This pasta/sauce combination is typically done with pumpkin – or zucca – as the filling, but getting the pumpkin from its entirety to a compact puree is a long, time consuming road. So I make the ravioli here with butternut squash because I can achieve the same sweetness from its puree in a much shorter time frame. I am a sage fan, so I fry the leaves in the butter until they are crispy and serve them with the ravioli. If you want a subtler sage flavor, you can just infuse the butter with them for a shorter time and discard them. For presentation’s sake, you can just place a fresh leaf on top of the ravioli.
This recipe yields quite a bit of ravioli and they freeze really well if you lay them on a cookie sheet dusted with semolina until they are frozen. After they are frozen, you can put them in a freezer bag.
40 large ravioli
Pasta dough and filling
14 ounces of 00 pasta flour (about 2 ½ cups)
Semolina flour for dusting surface when you are stretching it
1 lb peeled butternut squash, cut up in 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and diced small
1 garlic clove, peeled and ground to a paste with 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
Place the flour and the eggs in a food processor bowl and pulse until the mixture is the texture of grainy sand. On a work surface dusted with flour, turn out the dough and knead it for 4-5 minutes until its skin it soft to the touch, like a baby’s skin. Form it into a disk, cover completely with plastic and let it rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, but as long as overnight.
Toss the squash in olive oil and roast them at about 375 degrees until tender. Timing will vary based on how big your have cut your pieces. Once fork tender remove the squash from the oven and cool slightly.
Place the squash in the tub of a food processor with maple syrup, garlic/salt paste, and freshly ground black pepper. Pulse until you get a creamy puree. Put puree into a medium sized bowl.
Sauté chopped onions in olive oil until they are soft, but not browned. Stir onions into the puree and cool completely.
Score the pasta dough disk in eight equal triangles. Working with one piece at a time (cover the remainder with plastic wrap), use a pasta press machine to roll the dough into sheets that have a 1 mm thickness and are about 4 inches wide. Lay the sheet on a lightly floured surface. On the top half of the sheet, about every 2 inches put a tablespoon puree. Take your finger, dip it in cold water and run your wet finger around each dab of puree. Fold the bottom half of the sheet upwards to cover the dabs of puree. Seal each bubble of puree tightly and cut them apart.
Place the stuffed ravioli on a sheet tray dusted with semolina or cornmeal and have them dry for about 30 minutes or so.
While the ravioli cooks, melt butter over medium heat in a large skill. Once the butter is melted, add the sage leaves. The butter will foam and the leaves will crisp up. As soon as the butter starts to turn brown, remove the pan from the heat and squeeze the juice of the lemons into it. Drain the ravioli, turn them into the pan with the sage butter sauce and coat all of them completely.
Plate the ravioli (I like to sprinkle a little sea salt and freshly ground pepper over them) and serve immediately.
I am an excellent eater (I have been all my life). I’m a pretty good cook (Ask my kids!). And my passable writing improves with alcohol (whether it's the writer or the reader that needs to drink varies by sentence.). I just published my first cookbook, Green Plate Special, which focuses on delicious recipes that help every day cooks eat more sustainably.