Butternut Squash Ravioli
Butternut squash is probably one of my favorite things to cook with during the Fall! It is so versatile. I like to roast it in the oven and serve it along side some chicken or beef, puree it into a soup, or in this case make a filling for ravioli.
It had been a while since I made homemade ravioli, or pasta in general. I had forgotten how much better it is than the store bought stuff. Sure, it take a little more time and an investment in the proper equipment (I have this), but if you are willing to put in the effort, you will be rewarded greatly.
The pasta itself is actually pretty simple and only requires 2 ingredients (3 if you want to add salt): eggs and flour.
I start by piling the flour on to my cutting board the made a well right in the center. I would recommend making the well wide and shallow so that the eggs don't leak out (like you can see in the picture above). Then I slowly start mixing the eggs and flour together, by whisking the eggs with a fork, then gradually mixing in a little flour at a time. At the same time, I push up the walls of the flour well until I have added in enough flour so that a loose, shaggy ball of dough has formed. At this point, I knead the dough with my hands, still adding in flour so until the dough is a little tacky and has formed a tight ball. I didn't end up using all the flour in my original pile, but that's okay. You just want enough flour to form a tacky ball. Adding too much flour will just yield a really dry and crumbly pasta.
Once it's a nice dough ball, I just wrap it in some plastic wrap then let it rest in the refrigerator while I prep the filling.
The filling starts...you guessed it...butternut squash! I like to buy the pre-peeled, pre-chopped butternut squash from Trader Joes when I am in a pinch. If I had used the whole butternut squash, I would have started by peeling off the skin with a paring knife, cutting it in half, removing the seeds, then chopping it into big chunks.
I tossed the butternut squash chunks in some olive oil, then roasted them in the oven until they were tender. I then popped the roasted squash into a food processor with some garlic that I roasted along side the squash, Parmesan, and ricotta.
Once the filling was ready, I started rolling out the pasta dough. I start by feeding the dough through on the thickest, then each time changed it to the next setting down until it was about as thin as I wanted. My pasta roller has 6 settings, I rolled it to 5.
I layed out the long sheet of pasta dough on my counter then spooned a healthy portion of the filling out on the only dough, leaving enough room in between so that I could cut out each ravioli. To make sure the top layer of the dough would stick, I used a pastry brush to brush water around the filling. Once the other half of the dough was folded back over, I pressed the dough down around the filling to seal it in.
Once all the ravioli were ready, I dropped them into a pot of boiling water for about 2 minutes. They really don't take long to cook, you have to watch them like a hawk. But you should know when they are ready when they start to float. Assuming they weren't floating right when you dropped them in. In that case, there is still some extra air trapped in there, and just let them cook for 2 minutes or when all of it's little friends start to float, too.
There is so much flavor packed in these butternut squash ravioli, I didn't want to overpower it with a bold sauce. Originally I had planned on just sauteing them in some browned butter with sage, but because I had some left over filling, I ended up mixing it with some cream and reducing it over the stove to make a yummy cream sauce. And it was yummy!
Each ravioli is packed with lots of flavor. Creamy, rich, and delicious. The butternut squash and roasted garlic are an amazing combination. Adding a little bit of extra sage just puts it over the top.
This ravioli has inspired me to make my own pasta more often. While it is definitely a process, requiring some serious time commitment and planning, the proof (as they say) is in the pudding. I would definitely not be able to pick up anything this good at the store. Or I would be spending a pretty penny at a fancy Italian restaurant.
No thanks. I'll just make it myself.
Prep Time: 30 minutes Cook Time: 30 minutes Total Time: 1 hour
Yield: 4 servings
- 3 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 eggs
- 1 small butternut squash, peeled and chopped
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- salt and pepper to taste
- Pile the flour in the center of a cutting board. Form a wide, shallow well in the center of the flour. Add the eggs into the well, then beat the eggs with a fork, adding in a little flour at a time from the sides of the well until the dough starts to come together.
- Once the dough has formed a loose, shaggy ball, start to knead the dough together until it forms a tight ball that is slightly tacky, about 5 minutes. You may not end up using all the flour. Just add enough flour to form a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss butternut squash in 3 tsp of the olive oil, salt, and pepper, then spread out on a baking sheet. Also place the peeled garlic cloves on a small square of tin foil. Drizzle on the remaining olive oil. Put both the butternut squash and the garlic in the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the butternut squash is soft.
- In the work bowl of a food processor, add the roasted butternut squash, garlic, Parmesan, ricotta, nutmeg, salt and pepper then pulse until smooth. Set aside.
- Once the dough has rested, use a pasta rolling machine to gradually roll out dough to the thinnest, or second thinnest setting. Lay out the dough on the counter and spoon about 1 tbsp of filling on half of the dough about 1 inch apart. Brush water around the sides of the filling then fold over the other half of the dough and press down around the filling. Use a knife or ravioli cutter to cut out each individual ravioli.
- Drop raviolis into a pot of boiling water and boil for about 2 minutes.