I know it’s nearly a month late, but this was my special Valentine’s dinner of 2021 that I so lovingly cooked for my wife. That’s enough chit chat about my personal life. This duck ravioli in beetroot cream sauce is not only a pretty dish, but pretty delicious as well. As far as difficulty level goes, I’d say this recipe is more difficult than most of what I post, but still doable on a special occasion.
I tend to do a lot of fresh pasta on this site, mainly because I find it cathartic. However I do know that turns some people off, so unless you’re looking for how to make a beetroot cream sauce for another recipe, maybe this isn’t for you. If you like making fresh ravioli, this will be a similar method to my fresh ricotta ravioli in walnut sauce, or my roasted pumpkin ravioli in adjika sauce.
Let’s Start With The Duck
I do a lot of duck breast recipes. In fact it’s probably my favorite protein and an easy go to when I am “cooking to entertain”. See how I did that…don’t you get a kick out of movies that say the title as you’re watching it. The trick with duck breast is to start with a cold pan and slowly raise the heat to render the fat.
Cook the duck breast skin side down on a cold pan, and raise the heat every minute or so just a smidge until there is a pool of rendered duck fat. When the skin begins to brown (after about 8 minutes) flip the duck and cook the meat for 1 minute on what should now be high heat. Then pop the whole pan into an oven at around 200 Celsius for 4 minutes.
After pulling the duck from the oven, place the breasts on a cutting board to rest for 5 minutes (do not discard the rendered fat), then peel off the skin. You can use a paring knife if needed, but if you did a good job rendering the fat then the skin might just slide right off.
Duck breast is not like chicken, so don’t try to cook out the pink color. If your duck breast isn’t pink in the middle, it’s overcooked. This next step might seem like a bit of sacrilege after cooking such a perfect duck breast, but go ahead with a knife and just mince everything up. Yes, destroy the duck. If you want to use a meat grinder you can, but I prefer the Japanese style of mincing with a knife.
Place the minced duck breast in a bowl with a chopped shallot, a bunch of chopped parsley, a pinch of salt, some freshly cracked black pepper, a tablespoon or two of the rendered duck fat from the pan, and a quarter to half a cup of heavy cream. Start with a quarter cup, and if it still seems too dry then trickle in a bit more. Mix everything together with your fingers like you are making meatballs. Cover and place in the fridge.
Making The Beetroot Cream Sauce
In a saucepan add a glug of olive oil and a pat of butter and turn the heat to medium low. Add in some beetroot chunks from one large or two small beets and give everything a stir. Add a sprinkle of salt and cover with a lid or cartouche.
After five minutes add a half cup of chicken (or duck) stock. Stir the pan making sure that no beet pieces are sticking to the bottom. Place the lid back on and increase the heat to medium. The beetroot will take about 45 minutes to fully soften so if you prefer you could actually do this step first and cook the duck while the beetroot is cooking. However the next step also takes a lot of time so it really doesn’t matter in my opinion.
Ravioli Ravioli Give Me The Formuoli
Homemade pasta is nothing to be nervous about. In fact the recipe is pretty much the same every time you make it. My pasta recipe calls for 250 grams of Flour, 3 Large Eggs, a teaspoon of Salt, and a tablespoon of Olive Oil. Just knead that together until you have a nice taut ball and let rest for a half hour.
Using a pasta roller, roll out a sheet of dough to the second thinnest setting (the first is reserved for very thin things like wonton skins). I then use a 3-inch ring mold to cut out perfect circles in the sheet of dough. This insures that I can make extra pretty ravioli – after all, this was for Valentine’s Day.
On one of the pasta dough circles add about a heaping teaspoon of the duck filling. It may seem like a lot, but the dough is pliable and will stretch to seal. The picture above shows it on the table, but it’s actually much easier to do it in the palm of your hand, that way the bottom sheet also stretches around the filling.
After pinch-sealing the ravioli with the top layer, use the ring mold again to trim off the excess and re-make a perfect circle. Place the finished duck ravioli on a piece of parchment paper and cover with a damp cloth so they do not dry out as you work.
