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Golden Beet Casunziei All'ampezzana

What you'll need...

2 medium golden beets (~350 grams)

150 grams whole milk ricotta, patted dry if needed

~1 cup parmigiano reggiano, finely grated

A drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Cut the stems off of the beets to just expose the interior and coat in salt and olive oil. Place cut-side down in a deep pan (a loaf tin works well) and add a small amount of water to the bottom. Cover with foil, prick a few air holes in the top, and roast at 400F until very tender and easily pierced with a knife, about 45 minutes - 1 hour. Cool slightly, then remove the skins (they should come off easily) and cut into quarters. Once completely cooled, add to a food processor with the remaining ingredients and pulse until thick, smooth, and creamy. Transfer to a bowl or piping bag and refrigerate until ready to use.

For the dough...

Combine two whole eggs (~100 grams), 60 grams white wine, and 10 grams of extra-virgin olive oil in a bowl. Separately, combine 275 grams 00 flour and 25 grams semola rimacinata flour. Gradually incorporate the liquid into the flours according to your preferred dough method. Knead vigorously until smooth and allow to rest, wrapped tightly, at room temperature for about 30 minutes.

For the mezzalune...

Roll out a portion of the dough into a thin sheet (setting 7 on my Marcato/KitchenAid). Using a glass or cookie cutter, cut ~3” rounds and add about a teaspoon of filling to the center of each. Then fold each circle in half over the filling, pinching at the top center. Moving outward, press out any air pockets from each side and seal tightly. If needed, brush the edges of the circle with a small amount of water to help seal. Transfer to a lightly floured surface and repeat!

Finishing touches...

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Melt a few tablespoons of salted butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add about a tablespoon of poppy seeds and a generous amount of freshly ground pink peppercorns to the butter to toast and draw out the flavor, stirring frequently. Cook mezzalune in well-salted water; meanwhile, add a small ladle of pasta water to the butter and swirl vigorously to incorporate (it should foam; if it doesn't, turn up the heat). Transfer the pasta directly to the sauce and toss to coat, allowing the butter to continue to bubble until glossy and saucy. Serve immediately, topped with a drizzle of high-quality olive oil and another dusting of pink peppercorns. Enjoy!

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