When I get an idea in my head, it’s hard to let go. Some people like to call that “obsession” or perhaps “OCD,” but I like to think of it as inspiration slowly beating me into submission until I finally act upon it. I’ve always wanted to make my own pasta. I love the taste of fresh pasta compared to the stuff you buy in a box. There’s just something that makes it taste…better. But, I always procrastinated because I didn’t have a pasta roller to cut down on the work I would ultimately have to do.
It was then that I realized that I was complaining about the hard work that ultimately goes into making pasta. Sure, making pasta dough is easy, but MAKING pasta used to be a long, laborious project. Old Italian women, I’m assuming, had arms that could crush baby bears because of their upper arm strength after making pasta for their family. And they did it more than once I week. Here I was, complaining about a little elbow grease. And I wouldn’t make it easy on myself either. Why make some regular ol’ pasta when I can attempt to make a ravioli? I was never known for starting small in my endeavors. If I’m going to fail, I’m going to fail BIG.
So I pulled out the rolling pin and decided that this weekend I would finally tackle a long-time project.
Next time? I buying a pasta roller. There was something inherently zen in spending 3 hours to roll dough to 1/8″ thick. You get lost in it. But after the first 90 minutes, you start to realize how sore your arms and back are. 2 hours in, I realized that the palm of my hands may never recover. But hell if I was going to quit. The ravioli kept coming. 1 dozen. 2 dozen. 3 dozen. By the time I was done, I had nearly 4 dozen ravioli, and enough filling to probably make another 4 dozen.
The sauce is the easiest part of this meal. I personally thought the flavors all went well together. Katie wasn’t so big on the ginger or citrus sauce, but to each their own as they say. This recipe was a combination of a couple different ideas (here and here), and some hit or miss guesstimating on my part. I will definitely be trying again, if only to get the herb and spice ratios right.
Butternut Squash Ravioli with Citrus Sage Sauce
Ravioli Recipe makes up to 3 1/2 dozen ravioli depending on size.
Citrus Sage Sauce serves 4
2 Tbsp chopped fresh sage
2 1/2 cups unbleached flour, pre-sifted
1/2 tsp salt
9 oz cooked butternut squash purée
1 oz grated parmesan
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/3 tsp freshly minced ginger
1/2 cup fine ricotta cheese
1 Tbsp sage leaves, chopped
Salt and pepper
Juice of 2 large organic oranges
2 oz butter
6 sage leaves
1 inch ginger root
Salt and pepper
Start by preparing your pasta dough ahead of time. Sift the flower and salt together. In a separate bowl, mix the sage, eggs, and 1/4 cup water. In a food processor, pulse sage, eggs, and 1/4 cup water until the sage is fine. Transfer the egg mixture to a stand mixture and gradually beat in the flour and salt. Add more water as necessary to obtain a stiff, but workable dough. Knead the dough for 5 minutes, transfer to a bowl and let sit, covered for at least 20 minutes.
To prepare the filling, mix together all ingredients in a food processor.
Use a pasta machine if you have one, otherwise roll out the dough by hand until it is 1/8″ thick. Use either a ravioli maker, or use a medium sized round cookie cutter to cut out an even number of circles. Please 3/4-1 tsp of the squash mixture in the middle of a round of ravioli. Use water to brush the edges of each ravioli and place a second round of ravioli on top. Seal by pressing on the edges so that they stick. I also used a fork to crimp the edges while they dried.
Cook them in salted boiling water for 3-4 minutes or so, until the dough is Al Dente. If you are not eating them right away, let them dry for 2 hours, and then refrigerate until needed. Cook in boiling water for 14-15 minutes, until Al Dente.
Serve the ravioli with the orange sauce.