The first time I had butternut squash ravioli was a few years ago at a restaurant in SF called Kuleto’s. It was my friend Jana’s birthday and she invited me and a few of our friends to dinner. Jana worked at Kuleto’s at the time and so she knew the menu inside and out. She suggested that I order the butternut squash ravioli served with sage brown butter and toasted hazelnuts. There are no words to describe how much I loved it. I had no idea that I liked butternut squash so much, or that the combination of ingredients would work so well together. To be honest, I’ve thought about that dish every time the word “ravioli” has come up ever since then.
I considered recreating the recipe at home for myself, but the whole process just seemed far too daunting. Well a few years have gone by, and to my delight, the perfect combination of circumstances has come together to bring butternut squash ravioli back into my life again.
Over the summer while Mack and I were at a thrift store shopping for burning man stuff, Mack found a pasta maker for sale for $15. I sort of forgot that he bought it until last week when we got our veggie shipment, and there was a butternut squash in there! As soon as I saw it, I immediately knew what I wanted to make with it. It was finally time to try to make the butternut squash raviolis! And since Mack and I were looking forward to making our own pasta, this seemed like the perfect excuse to try the pasta maker out.
Of course because of our new health concerns, I would not be making the recipe exactly as I remembered it from the restaurant. I found a few different recipes online and made a few modifications. I omitted the butter sauce completely, and only used about half of the amount of cheese it called for.
Instead of the butter sauce, I made some sage infused olive oil by putting 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage into a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. I warmed the oil slightly in the microwave (10 seconds) and let it sit while we worked on the pasta.
Here’s my recipe for the butternut squash ravioli filling. See below for Mack’s low fat pesto ravioli and instructions on how to make the dough.
Butternut Squash/Hazelnut Filling Recipe:
Adapted from Sunset Magazine.
- 1 butternut squash* (about 3 1/2 lbs.), peeled, seeded, and cut into 2-in. chunks
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup chopped hazelnuts, (Original recipe called for 3/4 cup ground toasted almonds)
- 2 tablespoon minced fresh sage, plus 1 extra tablespoon for garnish & olive oil
- 1 cup freshly shaved Parmesan cheese (Original recipe called for 4 ounces freshly grated Parmesan cheese (1 3/4 cups)
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- Clean and peel the butternut squash (Here is a video of how to) and cut into cubes.
- Make filling: Preheat oven to 425º. Put squash chunks in a rimmed baking pan, drizzle with olive oil, and season generously with salt and pepper. Toss to coat.
Bake, stirring squash every 20 minutes, until very tender, 35 to 45 minutes. Carefully spoon hot squash into a food processor and whirl until very smooth. Scrape squash into a large bowl and let cool.
- Toast the hazelnuts in a dry frying pan over med heat for a few minutes until the nuts start to brown a bit. Set aside about a 1/8 cup to use for garnish later.
- Stir in hazelnuts, 2 tablespoons sage, parmesan, and nutmeg. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Set aside until your ravioli are ready to fill. This also allows some cooling time, which is probably better so that the filling isn’t cooking the dough when you put it in the ravioli.
For the pesto recipe I(mack) used the exact same pesto recipe from the Potato Pesto Pizza blog we did before: http://norcalfoodies.wordpress.com/2010/10/20/potato-pesto-pizza/ All but the oil part. I wound up using ONLY lemon juice in place of all that olive oil. It turned out great and was super tangy, but good. Even going half oil/half lemon would turn out nice, and still be more traditional and less tangy if you prefer.
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan Formaggio
- 1/2 cup lemon juice(in place of the EVOO)
- 1/3 cup pine nuts
- 6 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Put it all in a food processor and blend it until it’s the consistency you prefer. Add more or less pine nuts, and more lemon juice if it’s not smooth enough. ENJOY!
Ravioli Dough Recipe:
(Mack)For this ravioli dough, we used Bob’s Red Mill Semolina Flour
It seemed like the right idea to use the recipe that came on the package for the pasta dough, so we did.
- 1-1/2 cups Semolina
- 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
- 2 Eggs or 3 Egg Whites, beaten
- 2 tb Water
- 2 tb Olive Oil
- Combine semolina flour and salt, add beaten eggs (or egg whites, which I used), water and oil. Mix to make a stiff dough. I actually made a mistake when measuring and dumped all the flour in, then had to adjust the rest of it to make the flour/ingredient combination accurate. A little simple math did the trick.
- I put all of this in our Braun Combimax 650 Food Processor on #6 with the dough hook. I let it go until it became a ball and all of the flour was picked up around the bowl.
