So, remember several days ago when we talked about how to make fresh homemade pasta? Well, I was really gearing up for today’s butternut squash ravioli with prosciutto, sage, pine nuts, and parmesan. I just didn’t want to overwhelm you with the deliciousness of both homemade pasta and butternut squash ravioli in one day. I wasn’t sure if you would be able to handle it. (I wasn’t sure that I would be able to handle it!)
But first, while we’re on the subject of squash, can we stop and talk about pumpkin for a minute? I know that pumpkin is all the rage this time of year, and believe me, I am the first to jump in to defend pumpkin spice. But…pumpkin itself is something of a mystery to me. Most pumpkins are large and cumbersome. They are difficult to cut and too big to roast whole. After finally wrestling one into the oven, it always seems my reward is nothing more than a pile of bland, watery, pulp. Butternut squash on the other hand is sweeter, smoother, and boasts a richer flavor and deep orange color. Butternut squash are also far more manageable–just throw a whole squash on a baking sheet (lined with foil if you don’t want to have any clean up) and bake at 400 degrees fahrenheit for about 40 minutes until a fork glides through the densest part of the squash (the skinny end without the seeds). Once the squash is cool, just slice it in half, scoop out the seeds, and scrape the squash from the skin. Easy peasy. Perfect for pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, and of course butternut squash ravioli!
Pumpkin (or in this case butternut squash) ravioli is the quintessential fall dish. I think I could eat it every night. Luckily, these little raviolis freeze beautifully. Just spread them out in a single layer (like in the photo below) and pop them in the freezer. Once they are frozen, transfer to a ziplock back. When you’re ready to cook, just add the frozen ravioli straight to the boiling water.
If you’ve never made ravioli before, I prefer using a ravioli mold like this one. Using the mold makes it super easy and quick to turn out batches and batches of ravioli. Since mine is currently in storage, this time I used these fun ravioli stamps. Although they made cute pasta, I found them more difficult to work with than the mold.
I’m told, although I haven’t tried it myself, that if you really want to make ravioli but don’t have the time to whip up a batch of fresh pasta, you can use frozen wonton wrappers…if you try it, let me know!
- 1 pound homemade pasta, rolled to the second smallest setting.
- 1 1/2 cups roasted butternut squash
- 2 fresh sage leaves
- 1/2 cup crispy pancetta, prosciutto, or bacon (finely chopped)
- 1 teaspoon better than bouillon (vegetable or chicken)
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup pine nuts (toasted)
- 3 tablespoons butter
- Heat 1-2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium frying pan. Add shallots and garlic, sprinkle with salt and cook until tender and just beginning to brown (3-5 minutes). Add 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage and cook for about 30 seconds. Add 1/3 cup wine and cook for an additional minute. Remove from heat.
- In a medium bowl whip 1.5 cups roasted pumpkin until smooth (you could use a mixer or just a fork). Add shallots and wine, 1/4 cup crisp pancetta, chicken (or vegetable bouillon) and salt and pepper to taste.
- Whisk in one egg.
- Follow the directions on your ravioli mold or stamps to fill the pasta with the squash filling. (If you have leftover filling, it freezes beautifully.)
- Bring a large stockpot with water, 1 tablespoon of salt, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a boil. (I always use olive oil when cooking fresh pasta to prevent it from sticking.)
- While the water is coming to a boil, melt three tablespoons butter in a small frying pan. Add 1 fresh sage leaf (chopped) until it begins to sizzle.
- Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook for about 5 minutes until the ravioli begin to float.
- Drain the ravioli and quickly place in the pan with the butter and sage. Return to medium heat until the ravioli begin to turn golden brown. Add about half of the pine nuts and remaining pancetta to the pan.
- Transfer ravioli to individual plates or serving dish. Top with remaining pine nuts, pancetta, and freshly grated parmesan cheese.