Saturday, November 8, 2014

my ravioli adventure

I got the grand idea in my head to make homemade butternut squash ravioli. Fall screams squash to me, and at the local market, it is plentiful. The recipes for any homemade ravioli make it sound so easy: mix a little flour, egg, and water together to make a dough. Make your filling, put them together, and voila - ravioli!

Let me tell you that dough is not as easy as the recipes make it sound, especially when mixing by hand and trying to get the dough as thin as possible. That is really what made this a lot of work, the filling part was easy peasy comparatively. I should have learned from my perogy experience, but apparently I didn't!

Pasta Dough Recipe
3 cups all purpose flour
½ tsp salt
2 eggs
½  cup olive oil
½ cup water
Extra flour for dusting
Extra water for molding ravioli

Butternut Squash-Sage Ravioli Filling Recipe
1 whole butternut squash, cooked & mashed
1.5 cups ricotta cheese
Finely chopped fresh sage to taste
2 cloves garlic, roasted & mashed
2 tsps garlic powder
1 tsp Salt
Pepper and/or cayenne pepper to taste
2 tsp butter, for frying
1 small tomato, chopped to garnish
1/3 cup goat cheese, to garnish

First, you roast the squash. I actually did this the day before ravioli day to save some time. I then scraped out the insides and put it in a container in the fridge.  Hint: the squash has this little cavity space under it if you turned over the below squash. Put some garlic under there to roast!

Then, you make the filling for the ravioli. I put extra sage in, because I really like the flavor it provides. I don’t cook with sage too often, so when I do, I use a lot! You could also make lots of modifications as desired: other types of cheese (add some parmesan or use mascarpone instead), substitute basil for sage, or add some spicy sausage. 

And then, my friend the dough comes along. Doing it all by hand is wayyyy too much work. If I had a Kitchen Aid mixer, life would be much easier (note to self for wedding registry!!). I also don't own a rolling pin, so I had to improvise. (Oh, the joys of owning your first home & learning what you need!) 

You roll, roll, roll, roll, roll, and roll. Then you use a round cup from your cupboard to make circles.

You then fill the circles with the squash filling and squish two circles together. You could also make different shapes if you have different cut outs, such as a triangle or square. I recommend using BIG shapes/circles, otherwise you will get very minimal filling in your ravioli and therefore minimal flavor. Use water to squish the edges together by hand. I had to use lots of water to make the two pieces of dough stick together.

Then you have a bunch of flour covered raviolis of all shapes and sizes! I then boiled them for about 3 minutes, and put them in a frying pan with some butter and sage. I added chopped tomatoes at the end as well as some herbed goat cheese (goat cheese goes SO well with butternut squash and sage).
The yield for this recipe was about 35 raviolis of decent size (not all are pictured above). What I made today used about half of the filling and was sufficient for Edwin & I for dinner as well as lunch the next day for both of us (with the remaining filling, I am going to try making ravioli with wonton wrappers, a tip I read online!)

There you have it - the finished product! I grilled some asparagus, zucchini, and red peppers to go alongside, and Edwin had a sausage as well. The ravioli tasted a lot different than store bought butternut squash ravioli, but there is probably a lot more actual squash in the homemade versions than the store version. The flavor of the filling was quite powerful, in a good way! It was fresh tasting, and there was a good amount sage. The ricotta cheese made it creamy and salty which I think is key to the ravioli filling. The actual taste of the dough was good, but it was a bit thicker than it ideally should have been. Plus, towards the end, I was getting a bit sloppy and not removing excess dough from each one.

My recommendation: if you wish to spend 3 hours making dinner, than this was great! I think some sauce would have been helpful - maybe a pesto or alfredo? My goal was to let the squash and sage flavor the ravioli enough, but I would have preferred it with some sauce. I had found this samosa recipe I wanted to try, but it again involves dough. Darn.

I'll update you once I try the raviolis with wonton wrappers later this week. Until next time, ravioli!

PS - Milestones makes an awesome butternut squash ravioli with a roma tomato sauce, basil, goat cheese, and pecan topping. Delish. If you are new to butternut squash, try this!! You'll love it.

1 comment:

  1. Looks so good! We have a pasta roller that we've used to make it a few times, it makes it a bit easier if you ever want to borrow it :) Cranks out noodles, ravioli size pasta etc. MMmmm....pesto makes everything better....