If I had to pick a favorite dinner recipe, it might be this butternut squash ravioli. I can’t commit because there are so many foods that I love. Hello, this steak? The thing is, I don’t make this ravioli very often because it requires time. And let’s be honest, with four kids, a job that is people-intensive, and just keeping up with life in general, time to make homemade ravioli can be a bit scarce. You all get me, I know. May I recommend the book, Crazy Busy? Short enough to finish and so good to help me value time and rest.
So why am I sharing a recipe that requires your time? Because if the meteorologists are correct, many of us will have an abundance of time at home tomorrow. Thanks, snow. I thought the groundhog saw his shadow, and it was spring?! Or is it the opposite…? Either way, for the first time in a really long time, whatever happened with the groundhog’s shadow predicted spring was coming. Oh how I wish that little furry creature really could usher in warmth. You know who is warm? My husband. In Orlando. It’s 86 degrees there right now. Hey babe, love you (grrr).
I grew up making ravioli with my mom. My dad’s mom was Italian, and she taught my mom to make pasta. I loved rolling out the pasta dough. I had so much fun making these ravioli with some of my kids in the kitchen to help roll out the dough. It’s really not hard if you have a pasta roller (I have this one). I imagine you can buy fresh pasta sheets if you don’t have a pasta machine, but I honestly haven’t looked. Our Whole Foods has a great fresh pasta station, and I feel like they would come through. And though I have a ravioli maker, the recipe actually doesn’t call for one. So you can still make this without it!
Do be sure to brown your butter for the sauce. Browned butter makes everything oh so good. It can quickly go from browned to burned, so keep an eye on it once it begins to darken. Swirl the pan rather than stir it, and take it off the heat when brown bits begin to form.
Also, fresh sage. Oftentimes dried herbs can be substituted for fresh. But not this time.
Happy snow day! Our kids’ school has already been cancelled. Is there snow coming down? Nope, not at all.
Butternut Squash Ravioli with Sage and Hazelnut Browned Butter Sauce
For the Pasta
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra as needed (10 ounces)
- 3 large eggs, beaten
For the Ravioli Filling
- 1 pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch chunks (about 3 cups)
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp packed brown sugar
- salt and pepper
- pinch ground nutmeg
- 2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated, (1 cup)
- all-purpose flour
For the Sauce
- 8 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped hazelnuts
- 2 tbsp minced fresh sage
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- shaved Parmesan
Make the Pasta
Pulse flour in a food processor to aerate. Add eggs and process until dough forms a rough ball, about 30 seconds. (If dough resembles small pebbles, add water, 1/2 teaspoon at a time; if dough sticks to side of bowl, add flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, and process until dough forms a rough ball.)
Turn out dough and any small bits onto the counter or a silpat and knead by hand until dough is smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to relax for at least 15 minutes or up to 2 hours.
Make the Ravioli Filling
Microwave the squash in a covered bowl until tender and easily pierced with a fork, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain squash well and transfer to a food processor. Add butter, brown sugar, 1/4 tsp salt, and nutmeg, and process until smooth, 15 to 20 seconds (you could use a blender if you don’t have a food processor.) Transfer to a bowl, stir in Parmesan and 1/8 tsp pepper, and refrigerate until no longer warm, 15 to 25 minutes.
Make the Ravioli
Dust 2 large rimmed baking sheets liberally with flour. Divide pasta dough into 5 even pieces and cover with plastic wrap. Working with 1 piece of dough, use a manual pasta machine to roll out dough into sheets. Flatten dough into a disk and run it through the rollers of the pasta machine set to the widest position. Roll pasta thinner by putting it through the machine repeatedly, narrowing the setting each time. Roll until the dough is thin and satiny and you can see the outline of your hand through the pasta. Lay the pasta sheet over a floured ravioli maker (it will need to double back over the top after you fill the ravioli.) Place generous 1-teaspoon dollops of filling in the center of each ravioli. Fold the remaining pasta over the filling and use a rolling pin, roll firmly across the ravioli tray to seal the ravioli.
Alternatively without a ravioli maker, using a pizza wheel or sharp knife, cut pasta sheet into long rectangles measuring 4 inches across. Place generous 1-teaspoon dollops of filling over bottom half of dough, spaced about 1 1/4 inches apart. (If dough seems dry, dab with water.) Fold top of pasta over filling and press layers of dough securely around each filling to seal. Use fluted pastry wheel to cut ravioli apart and trim edges (or just a knife or pizza cutter will do the trick, and you will have straight edges rather than zig-zags).
Transfer finished ravioli to the floured baking sheet and cover with a clean, damp dish towel. Repeat with remaining pasta and filling. (Towel-covered baking sheets of ravioli can be wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 4 hours. Ravioli can also be frozen for up to 1 month. Place the whole baking sheet into the freezer for a few hours to flash freeze the ravioli, then you can transfer them to a ziplock freezer bag. When you cook the ravioli, do not thaw before boiling.)
Make the Sauce
Before cooking the ravioli, cook butter, hazelnuts, sage and 1/4 tsp salt in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat, swirling pan constantly, until butter is melted, has golden brown color/a few specks of brown, and releases a nutty aroma, about 3 minutes. Off heat, stir in lemon juice.
Cook and Serve the Ravioli
Bring 4 quarts water to a boil in a large pot (I begin heating the water as I make the sauce to save on lag time while waiting for it to boil.) Add 1 tablespoon salt and half of the ravioli. Cook, stirring often and lowering heat if necessary to keep water at a gentle boil, until ravioli are tender, about 2 minutes (3 to 4 minutes if frozen). Using a slotted spoon, transfer cooked ravioli to a serving platter, spoon some of the butter sauce over top, and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm. Return water to a boil and repeat to cook remaining ravioli. Swirl 2 tablespoons of ravioli cooking water into remaining butter sauce, then pour sauce over ravioli. Top with shaved Parmesan and serve immediately.
Source: America’s Test Kitchen The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook