Saturday, 31 May 2008

Butternut Squash Ravioli

For this recipe, you are going to need a very sharp knife, so get sharpening. I use a steel like the one below. If you use one of these, then hold the blade at 45 degrees to the steel, and pull gently along from one end of the blade to the other. Do this 4 or five times each side, and that should be nice and sharp.
Why the sharp knife? Well, the butternut squash is really hard to cut otherwise. So, slice it in half, and then scoop out the seeds from the middle.
Place a nob of butter in the well left by the seeds, then roast in the oven at 200 C for around 40 minutes, or until the flesh is soft. Whilst the squash is cooking, make 200 g of fresh pasta dough as described previously. Leave it to stand in the fridge for half an hour before getting on to the rolling out stage.

Allow the squash to cool for a while, unless of course your hands are made of asbestos. Now, scoop out all the flesh into a bowl. Add a teaspoon of Chinese 5 spice, about half a tablespoon each of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and stacks of salt and pepper. Mash it all up together.
Now, roll out the pasta, either using a rolling pin (as thin as you can) or a pasta machine (go down to the second thinnest setting).

Using a scone cutter, cut out rounds of pasta. As you can see in the picture, I didn't have one of these so used a glass and cut round it with a sharp knife. You get the idea though, just get lots of round shapes out of the pasta. I think there was enough for about 30 or so with 200 g of pasta dough. Make sure you are working on a well floured surface, you don't want the pasta to stick to it.

Now put a teaspoon of the filling into each of the pasta discs. Not too much mind, as otherwise they will not fold up nicely and the filling will spill out when you cook it. Not too little either, as then they will taste boring.

Brush some milk round the edge of the disc, then fold in half. The milk is to help them stick together. Go round the edge and press with a fork to seal it. This bit is quite time consuming, so maybe get yourself a glass of wine to while away the time. Not too much wine though as you don't want to mess it up! Put the finished ravioli onto a floured plate.

Now go outside to your garden and pick yourself a bunch of fresh sage leaves. If you are not lucky enough to have fresh sage, dried will probably do. Melt a nob of butter in a pan and rip the sage leaves up into it. This is to drizzle on the pasta when it is done.

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Cook the ravioli in batches to avoid them sticking together. They will take about 5 minutes or so, although this really depends how thick the pasta is, and how much filling is inside. Taste them to check they are done, and fish them out of the water using a slotted spoon when done.

Serve on warmed plates, drizzled with the sage butter, and a bit of salad. This is enough for 4 people as a starter, or 2 as a main course.

I was very pleased with this as a first attempt for ravioli. I think they held together very well and the squash is very rich and juicy as the filling. Next step in my pasta making education is to make them a bit more attractive - work on the presentation!

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Ruth Elkin said...

Great Ravioli! You're getting lots of use of your pasta machine!

Ryan said...

Not as much use as I like though, don't seem to find the time for cooking these days! The commute to my new job is too long, so don't have time to get the pasta maker out.

MrOrph said...

Good stuff!

I've done this similarly with pumpkin in brown butter sage.

Well done!

Shawn said...

your knife should be " sharpened" at a 20 degree angle not a 45 degree angle, if you are using a shun knife it is a 14 degree angle, if you go at a 45 degree angle you are killing the edge of the knife.