Butternut Squash Ravioli

Today in the spirit of true comfort food we are going to make butternut squash ravioli in a very simplistic but deadly buerre monte with pumpkin seeds and crispy sage. This particular recipe is drilled into my brain from culinary school, making agnolotti for Dinner A La Carte 235. The first time I tried to make the filling I botched it up and had to start over encouraging the wrath of my chef instructor.

To begin, I’ve always found it beneficial to make pasta dough the day before but who is that organized, really?
Resting your dough from 30 minutes up to an hour will do just fine to develop the gluten. However, if you are that organized and are preparing for a meal tomorrow go ahead and complete the dough recipe and wrap it tightly in plastic film and let it rest in a fridge or at 4 degrees Celcius overnight.

NOTE: If you’re short for time start with step 1 on the butternut squash filling, as the squash can take up to 90 minutes to roast.

Pasta Dough:

227 g All-purpose flour
6 large egg yolks
1 large egg
8 ml Olive oil
15 ml Milk

You can either place the flour into a food processor with the remainder of ingredients and pulse until small balls begin to form, before removing the mixture from the food processor and kneading for 5 minutes. Or do the same in a bowl with a wooden spoon incorporate the egg with the flour as much as possible and then remove it and knead for 5 minutes on a flat surface. Wrap with saran wrap and allow to rest for 30- 50 minutes or overnight.

Another fun alternative is to make the dough like your Italian nonna would have taught you. Pour the weighed flour onto a clean surface, then create a well in the center, crack the eggs into the well and pour the remaining wet ingredients in as well. Slowly begin to whip the egg in the center with a fork, or if you’re feeling extra adventurous, with your hand, until the flour begins to incorporate into the wet mixture. It will become sticky and hard to manage, but keep kneading on the floured surface until all of the flour is incorporated and the dough is stiff. Follow the resting instructions above.

Next, its time to tackle the filling.

Butternut Squash Filling:

1 Butternut squash
Canola oil
250 ml Ricotta cheese
500 ml warm Whipping cream

Cut the top and bottom off of the squash, split down the middle and remove the seeds scooping them out with a spoon. Coat the halved squash lightly with canola oil and season with salt. Place them onto a baking tray with parchment paper and roast at 375°F until they are golden brown and soft. Allow the sides to cool slightly. Remove the pulp from squash and place into a Vita-mix or food processor or a strong-willed blender. Now add the ricotta and half of the warm whipping cream with a pinch of salt and begin to puree. From here you can adjust the consistency with warm whipping cream until it reaches thick/smooth consistency, like pumpkin pie filling. Taste this and adjust the seasoning.

Having a pasta roller at this step becomes pretty imperative, start by kneading the dough flat with your palms. Start running the dough through on the highest setting which is usually a 9, and working it slowly through changing the setting smaller until you reach a 2 or 1 or whenever the dough starts to become transparent.

You are not out of luck without a pasta roller but rolling pins are a lot of grunt work to get the right thickness, however, it becomes a great excuse to skip the gym this week. Roll the dough as flat as possible, then cut the dough into strips working one at a time, keeping the others under a slightly damp towel so they don’t dry out. You will see why when you realize how large the strips become as you roll them. Make sure to have extra flour on hand to sprinkle on the table to avoid the dough sticking.

If you don’t have a ravioli board no need to panic just yet! If you do, well done you culinaire extraordinaire.

Cut your rolled dough into 4 equal pieces place the first piece flat on the table. Portion 1/2 ounce dollops of your filling 4 cm away from the others on all sides. I like to create an egg wash of just one egg whisked with a touch of cream and apply it to all the open spaces before placing the second sheet of dough directly on top. Using your fingertips press the top dough to the empty, egg washed spaces on the bottom dough. You can see the ravioli pieces starting to take shape. Using a pasta cutter like pictured above, cut between all the individual ravioli. You can also use a small but funky cookie cutter or just a plain old reliable knife.

Buerre Monte is so simple and underrated but that’s why I love it so much!

15 ml water
227 g Butter- Half lb. cut into cubes

In a small pot, bring the 15 ml of water to a boil over high heat; reduce the heat to low and begin adding the chunks of butter (a little at a time) whisking constantly to emulsify. Once the emulsion is started, more butter may be whisked in until at the butter is used up.

Bring a large pot to a rolling bowl and pop your beautifully executed ravioli in for no longer than 1 minute, until it is ‘al dente’. Fresh Pasta cooks much faster than dried pasta. Remove them with a strainer and place them straight into your Buerre Monte.

Find your largest cereal bowl to fill with your yummy creation!

Top your artwork with some roasted pumpkin seeds and parmesan, I also like to take a few fresh sage leaves and fry them in canola oil until crispy and crumble it on top as well.

If you haven’t already, pat yourself on the back and crack open a bottle of wine.

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