My blog has moved!

You should be automatically redirected in 6 seconds. If not, visit
and update your bookmarks.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

butternut squash ravioli with browned butter and sage

browned sage butter with ravioli

Well, it's official. I've decided to make a serious commitment to my love affair with italian cooking, and actually went out and purchased a pasta machine. It's not that hard really, to make fresh pasta. It's definitely very time-consuming, but not complicated. The little machine reminds me of the play-dough sets we had when I was a kid, you just rotate the handle and keep feeding the pasta through until it flattens out into smooth sheets. I tried to keep things simple, with just a basic roasted butternut squash filling and browned butter and sage as the sauce (from a recipe I found in F&W magazine). I can't tell if the pasta was really that good, or if it just tasted great to me since I was so proud of the effort. Now I just can't stop thinking about how *amazing* it is that you can buy fresh ravioli in whole foods for only $6...

Grocery list: all-purpose flour, 3 eggs, 1 pound butternut squash, sage, butter.

roasting butternut squash

Start by roasting the butternut squash. Slice lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, and brush the cut side generously with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, and roast for 45 minutes at 425 degrees. Remove and allow to cool.
pasta dough

To make the pasta dough, pulse 2 cups of flour in a food processor. Pour in the eggs 1 at a time, pulsing between each addition. Process for about 30 seconds until the dough starts to stick together. Add water 1 teaspoon at a time to get the right consistency (the "New Best Recipe" cookbook covers this very well, with illustrations that show you how to tell if the dough is too wet or too dry, depending on how it sticks to the sides of the mixing bowl). Remove the dough to a clean floured surface, and knead it till it's a solid disc. Let it sit out, covered with plastic wrap, for at least 15 minutes, so the dough will relax.

pasta machine

Cut the disc into 4 equal size pieces. Working one piece at a time, and keeping the others covered with plastic wrap, press out into a flat rectangle. Using the widest setting, feed the dough into the pasta machine, rolling it out so it's a longer and thinner rectangle. Exactly like you'd fold a piece of letter-size paper, fold the pasta in thirds. Feed it back into the machine and roll out into a long thin rectangle again, repeating the folding and rolling until you've done it 6 times total. Then, set the pasta machine on the next setting and roll the pasta through, and keep doing this until you've fed it through each setting in succession, until you're on the 2nd or 3rd thinnest setting (you don't want to roll it too thin or it will tear). Lay on a floured surface, and cut into 3 inch squares. Place on parchment or waxed paper. Continue until you've rolled out all the dough, and you have a stack of pasta squares layered between parchment paper.

butternut squash filling

To make the filling, scoop the room temperature squash out of its skin into a bowl. Add 1 T of plain bread crumbs and 3 T of parmesan, and season with salt and pepper. Stir until smooth.

assembling ravioli

Place a spoonful of filling onto one side of the square. Fold the dough in half, and using your finger dipped in cold water, run your finger along the edges -- this will make the dough stick together. Press the tines of a fork around the edges to crimp them and further secure the dough together.
draining ravioli

Cook the pasta in gently boiling water for 5-6 minutes, until al dente. While they are cooking, melt 4-5 T of butter in a small saucepan, and keep swirling the butter until it starts to brown. Add 2 T of minced sage to the butter and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in salt and pepper, and toss with the pasta.

No comments: