Butternut Squash Ravioli with Sage Butter
Fresh pasta that'll satisfy all of your autumn cravings.
Prep45 minutes to 1 hour
Pasta making isn’t always an exact science, which is why it’s so fun. You need to find the magical balance of flour and eggs; when the dough is neither too sticky nor too dry. While this may sound intimidating at first, you soon come to realize that it isn’t just dinner — it’s also a show. It’s an activity that is most enjoyable when shared, preferably with a nice bottle of Italian wine and a sense of adventure. In fact, I have found it’s the perfect date night when you want to stay in, spend time together, share a few laughs, and ultimately enjoy a great meal.
Writing a recipe for homemade pasta can be a challenge because the exact proportions can vary so much. That is one of the reasons I have offered both weights and measurements for the ingredients here. I definitely recommend weighing the flour and egg yolks on a kitchen scale. You can always add more flour along the way, but if too much is incorporated from the start, you’ll be dealt a tough dough. The freshness and size of the eggs as well as the type and humidity level of the flour can also contribute to slight variations in the amounts needed to achieve dough perfection. The pasta should feel delightfully soft and velvety as you knead it in your hands.
How Do You Choose a Good Butternut Squash?
Since this recipe focuses much on the pasta-making process, I called for pre-cut, cubed butternut squash to make the filling. It’s a convenient, time-saving ingredient that can be found in the refrigerated produce section of most grocery stores. However, if you want to cut and cube a butternut squash yourself, there are a few things to look for when choosing the perfect gourd. Start by picking up the squash; it should feel heavy for its size. Then look at the color to make sure it is an even, solid beige without any brown patches, deep cuts, or bruises. Any sort of punctures can introduce bacteria and mold to the vegetable.
When Is Butternut Squash in Season?
Nowadays, butternut squash is available year-round in the grocery store, but it’s best from early fall through winter. This is the time to pick one up at the farmers market for optimal flavor and freshness.
What Flavors Go Well with Butternut Squash?
Butternut squash is one of those magical ingredients that can skew both sweet and savory. It pairs well with cinnamon, ginger, or nutmeg as well as thyme, sage, and oregano. This recipe draws upon a little bit of both worlds, with a dash of nutmeg in the filling and a generous amount of sage in the butter sauce.
Fresh pasta that'll satisfy all of your autumn cravings.
Prep time 45 minutes to 1 hour
Cook time 30 minutes
For the pasta dough:
large egg yolks (4 1/4 ounces)
- 2 teaspoons
- 1 1/2 teaspoons
- 1 1/2 cups
all-purpose flour (7 ounces), plus more for kneading and dusting
Kosher salt, for seasoning the pasta water
For the filling:
- 1/4 cup
loosely packed fresh parsley leaves
- 2 tablespoons
- 4 cups
butternut squash cubes (about 1 1/4 pounds)
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup
water, plus more for brushing
- 2/3 cup
freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon
- 1/4 teaspoon
freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon
For the sage butter:
- 1 stick
(8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
fresh sage leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
Make the pasta dough:
Place 7 large egg yolks, 1 large egg, 2 teaspoons olive oil, and 1 1/2 teaspoons milk in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.
Place 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour on a clean countertop, pasta board, or a large bowl with a wide base and shape into a mound. Make a wide well in the center of the mound. Slowly pour some of the egg mixture into the well. Stir the egg mixture with a fork, gradually incorporating some of the flour from the sides of the well. Make sure the wall of flour surrounding the eggs doesn’t collapse. Continue stirring, incorporating the flour mixture gradually from the inside of the well toward the outside out until everything is combined and it forms a ball.
Lightly flour your hands and knead the dough to gradually incorporate any remaining flour on the surface until the dough feels moist, somewhat smooth, and slightly sticky, about 3 minutes. Avoid adding too much extra flour or the pasta will become too dry.
Scrape the work surface clean if needed to remove any hardened scraps of dough or excess flour. Lightly dust your hands with flour again and continue to knead the dough until smooth, elastic, and not sticky. (It shouldn’t be too much of a challenge to knead. You should feel like a kid again, simply enjoying playing with your Play-Doh.) This will take anywhere from a few minutes to 10 minutes. The dough is ready when there are no streaks of flour and the color is an even yellow hue.
Invert a bowl over the dough or cover with a piece of plastic wrap. Let rest for at room temperature for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours to allow the gluten to relax. Meanwhile, make the filling.
Make the filling:
Finely dice 1 medium shallot (about 1/3 cup). Finely chop 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves.
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the shallot and 4 cups cubed butternut squash, and sauté until the shallot is translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add 1/2 cup water and reduce the heat to medium. Partially cover the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until the butternut squash is tender, 15 to 25 minutes. Completely uncover during the last few minutes of cooking to let cook off the liquid. (If all the water evaporates before the squash is tender, add 1/4 cup more as needed.) Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. Mash with a potato masher until smooth. If the mixture seems wet, cook over low heat until the extra moisture is cooked off.
Add the parsley, 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, 1 large egg, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg. Stir to combine.
Form the ravioli:
Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Cut the pasta dough into 4 pieces. Roll the dough out one at a time (keep the other pieces covered so they don't dry out) through a pasta roller according to the manufacturer's directions until you can easily see your hand through the sheet when held up to the light. (The size of each sheet will depend on your machine; my strips ended up about 5 inches wide and 24 inches long.)
Have a small bowl of cold water ready. Lay one sheet of dough on a lightly floured work surface. Beginning 1 inch from a short end, drop teaspoonfuls of the filling about 1 inch apart in a straight row lengthwise down one half of the dough. Lightly brush the water around the each spoonful of filling. Fold the dough in half lengthwise over the filling. Press out any air bubbles, then seal the edges by pressing down on the dough with your fingers.
Use a sharp knife, fluted pastry wheel, or ravioli cutter to cut between the mounds of filling to cut out individual ravioli. Separate the ravioli and press the edges with the tines of a fork to firmly to seal. Place the ravioli in a single layer on a lightly floured baking sheet and cover with a towel as you work. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.
Prepare the sage butter:
Place 1 stick unsalted butter and 10 fresh sage leaves in a medium saucepan and melt over low heat. Taste and season with kosher salt and black pepper as needed. Keep warm over very low heat.
Cook the ravioli:
Reduce the heat on the pot of boiling water to a gentle simmer. Working in batches, add the ravioli and cook until they float to the surface, about 5 minutes. Remove from the pot with a slotted spoon and drain well before placing in a serving bowl.
To serve, spoon the sage butter over the ravioli. Top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and eat immediately.
Make ahead: Moist fillings may soak through the pasta and cause it to become sticky, so it is best to cook ravioli with this kind of filling as soon as possible. If you wish to refrigerate uncooked ravioli, keep the ravioli pieces from touching one another and turn them occasionally so that they do not stick to the surface. For longer storage, spread them on a floured baking sheet and freeze until firm, then transfer to a heavy-duty plastic bag and seal tightly. Store in the freezer for up to 1 month. Do not thaw the ravioli or other stuffed pasta before cooking.
Equipment: If you have a kitchen scale, now is the time to use it. Weighing the flour is one way to ensure you don’t add too little (or too much!) flour to the dough. No scale? No problem. Just be aware that you may need to add more flour if the dough feels too wet. While the dough can be rolled out by hand, a pasta roller kneads, stretches, and cuts pasta dough perfectly. Making ravioli using a pasta machine will yield the best results, plus it makes the cooking process so much fun!
Storage: Leftover cooked ravioli can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.