My friend Iris just got back from a month in Tuscany where she attended a cooking class and came back to share all her newfound talent in pasta making to the ladies at the Friday morning cooking demonstration. After my success with the rotolo I was ready for the challenge of rolling out my own pasta dough. In class Iris used a fold-over dumpling maker but I thought I’d try it with the little Italian ravioli cutters I bought recently but have never used. (I think we all have great intentions but the toys sit on the shelf far too long.) The fold over dumpling maker makes a bigger ravioli and I think I’d use that next time. These were cute though.
Today we watched Iris make pumpkin (or butternut squash) and pine nut ravioli topped with a burnt sage butter sauce. I love burnt sage butter. I wouldn’t but I *could* eat a bowl of it with a spoon. When I got home from class I made my own ravioli.
The ingredients for this pasta are all things I have on hand most of the time so for me, this is going to be something I’ll make again and again.
I started by making the filling. I chopped and steamed the pumpkin til tender (I used butternut squash but in class she used real pumpkin0 and then I sautéed the shallots, garlic and pine nuts. I roughly chopped the pine nuts (I would chop them finer next time) and mixed in the parsley and parmesan. Filling done!
Then I made the dough. Pasta dough is always 00 flour (found in every grocery store) and you use one egg for every 100 grams of flour. For just the two of us I only used 100 grams of flour and one jumbo egg. It was just enough with no leftovers. However I have heaps of filling left.
Getting the dough rolled thin enough is the trick. This time I rested my dough for about 30 minutes after kneading it til it was smooth and silky. Then I rolled it out until I could see through it. Notice in the photo you can see the counter top through the dough? That was the bit I missed last time – I didn’t roll my first pasta thin enough and I think I had too much flour for the egg and it was tough to roll thin enough. I’m getting better!
I started cutting out the ravioli and putting the filling on the bottom layer. There are two sizes of cutters with the top larger than the bottom so all the filling gets covered.
I put just a half teaspoon of filling on each ravioli and then wet the edges and popped the top on and sealed the top to the bottom.
Okay, I know it’s not perfect. I have a teensy pleat in it but it didn’t affect the taste one bit! It was yummy!
Once I had all the ravioli made I put them in a big pot of boiling salted water for three or four minutes. While the pasta was cooking I melted the butter, clarified it and then tossed in the sage leaves. I used sage leaves I had outside in a pot but they weren’t as good as the big sage leaves I bought last time. I think it’s time to replant. I love fresh sage.
In just a few minutes the pasta was cooked and the sauce was done and it was time to plate up. I called Mr. Orgasmic to have a taste. He is NOT a pasta lover so for him to say it was good and to finish all the pasta was a sign that this was a keeper recipe.
If you have been like me and hestitate to make your own pasta – don’t. It’s really quite simple. You’ll get strong forearms too. Iris said she asked “Mama”, the instructor in her cooking class, if she ever used a machine to roll out her pasta she said Mama just looked at her as if she had come from another planet. “Roll by hand.” I have a fondness for my pasta machine and I’ll continue to use it but it was fun to try rolling it out by hand.
Here’s the recipe:
- 600g 00 flour
- 3 large whole eggs
- 6 egg yolks from 6 large eggs (you can use the 1 egg per 100g of flour ratio as well)
- 500g pumpkin, peeled, deseeded and roughly chopped (can use any pumpkin or winter squash)
- ⅓ cup pine nuts
- 1 or 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tbsp parsley chopped
- 1 shallot (not a spring onion) finely chopped
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese shredded or shaved
- salt and pepper to taste
- 240g butter
- ¼ cup fresh sage leaves
- 1 tbsp lemon juice (use more or less to your taste)
- Place flour in a bowl and make a well in the center
- Beat eggs in a measuring cup til combined and pour into the flour well.
- Using the tips of your fingers, mix the eggs with the flour, incorporating a little at a time until combined.
- Knead together and continue to knead until the dough comes together into a ball.
- Transfer to a board and continue to knead and work the dough with your hands to develop the gluten in the flour. This prevents the pasta from taking on too much water during cooking.
- Continue to knead until the dough feels smooth and silky as opposed to rough and floury.
- Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Cut into pieces the size of an orange - larger pieces are too difficult to roll out thinly.
- Dust the work surface with 00 flour and take a piece of dough and flatten it with your fingers.
- Roll til thin enough to see through
- Cut into shapes quickly as dough will dry out.
- Cook pumpkin (or squash) til soft and then place in a bowl and mash.
- Season with salt and pepper
- Heat a skillet until medium high and place pine nuts and swirl around until they begin to turn brown. Remove, chop and add to the pumpkin.
- Add oil to the pan and add the garlic and shallots and cook on medium-low heat until the shallots are translucent. Add to the pumpkin.
- Add parmesan and parsley and combine well. Taste to correct seasoning.
- Make ravioli and cook for 3-5 minutes in a large pot of boiling salted water. Drain
- Melt butter in a measuring cup and pour off the clarified butter into a skillet and heat to medium high.
- Add sage leaves and cook til crispy
- *Carefully* add lemon juice (it will splatter)
- Plate ravioli and drizzle with burnt sage butter sauce