These Savoury Chocolate Ravioli with Ricotta-Beet Filling are beautiful, delicious, and healthy. Perfect for the Valentine’s Day dinner or any other special weekend. Serve with brown butter sage sauce or just with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese.
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This post was originally published on February 1, 2016.
A few years ago I hosted a multi-course Chocolate Dinner where everything was made with chocolate or cocoa.
There was amuse-bouche: little bowls of chocolate dipped bacon, chocolate dipped potato chips, and Spicy Chocolate Popcorn. Then we had salad with chocolate dressing (imagine melted chocolate added to the vinaigrette instead of honey or maple syrup) and cocoa dusted almonds.
Next course was Chocolate Eggplant Caponata served on white chocolate polenta (my least favourite course… I’m not an expert, so not everything works as I expect it). We then had pasta course consisting of Chocolate Ravioli with Ricotta-Beet Filling.
Then Chocolate BBQ Ribs, soft, succulent, and juicy (you can find the recipe for these chocolate BBQ ribs in my new cookbook, The Ultimate One-Pan Oven Cookbook), then cheese course with three kinds of savoury Chocolate Cheese Truffles, and finally, Vegan Chocolate Cake for dessert. It was a filling, delicious, elegant, and unusual dinner.
I wanted to repeat those Chocolate Ravioli with Ricotta-Beet Filling for over a year now and make them properly without the huge mistake that I made that time during my dinner.
I made Chocolate bbq sauce a couple of days before the dinner. I made polenta and caponata a day before. I prepared cocoa dusted almonds a week in advance.
Ravioli only take a few minutes to cook, so I thought it would be a perfect course – just take them out of the fridge, boil for 2-3 minutes, shake in a pan with melted butter for another minute or two and onto the plates with a few shavings of parmesan cheese – easy! Or so I thought.
I made the Chocolate Pasta dough a day early. Then on the day of the party I used my new handy-dandy pasta rolling machine and made beautiful chocolate ravioli – cute and perfect.
I then piled them on a plate, covered in plastic wrap and put in the fridge. (Cue ominous music now.)
When it was time to make the pasta I left the dining room table where the conversation and the wine were flowing and happily boiled water. I then took the plate of my gorgeous ravioli out of the fridge and tried to pick them up one by one to drop into the pot of boiling water. (Cue even more ominous music.)
Well, they stuck. The whole plate of my pretty little parcels got stuck together. Without trying to sound too panicky I called my husband into the kitchen. Together we were able to (barely) get a few raviolis into the water without too big holes in them.
I covered the leaking filling with grated cheese and the course tasted amazing. Since then I wanted to repeat these ravioli, just properly, without sticking them in the fridge first.
NOTE: you can absolutely make these chocolate ravioli a few hours ahead and keep in the fridge. The key is to not let each individual one touch another and use parchment paper between layers.
So, with Valentine’s Day looming on the horizon, I knew that it was finally my chance to make the Chocolate Ravioli with Ricotta-Beet Filling again. This is not the most conservative recipe, but I still recommend you trying it.
How to make pasta dough for Chocolate Ravioli
The recipe that I use for the dough has an intensive chocolate undertone to it, so if you prefer a milder taste, I’d suggest reducing the amount of cocoa. Colour will still be brilliant and intensely chocolatey, but the taste will be closer to regular pasta.
Making pasta dough isn’t actually difficult, just mix the flour and cocoa and an egg. Once the dough forms into a ball, cover it and let it rest on the counter for an hour.
If the dough is too dry, which it often is in my case as, then add one or two tablespoons of water. If the dough is too wet, then add a shake or two of flour.
It really is that easy!! No need to knead the dough or spend a lot of time working it.
How to make Ricotta-Beet Filling
Filling for these Chocolate Ravioli is delicious but quite intense because of the beets. If you’d like to only have the beautiful (or shall I say beet-iful) red colour inside the ravioli, but not beet taste, then you can reduce the amount of beets.
You can use just half or even a quarter of a beet. The filling will still be bright red, but the taste will be much milder.
Mixing the actual filling is also super easy, just combine some ricotta, grated cooked beet, and parmesan cheese. I buy my beets most often already cooked at Costco.
