“Maybe I should have started with linguine instead of ravioli.” I was trying to remember how to make pasta, and beginning to wonder if, instead of pumpkin ravioli, our Halloween dinner was going to consist of pasta shreds with mashed pumpkin on top. Fortunately for us, and for those of you looking at the photos of our final product, it did finally come out.
I used to make ravioli and other filled pastas, back when I was young and unemployed and had more time in the kitchen, but it had definitely been a while. And I never did get the hang of squash-filled pastas – it seemed like I always overfilled them or the filling was too watery, and the pastas always self-destructed in the pot. I’m happy to report, though, that this recipe (from Mario Batali’s Babbo Cookbook) worked beautifully. I only had to wad up the pasta scraps and reroll them once! And the pumpkin didn’t cook evenly, so we ran it through the cuisinart to get rid of the hard chunks. But the result was very, very delicious. I did skip the amaretti cookies on top, though, because that just sounded disgusting.
Pumpkin Ravioli with Sage Butter
adapted from The Babbo Cookbook by Mario Batali
- 1 1/2 cups white flour
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 tsp olive oil
- 1 small pumpkin
- olive oil
- 1/2 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano
- 1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
- 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 stick butter
- 6 fresh sage leaves
- coarse salt or fleur de sel
Mix up the pasta dough a little ahead of time. Pile the flour on the counter or on a large wooden board, and make a well in the center. Break the eggs into the well and add the olive oil. Mix the eggs and oil together with a fork, then gradually incorporate the flour from the sides until you have a firm, slightly sticky, resilient dough. Knead for a few minutes until smooth, then wrap it up in plastic wrap and set aside.
Cut the pumpkin in half, scoop it clean, rub with olive oil and roast at 350° until soft, about half an hour.
Scoop out the flesh into a bowl (or food processor if it seems extra chunky). Add the cheese, nutmeg, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir well.
Run the dough through a pasta machine until it is very thin (we only made it to number 4 on our machine before the dough started to tear, and it worked fine – but thinner is always better if you can manage it). Use a biscuit cutter to cut rounds from the pasta sheet.
Put a small spoonful of filling on a round, then cap with another round and seal the edges. Set the filled ravioli on a baking sheet.
Bring a large pot of water to the boil and add salt. Drop in the ravioli and cook for 2 minutes. In the meantime, put a large skillet over medium heat and add the butter. When it melts and foams, whisk in a little of the pasta cooking water, then add the sage leaves. When the ravioli are cooked, drain them and put them directly into the sage butter and stir them gently to coat. Sprinkle with a bit of fleur de sel or other coarse salt.
Eat immediately. We can recommend the pairing of Uli’s mild Italian sausage with these, and Cusumano Nero d’Avola from Sicily. And Halloween candy to follow.