Homemade pasta. Just let that sink in. Ponder it. Think back to those times that you’ve had the opportunity to consume it. Such wonderful memories. Such amazing dishes. Homemade pasta can’t be beat. No, really, it can’t. The fresh stuff doesn’t compare and the dry variety isn’t even invited to the party. There’s just something about the flavor. Something about the texture…
Calm down. It isn’t that difficult to make. No…it’s not. I know…I know…you’ve tried it before and it didn’t go well. That was one time. I mean, success is a journey, not a destination. You learn something about yourself each time you fail. Success will taste so sweet when you finally get it right. Trust me.
Now that we’ve had that nice little pep talk, let’s get down to business…
Butternut. Squash. Ravioli. Three reasons why:
- It’s delicious.
- It’s the perfect dish for Fall/Winter.
- It’s simple and requires very few ingredients.
We’ll take it step-by-step. And if you think about it, there are just three components. Each of these components will come together to make something divine.
THE PASTA. Let’s start with the pasta because it has to rest before we do anything else with it. Easy peasy, lemon squeezey, I promise.
What you’ll need…
- 2 cups AP Flour
- 2 Whole Eggs
- 1 Egg Yolk
- Salt (to taste)
- Drizzle of Olive Oil
Now, you can make it using a KitchenAid or by hand ( the flour well-method). I’ve been successful using both, but today we are using the mixer because it makes life easy (and who doesn’t like having their made a little bit easier from time to time?)
- Place the flour in the bowl of a mixer with a dough hook attachment.
- Season to taste with salt.
- Add your eggs.
- Drizzle in a little bit of olive oil.
- Turn the mixer on to low and allow all the ingredients to incorporate.
- Turn the mixer to medium and let it go until the dough becomes smooth, about 10 minutes (this step is kneading the dough and developing the gluten). Occasionally, stop the mixer and add more flour if it is sticky. If the dough is dry, add a touch of water.
- Wrap the dough ball in plastic wrap and let it rest at room temperature for 1 hour. This will relax the dough so that it is easier to work with.
THE FILLING. While the dough is resting, let’s make the filling.
What you’ll need…
- 1 Small Butternut Squash
- 1 Shallot
- Salt and Pepper
- 3 Tablespoons Parmesan
- Preheat your oven to 400 F.
- Slice the butternut squash in half lengthwise. Oil it up and season it with salt and pepper. Place on a baking pan.
- Slice the shallot in half lengthwise, skin and all. Oil it up and season with salt and pepper. Place on the same baking dish.
- Place the pan in the oven and roast for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- Check on the shallot after 20-30 minutes. It should be nice and caramelized. Remove it from the pan and place it on a dish to cool.
- Once the squash is fork tender, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool.
- Once cooled, scrape out the squash and place in a food processor. Remove the skin of the shallot and place it in the processor, too.
- Add a splash of cream and the parmesan. Mix her up…It’ll be pretty thick.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
The Ravioli. The hard part. The combination of components one and two. But it’s really not that hard. Just time consuming.
Now, I’m using a hand-cranked pasta roller. I’ve also rolled it out by hand using a rolling pin…It just takes a little bit of elbow grease.
- Cut your dough ball into quarters.
- Take one and flatten it out a little bit so that it will go through the pasta roller. Sprinkle generously with cornmeal (flour will also work here, but cornmeal works better).
- Roll it through the widest setting (mine’s is 7). Fold the dough over on itself and pass it through the roller again, trying your best to keep it in a rectangular shape.
- Turn the dial to the next setting (in my case, down to the 6). Pass the dough through this setting two to three times.
- Continue this step through all the settings (5,4, and 3). The 3 setting on my machine is where I like to stop. If the dough gets to be too long to handle, feel free to cut it in half so that it is easier to work with.
- Take a rectangular sheet and place a small amount of the filling on the sheet as shown in the picture above.
- Use water or an egg wash and go around each ravioli where you plan to seal it. Doing this will provide a better seal so that your filling doesn’t ooze out into the pasta water.
- Place a second rectangular sheet on top and press down to form the ravioli.
- Using a knife (or biscuit cutter if you want round ravioli) cut out your ravioli.
- Place on a floured baking dish until ready to cook.
THE SAUCE. This is perhaps the easiest sauce in the entire world to make. It is two ingredients: Butter and Sage. These flavors pair so well with the ravioli, it’s kind of insane.
But, before we get started on this…let’s bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add some salt and your ravioli…we will be finishing the dish in this step.
- Take two tablespoon of butter for every serving of pasta and add it to a sauté pan over medium heat.
- Add 2-3 sage leaves for every serving to the melting butter.
- Cook until the butter is browned. It will start to smell nutty and floral…so basically amazing.
- The ravioli should take about two minutes to cook. Remove the ravioli from the water and place them directly in the sauce. Toss them around and serve topped with some shaved parmesan.
ENJOY IT. I mean, come on. We just made homemade ravioli. Homemade. We didn’t go to the freezer section. We didn’t go to the local Italian place. We powered through and have been rewarded with a delicious meal. It’s nutty, it’s sweet, and the sage adds a nice floral note to it. Perfection, really.
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