What to do with the leftover chocolate pasta dough
This particular Chocolate Ravioli recipe with Ricotta-Beet Filling makes 10 ravioli, or 2 servings but it has chocolate pasta dough leftovers. You can double the Ricotta-Beet Filling and the butter sage sauce and use all the pasta dough to make 4 servings.
Alternatively, use the pasta maker to cut the second half of the chocolate pasta dough into fettuccine. Cook in water for 3-4 minutes and serve with your favourite butter-based or cream-based sauce.
You can also wrap the extra dough in some plastic wrap and keep in the fridge for about five days until ready to use.
Do you need a pasta machine to make chocolate ravioli recipe?
Yes and no. If you have patience, you can roll the dough into a very thin sheet using just a rolling pin. Personally, I wouldn’t recommend it.
You start by rolling the dough just a little bit with a rolling pin and then feed it through the pasta rolling machine over and over again while reducing the width between the cylinders. Use plenty of flour to make sure that nothing sticks and I suggest reading the instructions for your particular model first.
How to assemble Chocolate Ravioli with Ricotta-Beet Filling
Once you have the rolled out sheet of chocolate pasta dough ready and the ricotta-beet filling mixed up, it’s time to assemble everything. This part requires a little bit of patience.
I usually just place the filling in dots alongside one edge of the dough and fold the other part over it. Then cut into squares with a knife and crimp the edges using a spoon.
Another option is to cut the sheet of chocolate pasta dough into two lengthwise and cover the bottom sheet with the filling with it. Same idea as the one above.
Another variation is to use cookie cutters to cut the savoury chocolate ravioli instead of just making squares.
Basically, there are many options on how you could make the ravioli. I am not Italian and I am not an expert ravioli maker, so feel free to use whatever way you are most familiar with to make ravioli.
More savoury Chocolate recipes
If you like this Savoury Chocolate Ravioli Recipe, then here are a few other savoury recipes made with cocoa powder from a few of my blogger friends:
- Fettuccine al Cacao with Gorgonzola, Walnuts and Pear from Sugar Love Spices
- Cranberry Chili with Cinnamon and Cocoa from Rhubarbarians
- Vegetarian Chili Recipe from The Stingy Vegan
- Four New Ways To Cook With Chocolate from Food Bloggers of Canada
Chocolate Ravioli with Ricotta-Beet Filling
For the pasta
- 3/4 cup flour
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder (unsweetened)
- 1 large egg
For the ravioli filling
- 75 g ricotta (1/4 container)
- 85 g cooked beet, finely grated (1 small)
- 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated (about 25 g)
- Salt, pepper to taste
For the sage butter sauce
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 4-6 sage leaves
Make the pasta dough
- In a large bowl whisk the flour and cocoa powder together until fully combined.
- Make a well in the centre of the mixture and add the egg.
- Break the egg and start mixing in the flour with the fork just around the egg, then slowly get more and more flour into the egg until all the flour and egg are incorporated.
- If the mixture is too dry and not forming into dough, add a bit of water, one tablespoon at a time.
- Gather the dough into a bowl, wrap in plastic and leave on the counter for an hour. After an hour the dough will become pliable,
Make the filling
- In a small bowl combine the fine grated beet with ricotta, cheese and a big pinch of salt and pepper.
Make the ravioli
- Using a pasta rolling machine, roll HALF the dough according to the instructions into a long thin sheet.
- Place 10 dollops of filling along the sheet of pasta dough just off the centre.
- Brush the dough lightly with water along the edges and between the filling.
- Now fold the dough lengthwise over the filling and press in between to make parcels.
- Slice the dough into 10 square ravioli and press the edges with a fork to seal properly.
- Alternatively you could use two sheets of dough and a cookie cutter to cut the ravioli or if you have a special ravioli form, then use that.
- NOTE: The second half of the dough can be used to make spaghetti.
- Boil the ravioli in boiling salted water for about 3-4 minutes or until they start to float.
Make the sage butter sauce
- While the ravioli are boiling, in a large pan melt the butter and add the sage leaves.
- Drain the cooked ravioli very well and add to the pan of melted butter for a minute or two.
- Serve with more grated cheese, salt and freshly ground black pepper.