- They said to knead the dough for 10 minutes, but I didn’t. I just did the next step.
- Wrap dough in plastic bag or well wrapped plastic wrap and let rest for 20 minutes.
- On a lightly floured surface roll out to desired thickness and cut as desired. If you have a pasta maker/roller, like we do, then follow the instructions for that pasta maker. If you don’t, then using a rolling pin and floured surface, roll out your dough to a nice thin sheet. Here is what we did using our pasta roller: take a portion of the dough and run through the roller on the widest setting(1) and run through about 6 times, folding it over each time until it becomes nice and smooth and elastic. Then gradually lower the setting to your desired thickness. We found with trial and error that (4) was the best for our ravioli dough.
- Once you have the dough coming through the roller at the thickness you desire, you can lay down this piece as the bottom of your ravioli.
- The first time we made ravioli we did it without a ravioli maker/press, and did it all by hand. I’ll give you both versions for making ravioli.
- NO RAVIOLI PRESS ASSEMBLY STEPS:
-Dust a piece of parchment paper with flour and lay it on a cookie sheet, or some other surface you can use as an assembly line
-Lay out sheet of pasta on cookie sheet.
-Starting about 2 inches from one of the ends of the pasta strip, begin spooning about 2 tbsp of filling onto the middle of the pasta. repeat this process evenly about every 2 inches and you’ll begin to see where your ravioli cutting spaces will be.
-Next roll out a second piece of pasta(you could do that before you begin to spoon the filling, it might make timing better. Take the second piece of pasta and lay it gently over your other one, covering all of the pasta and edges.
-then with your fingers press the top pasta down onto the bottom pasta around your filling. Careful not to smoosh the filling out onto the seams you are creating. This gets rid of some of the air and helps with creating a good seal for your ravoli.
-Next using a glass tumbler or in our case martini shaker top(after not liking the unsharp glass edge’s performance), place it over your mound of filling and press firmly down into the dough. You will then want to spin it in place, right and left to cut the dough completely. You may need to hold onto the parchment paper below it. When done you should be able to just lift it up and have the ravioli fall out.
-Repeat this process for all of your filling spaces and with the remaining dough, fold it into the rest of the dough and use again.
- RAVIOLI PRESS ASSEMBLY STEPS:
-When you have your dough in the desired thickness, lay your dough sheet over a lightly and thoroughly floured ravioli press. Be sure to cover the visible cutting squares so that you get a proper sized ravioli that won’t leak.
-Then using the plastic press, lightly press into the dough and make the indentations for you to fill with your filling mixtures.
-With a spoon or measuring spoon, put in about 1/2 to 1 tbsp of filling in the spaces you just made, be sure to keep it in the middle and not near the edges.
-Once all of your indents have filling in them, lay another sheet of dough over the ravioli press and using your fingers, press down around the seams of the press to make sure the dough will hold for the next step.
-With a floured rolling pin, roll it over the top of your ravioli press firmly(you may need help holding the press in place) until you see the cutters appearing and there are 12 perfect ravioli shapes in the press.
-Pull the excess dough off of the press edges by pulling out sideways. Don’t pull up your you risk pulling the dough up and the ravioli with it and making a hole in your dough.
-If you floured the press good enough you should be able to just flip the press over onto a floured surface and have them fall out. If not, you may need to press them a little to get them to pop out.
- Space out the ravioli you want to freeze in a ziplock and lay flat in the freezer for later use.
- For the ones you want to cook: Bring 1 large pot of water to boil, add some salt and a bit of olive oil. Reduce heat so water boils gently, and cook ravioli, occasionally pushing down into the water, just until al dente (test a corner of one to check), 5 to 7 minutes, maybe 10 minutes for frozen raviolis. You could always pull one out and cut it to get a time gauge.
- Set out soup plates. Using a slotted spoon or wire scoop, transfer ravioli from water to each plate. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil, sage, and cheese if desired.
- Both processes took about 3 hours start to finish, including the filling, the dough, and the assembly.
These raviolis turned out great! The first time we made them without the ravioli press we went a bit thicker on the dough and realized we could go thinner, so we did on the next batch. Without the pasta maker we probably wouldn’t have been as motivated to make ravioli. The pasta maker was fun to use, and a little bit of a workout, and I think it gave us the inspiration that we needed to begin making our own pastas. We we will be posting more about our adventure in making raviolis as we try a variety of recipes, such as Gluten Free, Egg Free ravioli and some just Gluten Free. Coming very soon.
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