Butternut Squash Ravioli

photo (19) photo (20) photo (21)

Homemade pasta is one of my all time favorite foods.  I feel like a person can never fully appreciate eating homemades until they understand that work that goes into making them.  Not that it’s hard, but definitely time consuming and patience requiring.  I’ve only attempted to make ravioli one other time and that was a complete disaster that scarred me for awhile.  I had a grand plan for an entirely homemade meal.  I was making the ravioli, making the ricotta for the filling and of course making the sauce.  Four hours later, I had a pot full of ricotta that tasted like scrambled eggs, a burnt pot of sauce and and a table full of pasta sheets that had become too brittle to cut into any shape.

I guess I’ve finally emotionally recovered from this event since I had the courage to give home made raviolis a second try this weekend.  I had a gigantic butternut squash that had to be used, so  I decided to make a very simple filling out of that.  Instead of the typical brown butter sage sauce I opted for herbs that I like a bit more.  I’m pleased to say that this attempt was much more successful. I know this recipe is long and daunting to look at, but it’s really not difficult, just a little time consuming but totally worth it for the outcome!

Butternut Squash Ravioli

Pasta Dough:
4 cups all purpose flour
6 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil

**A quick note on the eggs: normally I would only use 4-5 eggs for 4 cups of flour but the eggs I had were pretty small so I added an extra, if you’re using larger eggs you shouldn’t need as many

1. Add the flour and salt to the bowl of a stand mixer and push most of it out to the sides to create a well

2. Crack the eggs in a bowl and add them to the middle of the well of flour

3. Using the dough hook begin to mix the eggs into the flour and salt, when they’ve started to combine drizzle in the olive oil

4. Let the mixer go until the dough has formed into a ball, remove the dough and let it rest for about 30 minutes

5. After the dough has rested, break it into 6 smaller pieces and start running it through your pasta maker until it reaches the desired thickness – since you’ll be filling the dough you don’t want to go all the way to the last setting as it makes the pasta more likely to break. My machine tops out at 9 and I stopped running my dough through at 7

Butternut Squash Filling:
**You’ll want to have your squash mixture ready before you being to roll your pasta sheets out to avoid them drying out too much to cut
1 medium butternut squash (the squash pictured here is quite large, I only used half of it for the filling), seeds removed and cut into 4 inch chunks
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup cheese of your choice – I used pecorino romano but I think goat cheese would be excellent in thisphoto (22)
1 teaspoon cinnamon

1. Combine the olive oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl and brush the mixture all over the squash pieces

2. Roast the squash in the oven at 375 degrees for 35-45 minutes, until you an easily stick a fork in it

3. In a bowl, mash up the cooked squash and let it sit until it has cooled

4. Add the heavy cream, cinnamon, cheese and mix together

Assemble and cook the pasta:
1. Take one pasta sheet and add a small amount of the mixture about every 1 1/2 inchesphoto (23)

2. Lay another pasta sheet over that one and push together the top and bottom parts of the dough that surround the mixture to seal the pasta
photo (24)

3. Use a ravioli cutter to cut out the shapes, if you don’t have a ravioli cutter you can use the opening of a small cup or a cookie cutter

4. Once they’re all cut out, cook them in small batches for 2-3 minutes in a pot of boiling salted water, they should float to the top when they’re cooked

photo (25)

Herbed Brown Butter Sauce:
1 stick salted butter
1 1/2 teaspoon basil
1 1/2 teaspoon parsley
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepperphoto (26)
1 teaspoon oregano

1. Melt the butter in a pan on medium heat, still it while melting until it starts to brown

2. Add herbs and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes

3. Top the raviolis with the sauce, some extra cheese and whatever else you like (I added some green onions) and enjoy!

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