This Butternut Squash Ravioli are your perfect companions for late autumnal days. They can be a quick rustic dish, but can be arranged more elegantly for an impeccable Christmas evening.
No matter how you decide to serve them, they represent the core of Italian Sundays. Cosy days, with the company of home made food that talk about the love for gathering together at the same table, share conversations, and spend time together like there is no end to it.
Back to mu childhood, family Sundays conveyed a sense of stillness and calm. Even if there was long labour in the kitchen we felt no rush, instead we all patiently collaborated with appreciation. The intent and result was to gift ourselves with good time and good food.
This recipe is truly dear to me, as it is such a strong reminder of my grandma care and love for us. Even if pumpkin ravioli recipe belongs more to Mantova than Liguria, because Mantova is where in Italy the most of pumpkin and squash grow.
Instead, the ravioli rolling pin typical of our area in Liguria. I love it, makes possible to quickly produce dozens of ravioli in one go. I have to say my grandma pin had deeper holes to make the ravioli more rounded with filling, probably because is expensive and difficult to produce that design now these particular pins are more shallow, and produce more flat ravioli, but they still serve the cause fine.
However what is really dear to me is the way we cooked them. It is exactly how my grandma would have done for us as kids. Not boiled, but roasted straight on the stove and drizzled with olive oil.
She would just roast few ravioli this way, for the children, so we could bare to wait until the Sunday lunch was ready.
I never really got why she couldn't roast them all, but of course it was matter of being sensible with time in the kitchen. And tradition.
The way we pan fried the ravioli in this recipe, is quicker than roasting on a fire stove, but equally delicious. Maybe an unusual way of cooking pasta, but trust us, it will make you happy like a child!
Find Kim's blog post of this collab here. And Aimee's here.
For this recipe you need: tools for ravioli of your choice. Pasta machine (or excellent pin skills), large bowl, oven dish and hand mixer or similar basic mixer. Working surface for the pasta making.
Time of Prep: 40 min plus 20 min resting
Time of cooking for the pasta: 10-15 min
For the ravioli filling
1 cup of squash purée ( means rougly 1 small butternut squash or pumpkin )
85g ground almonds (almond meal)
100g cooked chestnuts, roughly chopped
3Tbsp of miso paste (we used soya free light miso from Tideford Organics, but dark miso would also work)
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
black pepper, to taste
a dash of olive oil for roasting
For the pasta:
250g plain flour
150g wholemeal flour
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
250ml/ 1/4l lukewarm water
a drizzle of balsamic vinegar (optional)
generous extra virgin olive oil to lightly fry
a generous sprinkle of ground almonds (to taste)
a sprinkle of nutritional yeast (optional)
a small bunch of sage
handul of roasted pine nuts (optional)
Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F.
Prepare your butternut squash.
Peel and de-seed the squash, cut in small cubes and place on a prepared baking tray; drizzle over some olive oil and massage.
Roast for 25-30 minutes or until soft and golden roasted.
Whilst the butternut squash is in the oven, prepare a clean surface dusted with flour for working the dough.
In a bowl combine the 2 flours with the salt, olive oil and water. Knead and combine by hand until a sticky dough has formed.
Move to the working area dusted with flour and start kneading. If you tend to have hot hands wash them until cold water (then dry) time to time.
Keep sprinkle with some flour to stop the dough from sticking to the work surface or your hands. Knead for another 10 minutes or until the dough firms up and stops sticking however is still smooth and soft.
Make a smooth ball and let the it rest covered by a tea towel to let the gluten bound for a more elastic and strong pasta.
Meanwhile we make the filling.
Remove the butternut squash from the oven, let cool slightly before mashing the butternut squash into a purée.
Measure out about 1 cup.
Place the cup of mashed butternut squash in a food processor with the ground nuts, miso paste, ground nutmeg, pepper and chopped chestnuts and mix until well combined. The filling will be soft and firm. Taste for spices and salt.
Prepare a clean surface dusted with flour, on which you will lay the pasta sheets ready to be cut.
Set your pasta machine at it's thickest setting. Sprinkle over some flour so the dough doesn't stick to the machine and feed through the pasta machine. Fold in half and pass it through again. Repeat 3-4 times.
When the pasta sheet appears smooth pass it on a thinner setting, folding in half each time until is smooth. Add flour if needed.
Repeat on different grades until the dough is very thin yet thick enough not to break when filling the ravioli (I use the 3rd from the tinnier grade) . The more you repeat -fold and pass through the machine-, the more the pasta will be smooth and elastic.
Set aside each sheet on the prepared surface. Let them shortly rest covered with a tea towel, while you tidy up your work space for the ravioli making. Do not let them dry.
Prepare few dishes or a large board dusted with semolina or flour where to place the ravioli once are cut.
Cutting the ravioli:
If you have a ravioli pin like the one I have in the pictures: spread a 0.3 cm thick filling all over a pasta sheet, cover with a second sheet and press firmly the pin while rolling over the pasta.
*You can merge few sheets together with the help of a regular pin, then spread with the filling, and cover with equal sheets merged together.
Or you can work on each pasta sheet separately, fill it and cover with an other sheet.
This is the method we use in our family, and is the one I like the most as it is quick, tidy and efficient.
Just beware not to put in too much filling; as when you press the pin over the pasta to make the ravioli, the filling squeeze away from the edges, gathering to the centre of each raviolo, and if it is too much they will brake, or open later when they boil.
Once the ravioli are separated you can cut each raviolo with a sharp knife. ( ah... raviolo = singular, ravioli = plural, in case you wander :) )
If you are using a cutter instead : lay out on a 1 sheet the filling, in quantities of 1 teaspoon at a time. There should be about 1 cm of empty space between each teaspoon of filling.
Next place the second sheet of pasta dough on top, press around your filling so the two sheets bond together, and use a ravioli cutter to create the desired ravioli shape you're after.
In a large pan, over a medium heat, heat some olive oil with some sage leaves ( to taste) and and pan fry the ravioli, about 20-30 seconds or until gold, on each side. The more the pan gets hot, the quicker they will cook.
Make sure the pan you use is quite large so you can fry about 20 at once. We did just that and made about 100 ravioli in 5 batches of 20.
Once the ravioli is done, pan fry more sage leaves and almond meal and serve the ravioli immediately with the balsamic vinegar, olive oil and more ground almonds/nutritional yeast (if using). Enjoy!