I’m so excited to share this with you that there’s a high chance of me being a bit spastic. So I apologize….sort of.
Because it’s worth it!
Last month, I made a point to make it to the last Dahlonega’s Farmers Market of the year. I came home with some of the biggest zucchinis I have ever seen, hot pepper jelly (if you are dipping your crackers into cream cheese topped with this stuff, you’re missing out and need to check this combo out ASAP!), and a beautiful butternut squash.
Not long afterwards, the zucchini and hot pepper jelly were both devoured. My butternut squash waiting patiently in the pantry for me to determine what to do with it. In years past, I have whipped up smooth and creamy soups or this awesomely savory mix of the squash with caramelized onions, crispy sage leaves, and gorgonzola (check that out on Closet Cooking here!). But neither seemed appropriate for this squash.
And then I got to thinking, and I became hooked by the idea of ravioli. And I couldn’t get it off of my mind. So the butternut squash continued to wait patiently as I looked up various recipes and tried to find a good chunk of time to devote to this endeavor.
Some things you should know upfront:
1. This is a delicious meal. Let that be your hook – it’s like eating dessert for dinner! Not to mention you aren’t paying anywhere close to $18 a plate at a gourmet Italian restaurant.
2. That being said, this is a time-consuming recipe. I split it up into 2 parts. On Monday night after preparing dinner, I prepared the dough and filling and assembled my raviolis. I popped them in the freezer and cooked them last night, complete with their buttery sage sauce. It’s definitely a process, but never have I ever felt so rewarded by a recipe like this!
3. You do NOT need a pasta machine or attachment for this recipe. If you had one it would save you time, but it is very doable without one so don’t be alarmed!
The recipe I ended up doing was a combination of two blog posts I found. I used Good Food Stories‘ pasta recipe and butternut squash roasting method. For the filling, finishing sauce, and freezing/cooking instructions, I used the recipe from 100 Days of Real Food.
Butternut Squash Ravioli
Makes 16-35 pieces, depending on how thinly you roll the dough
for the pasta:
2 heaping cups all-purpose flour
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
for the filling:
1 butternut squash
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 tablespoon maple syrup
4 oz cream cheese, softened (I used neufchâtel)
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
for the sauce:
5 tablespoons butter
a handful of sage leaves (or 1-2 tablespoons rubbed sage)
black pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Peel butternut squash, slice in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and pulp. Cut the squash into 1 inch cubes. Place cubes in a medium mixing bowl with 2 tablespoons olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Toss the squash until well coated and then spread the cubes over the parchment paper. Bake until soft and tender, about 30 minutes.
In a large bowl, pour in flour, creating a well in the middle. Place eggs, oil, and salt into the well and, slowly and gently, begin stirring around the eggs with your fingertips until a roughly shaped dough ball forms. Dump onto a dusted countertop and knead for 5 minutes or so until you can make a smooth dough ball. Cover with bowl and let dough rest for 15 minutes.
In a medium bowl, combine butternut squash with the remaining filling ingredients. Stir and mash the mixture until ingredients are well incorporated.
On a countertop dusted with flower, cut the ball of dough in half, re-covering one half of the dough. Roll out the other half until pasta is at least down to a thickness of 1/8″ (If you can get it down to 1/16″ and it isn’t starting to tear, you’ll have more raviolis to go around!). Pull dough gently with your hands and shape it into a long rectangular piece. Uncover the remaining dough and repeat the process, making a rectangle the same size as the original pasta sheet.
Using a tablespoon, measure out dollops of the filling and place on the first pasta sheet, leaving about an inch between each scoop. Use a pastry brush to lightly brush water around the scoops of filling on the pasta. Then cover the pasta and filling with the remaining pasta sheet. Gently press the pasta down, making sure to seal all edges and the area surrounding each scoop of filling. Slice the pasta into squares with a pastry cutter. Crimp the edges of each square of ravioli with a fork and place on a sheet of wax paper, making sure the individual pieces do not touch.
If you are freezing your pasta for another day, stop here. Place raviolis either in a large Tupperware container or in a large freezer bag. Make sure that the raviolis do not touch each other, and have layers of wax paper in between the pasta. When you decide to cook the pasta, add 1 minute to the cook time. The ravioli can be thrown in the water without defrosting.
Fill a stockpot 3/4 full with water and add some salt. Place pot on the stovetop and heat until boiling. Add a splash of olive oil (to prevent pasta from sticking to each other) and pour the ravioli into the pot. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the ravioli rises to the surface, they are cooked. Remove from heat and gently pour pasta into a colander.
In a small saucepan, cook the butter over medium-hight heat. After all of the butter has melted, add in the sage and black pepper. Just as the butter starts to brown, pull it off of the heat. Serve over cooked ravioli.