First of all, let me tell you making ravioli from scratch takes a LOT of time and effort! (5 hours for our first time) That said, these turned out pretty delicious and I had a fun rainy afternoon cooking with my sister.
We went to a wedding last year and had amazing butternut squash ravioli. My sister commented that she wanted to make them ourselves, and this weekend presented the perfect rainy day to do so. We made the dough and the filling from scratch.
Pasta Dough Recipe (Cooking Light)
- 5.6 oz flour (recommended soft wheat or 00, we used regular)
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 c of salt
Combine ingredients in a food processor. They will come together into a ball. Turn out onto a floured surface (lots of flour). Knead the dough for a few minutes, incorporating about 1/4 cup more flour until smooth. Let sit for 20 minutes. Cut into 8 equal pieces and roll each into a 15″ x 3″rectangle. This becomes VERY thin and sticky. And try to make it very thin. This is the point where a pasta roller or machine of any sort would come in handy. We did not have one, and attempted to roll out the sheets by hand. It took a lot of flour, and sacrificing some dough to my counter! We were only able to get 6 rectangles out of our dough ball, so made a second batch of dough. After forming and cooking the ravioli, we realized that it is necessary to have very thin sheets. Good luck with this part!! It’s a big hassle but totally worth it. Place the sheets on floured cooking sheets layered with wax paper, and cover with a clean dishtowel.
For the filling, we had a similar idea of what we wanted, but didn’t find any recipes that matched our concept. So here’s what we came up with:
Butternut Squash Filling Recipe
- 1 butternut squash, halved with seeds removed
- olive oil
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 1 Tbsp sage, or fresh leaves
- 1/4 c half and half
- dash cinnamon
- dash ground ginger
- dash nutmeg
Sprinkle the squash with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast at 350 degrees for approximately 40 minutes, until very soft. In a small skillet, sautee shallots until browned and soft. Add thyme, rosemary, and sage. Scoop squash flesh into a bowl and mix in half and half, sauteed shallots and herbs. Mixture should be pretty smooth, puree in a blender or food processor if necessary. Add cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste.
Assembling the Ravioli
Lay out one sheet of dough. Spoon 5 individual tablespoons of the filling evenly spaced along the sheet. Wet the edges, and between the filling balls, with water. Place a second sheet of dough on top, and press around the filling balls. Cut into individual ravioli. Place finished ravioli on floured baking sheet separated by wax paper.
Bring a wide, shallow pot of water to boil. Add a small drizzle of oil to the water so that the ravioli don’t
stick to each other. Boil 3-5 ravioli at a time. When they float up to the top, they are finished. Put the cooked ravioli in an oiled bowl, and cover to keep warm.
Brown-Butter Sage Sauce
I used the same sauce that was such a big hit with the sweet potato gnocchi, but with pine nuts instead of chestnuts.
- 2 Tb olive oil
- 1 Tb butter
- 1 bunch sage leaves
- 1/4 c pine nuts
Toast pine nuts and set aside. Heat olive oil in a medium skillet. When oil is hot, fry sage leaves over medium heat until crispy. Set aside on paper towels. Set aside on paper towels. Add butter to skillet and simmer over low heat until browned. Add in sage leaves and pine nuts.
Toss with ravioli and top with fresh grated Parmesan cheese.
Since we did have extra filling we tried a few with wonton wrappers to see if it was an acceptable option if we didn’t have the time to tackle the pasta sheets. It was pretty good, but I did feel a little like I was eating a butternut squash dumpling. Not bad, and definitely an option if you don’t have 5 hours to dedicate to rolling out thin pasta sheets. Also, our pasta sheets were not thin enough. After cooking the ravioli, there was too much dough in relation to the filling. I hope to find an affordable pasta roller and try it again, this time with acceptably thin sheets.
I have a new found respect for anyone who makes ravioli from scratch. This was a very difficult project, but I had a lot of fun making it. I encourage you to find the time to dedicate to playing with the pasta and give it a go!