this is my obligatory squash/pumpkin/trendy fall food dish. i’m not really a PSL kinda girl; i don’t go crazy over pumpkin scones or bread, and i like roasted squash just fine but don’t get that excited for it to be in season. i felt the need to jump on the bandwagon because it was thanksgiving and i didn’t want to make a turkey, so what better way to enjoy fall’s most popular offering than wrapped in egg pasta and covered in butter, crispy sage and cheese.
pasta is my answer to everything. i’m always dreaming of it; i want to eat every food accompanied by it, on top of it, covered it in. making pasta is a beautiful thing. such simple, inexpensive ingredients come together with a little bit of strength and patience to form something so filling and versatile. i love the whole process: making a little well in my mound of silky flour, mixing mixing mixing, then kneading until your arms are sore. stretching and pushing the gluten until it becomes smooth. rolling out long, delicate sheets with my pasta maker that was given to me from my nona, dusting my surfaces, getting covered in flour in the process.
i used a normal flour to egg ratio – i ran out of eggs so i couldn’t add another yolk, which would have made the pasta just a bit silkier. translucent sheets of goodness were topped with puréed roasted squash, smooth ricotta, and a touch of nutmeg and then gently folded over and pressed down. so cute and chubby and bursting with sweet squash and cheese.
my favourite herb to pair butternut squash with is sage. i harvested my herb garden on the roof since it was getting chilly and had a ton of fragrant little sage leaves. i tossed them in browned butter until they crisped up and then poured over the little pillows of cooked ravioli. no, not healthy, but sure as hell decadent.
don’t be put off by the amount of steps it looks like it takes to make pasta from scratch – this can all come together in under two hours!
butternut squash and ricotta ravioli
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon table salt
1 butternut squash cut into chunks and roasted until cooked
1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
to make your pasta: dump your flour onto a working surface such as a large wooden cutting board or counter. create a little well in the middle of the flour and crack your eggs into it. start to whisk the eggs with a fork, incorporating the flour in slowly until you have a raggedy dough starting to form. use your hands to combine the rest of the dough and knead, stretching and pulling, using the heel of your hand to combine the dough until you get a smooth, elastic-y ball (should take about 10 minutes or so). wrap tightly in plastic wrap and let sit on the counter while you prepare filling.
using a food processor, toss all filling ingredients in and mix until very smooth, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
remove your dough from the plastic wrap and flour your working surface. cut the dough into 4 even pieces, and using a rolling pin to begin, roll out the dough slightly into a small rectangle.
using the largest setting on your pasta machine, roll through a couple of times folding edges over gently. repeat turning down the setting every couple of rolls until on the thinnest setting.
once pasta is at desired thinness, lay the sheet out on your floured surface and spoon the filling mixture on top, leaving spaces in between:
gently fold the sheet over the filling and press down, trying to remove any air bubbles. you can wet your fingers slightly before pressing down to help the dough bind together. cut the ravioli on the seams, dust with a little flour, then cover and repeat until all pasta is used:
bring a large pot of well salted water to a rolling boil. gently drop the ravioli in and stir with a chop stick making sure they don’t stick together. they only need about 2 minutes to cook. scoop out with a slotted spoon.
top with freshly grated parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil, or brown a tablespoon of butter and some fresh sage leaves in a small pan until nutty and fragrant, and sage is crispy. pour over ravioli and serve hot.