We made them in class tonight and all of us cooks in the kitchen flew around the dining room on an autumn breeze (even tho in Nashville it’s been averaging a sunny 80 degrees in the afternoons).
No matter. We whipped up this elixir of creamy filling in delicate pasta and bathed it in parsley-mint-walnut pesto. We couldn’t believe our tongues. Palates lighting up with sparks of tasty joy.
Join our journey. Recipe at end.
Fresh Butternut Squash Ravioli w Parsley-Walnut Pesto
For the dough:
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus extra
¼ teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
For the filling:
1 small butternut squash
1 cup ricotta
½ cup grated cheese (Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano)
1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
salt & pepper to taste
For the Sauce:
2 cups fresh parsley leaves
1/2 cup mint leaves
1 garlic clove, peeled, rough chopped
1/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 cup grated cheese
Make the dough: Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl, and shape into a mound. Create a “well” in the mound and add the eggs. Using a fork slowly mix the flour into the egg, until the dough comes together and most or all the flour is mixed in. Gather the dough and knead it on a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth, shape into a ball and cover with plastic wrap. Let rest for 30 minutes.
Make the filling: Rinse the squash and dry. Cut into quarters and spoon out the seeds. Place cut-side down on foil-lined sheet pan or casserole pan. Add about 1/2 -inch of water. Roast for about 40-45 minutes until flesh is tender. Allow to cool, then scoop out the squash into a medium mixing bowl. Mash the squash with a fork and add the cheeses, nutmeg. Combine well. Season with salt & pepper.
Make the ravioli: Cut the dough into four pieces. Work with one piece at a time and keep the other pieces covered in plastic wrap. Flatten the dough into a rough rectangle, and roll through the pasta machine, changing the numbers from thick to thinner (lower to higher) one at a time until you reach the next-to-the-last number on the machine. Dust the sheet with flour in between every couple of numbers to keep it from sticking in the machine.
Lay the sheet on a table. Place scant ½-tablespoons of filling in row on the bottom half of the sheet, about an inch apart. Fold the top half over the bottom half. Press all the edges closed to seal well. Cut in between to make the individual ravioli. Place the finished ravioli on a flour-dusted sheet and repeat with the rest of the dough.
Make the Sauce: Add the herbs, garlic, and walnuts to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until minced. Add the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Process until smooth. Transfer to your pasta serving bowl.
Cook the ravioli: Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. Salt water. Drop in the ravioli and cook until al dente, about 3 minutes. Add a few spoonfuls of pasta water to loosen and turn it from a paste to a sauce. Combine with ravioli. Sprinkle grated cheese on top.