Butternut Squash Ravioli with brown butter sage sauce
Warning. Once you make your own homemade pasta you will never buy store bought pasta again. Maybe that is a good thing if you are watching your waistline. I don’t know. I eat and drink anything I want, all in moderation right? Portion control!
Anyway this is a simple dish utilizing one very important lesson I will share with you today, how to make the best pasta dough ever. It is light like a cloud so it feels guilt free. Perhaps this is the best part, light pasta. Lets start there. And this is all “hands on” There is NO pasta machine here, go back 100 years in Italy, do you think the chefs back then had pasta machines? Of course not. This is REAL pasta.
7 yolk pasta
You will be using 7 eggs. 6 of which are just the yolks so do save the whites for your breakfast the next morning, maybe a fritatta? Lets start with the ingredients:
1 3/4 cups (8 ounces) all-purpose flour
6 large egg yolks
1 large egg
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
Start by mounding the flour on a clean surface, like my counter. Make a well with an opening about 6 inches in diameter. Make sure all the walls around the opening are solid and about 1 inch wide.
Pour the egg yolks, egg and oil into the well. Break up the eggs with your fingers and once they are broken apart, start swirling the eggs around in a circular motion, making sure to keep them within the well and not spilling over. The swirling will gradually pull the flour from the sides. It’s important that the flour isn’t incorporated too quickly, or the dough will be lumpy. Take your time. You will need to push the sides of the well in, little by little, to maintain the gradual mixing in of flour, but still keeping the eggs inside the well. The mixture will thicken and eventually get too tight to keep turning with your fingers. I have seriously developed a cramp in my hand doing this. But do it, it is worth it and maybe exercise?
When the dough begins to thicken, use a pastry scraper (or a flat spatula) to lift the flour up and over the dough that is starting to form. Cut in the flour with the scraper. At this point, with your hands, bring the shaggy dough together and form it into a ball.
Knead the dough a few times by pressing it in a forward motion with the heels of your hands, not folding it over on itself like you would do with bread. Re-shape the dough into a ball and repeat the kneading motion several times. The dough will be moist, but not sticky. Let it rest for a few minutes while you clean your work surface.
Here is where the real kneading begins: Dust the work surface with flour. Knead the dough in the same manner as before, pushing it forward with the heels of your hands, and re-shaping it into a ball. Keep kneading in this way until the dough becomes silky smooth. The dough is ready when you can pull a finger across the top of it and it wants to snap back into place. This process will take from 15 to 20 minutes, but knead as a long as it takes to pass the pull test. If not, the dough could collapse when resting.
Double-wrap the dough in plastic wrap to ensure that it does not dry out. Let the dough rest for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour before rolling it through a pasta machine (or rolling out by hand). The dough can be made a day ahead, wrapped and refrigerated, but bring to room temperature before you continue.
For the filling
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
- 1 small (about 1 3/4 lb.) butternut squash, halved lengthwise and seeds removed
- 1 cup finely grated parmesan, plus more for serving
- 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, browned
- 1 tbsp. freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 tsp. minced sage, plus 1/2 cup packed whole leaves
- 2 tsp. minced oregano
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Heat oven to 450°. Rub garlic and squash with olive oil, and place, cut sides down, on a baking sheet, and bake until tender, about 30 minutes. Let cool briefly, and then scoop out the squash flesh and garlic cloves from their skins and puree into a large bowl; mix in Parmesan, browned butter, nutmeg, 2 tsp. finely chopped sage, oregano, and salt and pepper. Set filling aside.
Make the Raviolis!
I do not own a rolling pin. Which is ridiculous. But I always have wine bottles. That is what I use. Roll out your dough super thin. Super thin. My first Raviolis were always too thick. Create a sheet and scoop about a tablespoon of filling in a grid roughly 2 inches apart. Brush pasta dough around the filling with an egg wash. Lay another sheet of pasta on top. Press down removing all air pockets. Cut raviolis.
And this is how I cook these guys. I had a few times boiling a pot of water and the raviolis falling apart. Here is a fool proof method. Place a bit of oil in a pan. Lay your raviolis in the pan over high heat and add water, just enough to cover. The raviolis will cook and not fall apart. Cook for about 5 minutes.
I almost forgot! Very simple, just melt a good amount of butter with some sage leaves and allow the butter to brown. Done.
Plate the dish with the Raviolis and sauce and maybe some toasted pine nuts or hazelnuts or whatever. Regardless this is an impressive delicious simple quick and easy meal to make that is very satisfying.
If you make this recipe please leave us a note to let us know how it turned out!