By Beth Brown, Kitchen Store Specialist
Instead of being completely devastated by the change in weather and the looming winter, I decided to celebrate the fall by whipping up the perfect combination of carbs and comfort: butternut squash ravioli!
What’s not to love about tender, homemade pasta dough packed into pillows full of delicious butternut squash, topped with drizzly butter and crumbled walnuts? Yeah, nothing. Trust me, and try this recipe to cure your colder-weather blues. Paired with a delicious side, this would be perfect for a fall dinner party. Or, you could have your own private party, and eat them all yourself. Your choice!
Never made butternut squash ravioli? I hadn’t either. This recipe was simple and really fun to make, with the help of the KitchenAid mixer and food processor, the Atlas pasta maker, and our pastry cutter and ravioli stamps. Having next-to-no experience with homemade pasta, I went with a simple egg noodle recipe from KitchenAid.
First, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Pierce your butternut squash on all four sides (I used a paring knife) and cook in the microwave for 3 minutes, flipping half way through.
This helps the squash soften a bit before cutting. Cut the squash in half length-wise, scoop out the seeds, place on a cookie sheet and brush generously with olive oil. Cook for 35-45 minutes until fork-tender.
While that is cooking, sauté half an onion, diced, with one clove of minced garlic in olive oil until softened.
Combine this with the cooked squash, ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste in your food processor until smooth.
For the pasta dough, put 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour, sifted, into your KitchenAid mixer bowl (outfitted with the flat beater attachment), along with 1 teaspoon of salt. In a clear measuring cup, break four eggs, making sure the liquid reaches 7/8 of a cup. If it doesn’t, add water, one tablespoon at a time, until it does. Turning the mixer to speed 2, slowly add the eggs until the dough is coarsely blended. It will probably still look crumbly. If it looks really floury still, add one or two more tablespoons of water until the dough is crumbly but not dry.
Hand-knead the dough for about a minute, until you can form it into balls. I separated my dough into four balls. Cover them with plastic wrap and let the dough balls rest for at least half an hour. This helps the gluten to process so your dough will be easier to flatten without stretching back.
Despite the warnings in the instructions that pasta dough could be finicky, I found it simple and pretty forgiving, so don’t be shy. Once you try homemade pasta, you’ll never want to go back! When your dough has been sufficiently rested, shape them into square disks, flattening them to fit into the pasta roller.
Set up your pasta roller and clamp it to the counter top. Make sure to start on the setting with the rollers furthest apart and start to feed the dough through, one disk at a time. Sometimes you may have to run the dough through twice on the same number before moving the next.
I ran the dough through from setting one up to six. You don’t want it to be too thin for ravioli, or it will break while cooking.
Once you have a nice, smooth, long sheet of dough, lay it flat on a clean surface, and use a scoop or small spoon to place small amounts of filling on half the dough, spaced evenly, as pictured.
Wet the edges and in between each scoop with a little water, so the raviolis will seal. Then, carefully fold the other half of the dough over the top, pressing down gently just around the filling, pushing out the air as you go.
If your raviolis are too puffy with air, as my first attempts were, poke them with a tooth pick to get some of the air out, and squish the hole closed again. If there is too much air inside, it could burst while cooking. It sounds complicated, but it’s really very easy once you get the hang of it!
I alternated using the pastry cutter and the ravioli stamps. Save any edges of dough, because you can run it back through the pasta maker!
Once your raviolis are formed and pinched together, cook them in boiling water (add a splash of olive oil to the water, to help them not stick together). Let them cook for 3-6 minutes, depending on the size and thickness of your ravioli.
To test their doneness, cut one in half. If you don’t see any white line, which signifies any uncooked flour, they’re done! Try not to eat them all before you make your sauce.
For the sauce, we simply melted butter and added some crumbled walnuts. The butter and crunch of the nuts combined with the tender pasta and rich, sweetness of the filling perfectly! Is your mouth watering yet?
Do you have any favorite pasta tips or recipes? Tell us about it in the comments!