Saturday, April 4, 2009

Homemade Ravioli

Homemade Butternut Squash Ravioli Recipe with Sage Garlic Butter Sauce

Let me start out by saying that my husband Victor has a very discriminating palate. He loves good food. When I make something he really likes that is superior he says "OOohhh! Oh! Oh!" Sometime he might even throw in "This is incredible." Well last night when I finally gave him his bowl of Homemade Butternut Squash Ravioli in a Sage Butter Sauce, he not only said that it was "Oh Oh Oh Incredible!", but he also thought it was better than Federal Hill - - The Italian district here in Rhode Island. So, that's a pretty good review.

Now, having said that, making ravioli is a bit labor intensive. I don't have any pasta making tools like one of those roller - slitter things. And I don't have one of those cute ravioli trays I've seen at William Sonoma. These things may have made things go more quickly. But, I will say that making ravioli is faster than making pasta (like linguine) completely by hand without special tools. When you make ravioli, pour yourself a glass of wine, maybe have a girlfriend over, chit-chat and enjoy being in the kitchen. If you hate cooking and the kitchen, forget this recipe. Now, on to the good stuff!

First: Cut a butternut squash in half put it face-up on a lightly oiled cookie sheet and roast it in the a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes, or until soft. Scoop out the soft part and puree using a blender, food processor or food mill. I already had some reserved in the freezer -- so that was one less thing for me! 

Homemade Pasta Recipe:
(this is doubled and made enough ravioli to serve 4 adults, plus a little extra dough)
1 1/2 C semolina flour (many recipes didn't call for this, but it's more "Italian")
1 1/2 C unbleached flour
1 t salt
4 eggs
4 T water
4 T olive oil

I took the suggestion from a good old favorite "The New Basics Cookbook" from the Silver Palate ladies and whipped up my pasta dough in the food processor. This was a terrific technique. Fast and fabulous. (otherwise you have to knead the sticky stuff) Put the flours and salt into the food processor. Put the eggs water and olive oil in a pitcher so that you can pour it all into the food processor while it's running. Turn on the food processor and gradually add the wet stuff for 15 seconds. Turn it off. That's it. Dump the dough onto a floured surface and work into a ball. Let set for 30 minutes so the flours absorb the moisture.

Meanwhile make your ravioli filling.
Butternut Squash Ravioli Filling Recipe:
2 cups roasted and pureed butternut squash (you could use more, that was what the original recipe called for -- or save the rest in the freezer for the next time, or for pumpkin bread!)
1 1/2 T sage (I was able to use the sage I dried last fall, ground.)
1 onion minced
4 garlic cloves minced or crushed
Olive oil -- drizzled all over the bottom of the pan -- a few T's
Freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese, about a 1/2 - 1 Cup mound with the micro grater.
Salt and Pepper to taste

Drizzle olive oil in the pan. Add onion and garlic, cooking until translucent (you don't want crunchy onion in your ravioli). Add in salt, pepper and sage. Add in pureed squash. Let everything simmer for about 5 minutes to let all of the flavors mix together. If it gets a little dry just drizzle in a little hot water from the tap. Then, stir in the grated cheese. Put the whole pan in the fridge to cool.

Now onto the pasta (are you still with me?)

Take about 1/3 of the pasta dough and roll it out on a well floured surface. I once heard Martha Stewart explain that when you roll out dough, only roll in one direction -- turn your dough, then roll out again. This prevents the dough from sticking -- and it really does. You want the dough to be so thin you can see through it. Believe it or not, it holds together. The semolina flour in particular is supposed to make it stretchy.

On one side edge of the dough put about one teaspoon of filling 3/4" apart. Cut a strip lengthwise so that you can fold the dough over in half. I used a pie wheel (I don't know the technical term) to cut my ravioli so they had the 'rick-rack' edge. 

See the little lumps of filling? After you fold the dough over, trim off any extra dough on the outside edges (you can use the scraps the next time you roll out the dough). 
Then cut out each ravioli. You could do this with a pizza cutter or a long knife too (don't drag the knife -- just press). 
Then take a fork and seal all three edges by pressing lightly.

Awwwww . . . aren't they cute? Put them on a piece of waxed paper (at least that's what I used) to dry for 10-30 minutes (I did 30).
While you're waiting for them to dry, make your sage butter sauce which is very straight forward. 

Sage Butter Sauce Recipe:
This was just my own invention, because I couldn't find an exact recipe in my books on the fly. How hard can it be? Right?

1 stick of butter or 4 T butter and 4 T olive oil
2 T sage, ground in a mortar and pestle.
8 garlic cloves, crushed (or as many as you have the patience to peel)
Salt and Pepper to taste.
1/4 C white wine would be nice too (I'm thinking), but I didn't have any on hand.

Melt butter & drizzle olive oil (if using) in the pan. Add crushed garlic and cook on low heat until it's translucent. Add in the sage, salt and pepper. Add in the white wine. Simmer a little while but don't let the garlic brown. Turn off heat.

Now you're ready to boil your cute raviolis! Salt your water (1 T) and put in as many raviolis as you think you can handle. Next time I might try more, but last night I only put in about 8 at a time. They only cook for about 1 minute 30 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon and put into the sage garlic butter sauce. 
Because I was concerned that the ravioli would break up if I "tossed" I just flipped them like pancakes to give each ravioli a light coating of the sauce.
Then, top with Parmesan or Romano cheese and EAT! 
Truly incredible, if I do say so myself!


muddigrl39 said...

WOW!!!! thats looks sooo goood!!
I will have to try this for sure, what else did you serve with it?
I wish you were one of my good girlfriends so I could come over and visit while you cook and sample your food.

Sandy said...

The funny thing was, starting this was a late afterthought and by the time it was done, we just ate the ravioli and sopped up the sage garlic butter sauce with bread. Yum!

Kristi said...

Oh yum, thank you I am going to try this.

geisme said...

Sandy, that does sound absolutely delightful. No wonder Victor was saying OH! oh, oh! Bill doesn't like squash, so I couldn't make it & while I like to cook, I don't have the room to make something like that & I also tend to be a bit timid in the kitchen until I know I can do it. I'm also one who has to follow recipes.
The garlic- I watched something on Rachael Ray 1 time about how you take the side of a knife(as if you were laying it down) and smash your garlic, this loosens the outer peel & makes it so much easier to get off. Now I never fight to peel garlic. :0