Completing The Duck Ravioli In Beetroot Cream Sauce Dish
Remember those beetroot pieces that have been slowly simmering away for the past 45 minutes? Well the next step is super simple. Just add the entire contents of the pan to a blender along with a cup of heavy cream. Blend until smooth and voila, you’ve finished the beetroot cream sauce.
Boil the ravioli for just two minutes (fresh pasta cooks a lot faster than dry pasta) and place them atop a bed of the smooth and creamy beetroot sauce. Cut some of the skin you removed in the beginning into triangles to garnish the pasta and provide and awesome tasty morsel. Sprinkle with some chopped green onion or chives and serve.
Duck Ravioli In Beetroot Cream Sauce
- Pasta Roller
- Ring Molds
- 2 Duck Breasts about 300 grams each
- 2 Shallots finely chopped
- 2 tbsp Parsley chopped
- Salt generously
- 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
- Black Pepper freshly cracked, to taste
Beetroot Cream Sauce
- 100 grams Beetroot cubed, about one large or two small (if you use more or less it won't matter much, just increase or decrease the amount of cream at the end.
- 1/4 cup Chicken Stock or duck if you have it
- 1 cup Heavy Cream more or less as needed to achieve desired consistency
- 2 tbsp Butter
- Salt to taste
- Olive Oil as needed
- 250 grams Flour
- 3 large Eggs
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- The order of operations for this recipe can be switched up how you like. In fact, things like the beetroot cream sauce or the ravioli filling can be made the day before or morning of to really save time later.
Making The Duck Filling
- Generously salt both sides of the duck breasts and lay them skin side down in a cold pan. Slowly turn the heat on and slightly increase it every minute to help the fat render down. After about 5 minutes (and nearing high heat) check the skin – if it has browned good job. If not let it cook a little longer on high. When golden brown flip the breast and cook the meat for one minute. Place in an oven preheated to 200 Celsius for 4 minutes. Remove, place duck breast on a cutting board, and let rest for 5 minutes. Reserve the rendered duck fat.
- When the duck breast is cool enough, peel off the crispy skin from the breast – you can use a paring knife if needed. Set the skin chip aside (save for later) and use your knife to finely mince the duck breast. It should still be pink, this is okay. Duck is not chicken and should be cooked more like a steak, medium rare to rare.
- In a bowl add the minced duck breast meat, finely chopped shallot, parsley, a tablespoon or two of the reserved rendered duck fat, and the heavy cream. Mix together like you're making meatballs, taste for seasoning, and add salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste. Cover bowl and place in fridge until ready.
Beetroot Cream Sauce
- In a pan add a glug of olive oil and the butter, along with the cubed beetroot pieces. Heat on medium low. Sprinkle a bit of salt and agitate the pan. After a few minutes add the chicken stock and cover with a lid. The beetroot will take around 45 minutes to soften completely, so you can do something else while it is cooking.
- When the beet pieces are very fork tender tip the entire contents of the pan into a blender and add the cream. Blend until smooth. Taste and adjust for salt as you like.
Fresh Duck Ravioli
- By hand or using a stand mixer, knead together all the fresh pasta ingredients. When you can form a springy ball of dough, wrap with plastic wrap and let sit for 20-30 minutes.
- Use a pasta roller to roll out a sheet of dough. I use the second thinnest setting on my machine which is pretty standard. If you find the dough to be too tacky, flour the dough and your surface before continuing.
- Use a ring mold to cut disks of pasta from the rolled sheet.
- Place a heaped teaspoon of the duck filling into the center of the pasta circle. Cover with another pasta circle and stretch and press to seal. Use the ring mold to trim the edges once more. Place the sealed duck ravioli on a sheet of parchment paper and cover with a damp cloth so they don't dry out as you are making them.
- Boil ravioli for 2 minutes in salted water.
- In a plate add some of the beetroot cream sauce. Then place the duck ravioli on top, followed by the duck skin chip. Garnish with chopped green onion or chives, serve, and enjoy!