Butternut Squash Ravioli

It was the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, my husband and I met my parents, Aunt Carol, Uncle Tony, Mama and Papa at Pasta Plus in Laurel, Maryland for dinner. It’s a rarity for Mama and Papa to come down from Bethany Beach for a visit. It had also been a long while since we ate at Pasta Plus. YUMMM, their bread! You may remember my sweet Mama from the post I did on her Chocolate Buttercream Easter Eggs and when I talked about my favorite breakfast place in Bethany.

As always, the company was a delight. It was nice catching up with my aunt and uncle, who I see even less than my grandparents. A situation which should be remedied. However, I have to take a moment of silence for the ravioli special that blew me right out of my boots. Silence

It was the nights special, Butternut Squash Ravioli with sun-dried tomatoes, pancetta and sweet peas in a burnt butter sauce. I loved this so much, I recreated this dish 4 days later for Sunday night dinner. And I question how I’ve put on a few pounds in the last year, hmmmm…..I really need to up my cardio game.

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Ideally, using fresh pasta is recommended here. I have added steps to making a super simple pasta dough. However, you can substitute fresh pasta for wonton wrappers.

INGREDIENTS:

Fresh Pasta dough (see below) or wonton wrappers

Ravioli Filling (see below)

1 stick of butter

1/4 cup of fresh sage

1/2-1 cup of pasta water

3/4 cup of sweet peas

10 slivers of sun-dried tomatoes in oil

8 ounces of pancetta, sliced thin

Splash of heavy cream

FILLING INGREDIENTS:

2-3 pound butternut squash, peeled and cut into equal sized pieces

1 egg yolk

1/4 cup of shredded Parmesan or Parmegiano Regiano

1/2-3/4 teaspoon of nutmeg

Olive Oil

Salt to taste

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Toss the peeled and cut butternut squash in olive oil and salt. Lay the butternut squash in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast for 30-45 minutes. Give the squash a flip after 20 minutes and check after very ten minutes for doneness. You want the squash to be soft.

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Let the squash cool for 10 minutes and add the squash, nutmeg, cheese and yolk to a food processor. Blend until smooth.

PREPARATION TIP: At this point, the filling can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.

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FRESH PASTA:

2 1/2 cups of 00 Flour or unbleached all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons of cornstarch if using 00 Flour or 4 tablespoons if using all-purpose

1/8 teaspoon of kosher salt

4 egg yolks, save the whites for breakfast

1/4 cup of olive oil

1/3-1/2 cup of water

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch and salt. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the four egg yolks. Using your fingers, combine the flour and yolks. Then add the olive oil and mix together.

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When you can pinch the dough between two fingers and it sticks, add water a little bit at a time until you have formed a dough. You don’t want a dough that is too dry or too wet.

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When the shaggy dough starts to come together, knead the dough for 5 minutes on a lightly floured surface. When the dough is smooth, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 days.

BEFORE KNEADING:

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AFTER KNEADING:

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Time to roll out the dough and fill it with yumminess. Alternatively, fill the wontons with 1 teaspoon of filling, use water to dampen the edges of the wrapper and close. Lay the wontons on a damp paper towel and cover with a damp paper towel until all your ravioli has been filled.

If using fresh pasta, cut the dough into 4 equal parts. Grab your rolling pin or pasta roller and your ravioli press. I got mine off Amazon. I love it. Alternatively, roll the dough and cut a 4 x 4 inch squares, fill with dough and close as you would the wontons.

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Roll 1 of the parts of dough through the roller while the other pieces hang out under a damp paper towel. I roll the dough long enough and thin enough to cover the ravioli press and still have enough to fold the dough over the top. Dust the ravioli press with flour and then lay the first piece of dough over the press.

Fill each ravioli with a scant tablespoon of filling. Then fold over or use the remainder of the dough to cover the filling.

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Use an old dowel rod to slowly roll over the ravioli press. This will cut and seal the dough. Don’t use a good rolling pin for this job, it will ruin the pin.

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Turn the ravioli press over and carefully place the pillows of deliciousness onto a tray lined with a kitchen towel. Let them air dry while you continue with the rest of the dough and filling.

PREPARATION TIP: Pasta freezes beautifully. Leave the ravioli on a tray and freeze for at least 12 hours. Then scoop them all into a labeled freezer bag and store for up to 1 month. When ready to cook, boil water and place the ravioli into the water. When they float, they are done.

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Let’s get to the best part, 10 minutes to cook and then we eat!

Bring a large pot of water to a boil with a healthy pinch of salt. Meanwhile, gather all the ingredients for your sauce.

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In a small pan, cook the pancetta in a touch of olive oil until crispy. Set aside on a paper towel to drain. This step can be done 2 days before.

If your water is boiling, add the pasta and cook for 3-4 minutes. Once the ravioli are floating, remove and set aside. We have about 2 minutes left to finish the sauce.

In a large pan over medium heat, melt the butter with the sage.

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Once the butter stops foaming and turns golden in color, add the sun-dried tomatoes, pease and splash of cream. Cook for 1 minute longer.

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Take the sauce off the heat. Plate the ravioli and spread on the sauce. Serve with crusty bread and dig in.

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dinner, pastaKelly BellComment