. Thanks for all you do!
Abbe @ This is How I Cook says
It is good to see everything and we learn from everything too! I think pink ravioli are so pretty and the combo sounds divine! I know if you posted it that it must taste great. And making triangles is hard!
I’m going to make squares next time 🙂
Anna @ shenANNAgans says
I am pleased you did post it, I think its very pretty, and anything that makes your heart sing is def worthy of being on the blog. Cant wait to have a crack at it. 🙂
David Crichton says
I would of just played one with the goats cheese on top of it. Then had a big dining plate on the side for myself. It’s amazing how wrong photos turn out now and again. I’ve got loads of dishes I’ve made, that like this taste sensational. Unfortunately for whatever reason they all seem to just fall on the plate.
As my blog heavily relies on the photo, I’ve got about half a dozen dishes I need to remake to get a better photo.
The combination of these sound amazing though, the pasta is beautiful. That makes any plate shine.
That’s a good idea. I’ve got some more pork bbq and I’m going to make some more 🙂
The Ninja Baker says
Applause! A+ for all your diligence, Maureen. I sooo admire your gourmet skills and patience! Pinky-red beetroot pasta with goat cheese would be a treat on any day, photographed at any angle =)
Well, I think it is beautiful! It sounds like a great tasting recipe…..I’m glad you posted it, it is nice to know that I’m not the only one to give up on a posting. I have left out a few of mine. 🙂
Well I think it looks fabulous! The color is gorgeous, and I’m sure it’s delicious!
Chineka @ Savor The Baking says
The dish sounds delicious. I’m all for pasta dishes.
I DO feel your pain, but I’m not rolling my eyes one bit. I wish I was there with you savoring every bite!
As long as it tastes good I’m all up for it and I don’t think it looks too bad. I have found some of the ugliest Chinese dishes – steamed spare ribs at yum cha or minced pork and salted fish are the tastiest too 🙂
LOL, Maureen I meant!
Carol at Wild Goose Mama says
Yep, I will have to agree. It did not take a picture well. But again neither do I and I consider myself pretty special. Lol. Very interesting recipe and it sounds delish.
I don’t normally talk about ME, but please take note of the slight name change from Wild Goose Tea. New web design too—whoopee and adding new features along the way.
When does the new website launch, Carol? At the moment the domain is parked. I love the new name!
Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake says
That’s not ugly! I’ve made way uglier things that I don’t even want to put on the blog. 😛 It’s the taste that counts anyway and that definitely looks delicious.
Somehow I do not think that it is ugly…as a matter of fact I love the color of the pasta…and really what is matter is the taste of it…and it sure sounds delicious!
Enjoy the rest of your week Maureen 🙂
steel pipe fitting says
seems great, thanks
I adore beet infused food, and this one is no exception. I would love a big bowl of this.
It actually looks pretty ! Love the color. Beetroot dishes have been so popular lately and I love the use of beetroot powder! I’ve never made homemade fresh pasta, but will definitely try it.
Claire | Sprinkles and Sprouts says
The colours on this are fabulous. I love beetroot pasta, it speaks to the kid in me. Although when I was a kid I wasn’t really a pink kid, I was more of a shorts and tee girl than a dress girl. But I can still appreciate pink food 😀
And I know the pain of having a dish that you can’t photograph, some dishes just sit on the plate and some dishes sing on a plate. So hard when you want to dive in and eat, but you are lifting a piece of food here or adding some more herbs there. Nothing but nothing will make your dish look how you want it to look. I have a folder on my laptop called ‘not blog worthy’ delicious food that I just didn’t get a great photo of.
Not that I think your pasta falls into that category, I think the colours are fab. And I love the idea of BBQ filling with the tangy cheese. Sounds perfect. Yummo!
Thank you for sharing x
What an imaginative dish Maureen! Such a beautiful plate of food and a great way to use leftovers.
I am seeing a lot of beetroot recipes lately, this one definitely would be on the top, one of my faves
Martyna @ Wholesome Cook says
When I saw this email arrive in my overflowing inbox I immediately flagged it for future reference. Beetroot is one of my favourite vegetbles even and Matt loves pasta… I think we can both love this dish! Thank you for sharing and the inspiration Maureen 🙂