Fall is upon us folks! November may be my favorite month of the year since Halloween is out of the way and we can officially start focusing on the best seasonal goods. In celebration of all things fall, I decided to make a pumpkin version of the handmade ravioli we learned to make while in Italy. If you read my Florence post, you saw that we took a private cooking class where we learned how to make fresh pasta. Homemade pasta seems a little daunting at first, but I promise it’s actually pretty simple once you get the hang of it. Plus, if you want some help, you’re welcome to come over to make (and eat) pasta together 😉
Naturally I bought a pasta maker as soon as we landed back home and it’s definitely going to kick dinner parties up a notch. Freshly made pasta is such a special touch if you’re hosting a few friends and it can easily be prepped in advance to make cooking a breeze. Today I want to share both a recipe and some tips on pasta-making that came straight from our Italian chef, Marcella.
All your pasta-making essentials:
Pumpkin Ravioli with Butter Sage Sauce
For the dough:
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 3 eggs
- pinch of salt
For the filling:
- 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
- 3/4 cup grated Parmesan
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- salt and pepper, to taste
For the sauce:
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 15-20 sage leaves
- Parmesan, if desired
Pour the flour into a mound on a flat work surface and create a crater in the center. Crack the eggs into the crater. Using a small fork, gently whisk the eggs and begin slowly pulling in small amounts of flour from the edges. Once the mixture has begun to form into a mass, switch to kneading with your hands. Continue kneading until the dough is smooth and no longer sticky. Form the dough into a disk and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Allow to rest for at least 20 minutes.
While the dough is resting, mix together the ingredients for the filling in a small bowl and set aside.
Unwrap and cut the dough into three equal pieces. Starting with one piece of dough, sprinkle a small amount of salt over top and knead well. Form into a disk, lightly flour, and roll through a pasta maker – beginning at a 0 thickness and working up to a 6. Gently lay the thin sheet of pasta on a lightly floured surface. Repeat with remaining pieces of dough.
Distribute small amounts of filling along one side of each pasta sheet, evenly spaced. Fold the pasta lengthwise over the filling and press to expel any air and seal well. Using a fluted pastry wheel, slice off any excess pasta to create ravioli squares.
Begin boiling a large pot of salted water. Meanwhile in a large skillet, combine the butter and sage over medium-low heat until the butter begins to bubble and the sage begins to crisp. Add the ravioli to the boiling water and cook for three minutes.
Remove the ravioli with a slotted spoon or skimmer and transfer to the skillet, along with a splash of pasta water. Toss gently to coat. Divide into bowls and serve topped with Parmesan cheese.
Refine Cooking Tips
- If you have access to it, Italian 00 flour will yield the best possible result for the pasta dough.
- Note that you may need more or less flour than the recipe indicates depending on the size of your egg and other factors. Knead carefully until the dough is no longer sticky, which may not require all of the flour on your surface.
- When rolling the pasta into sheets, handle it gently to avoid stretching or tearing. Continue lightly flouring both sides as needed to keep it from sticking to the machine.
- When cutting the ravioli, ensure all air bubbles have been pressed out and be mindful not to cut too close and expose the filling.
- Adding a small amount of pasta water to your sauce helps to bind the flavor of the sauce to your pasta and create a creamier texture.