I remember the first time I made pasta. I followed the recipe to the letter, using a fork to carefully whisk the egg and flour together. It seemed like such a foreign concept to me- that something I thought would be so tough to make because it was sold at mass in stores was actually quite simple. A heap of flour, a couple eggs, and a pinch of salt. My first pasta turned out a bit too dry but that was okay, it was the beginning of many pasta making sessions.
Being that my past is as a music teacher, it’s in my blood to harp about practicing. I don’t believe practice makes perfect (such a stupid phrase) but I do believe practice is needed for becoming better and becoming more comfortable. I’ve found over the years that making things like bread and pasta become second nature based on feel. I roughly measure flour and work the dough until it feels right, not too soft or not to dry. It’s become habit for me to always leave the dough just a little sticky before letting it rest then work more flour in as I roll out each piece. It’s a kitchen rhythm all to my own and place I find such peace.
I’m not a huge fan of sauce with ravioli. I feel that if the filling has flavor, it should shine with the accompaniment of a bit of butter and garlic. If you don’t like blue cheese, try goat cheese or even a bit of ricotta.
Butternut Squash and Blue Cheese Ravioli
- 1 small butternut squash
- 1 ounce blue cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour or unbleached all-purpose
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 large eggs
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 shallots, sliced
- 5-6 sage leaves, minced
- Preheat oven to 425˚. Slice butternut squash in half and remove seeds. Place cut-side down in a roasting pan and fill with water, about 1/4" up the side. Roast until butternut squash is tender, 35-45 minutes (depending on size.) Remove from oven and let cool slightly.
- While butternut squash is baking, Combine whole wheat flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt on a clean surface. Make a well, add two eggs, and 3 tablespoons of water. Using a fork, whisk eggs and slowly begin to incorporate flour.
- Continue to incorporate flour and a paste will soon form. Continue to mix (eventually ditching the fork for your hands) and knead dough into a smooth ball.
- Let sit for 20-30 minutes.
- Once ready to assemble, scoop out butternut squash and measure about 1 1/2 cups and place in a bowl. Add blue cheese, salt, and pepper; stirring until mixture is well combined.
- Using a pasta attachment or rolling pin, roll out pasta. Pasta should be thin but still hold together. Measure out ravioli (if you have a cutter). Spoon mixture 1 hefty tablespoon for each ravioli. Fold dough over and crimp.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil. Adding 3-4 ravioli at a time, cook until ravioli float to the top (5-6 minutes.) Remove and continue with remaining ravioli.
- Melt butter with olive oil in a large pan. Add shallots and cook until soft, 5-6 minutes. Toss the sage into the pan, along with the cooked ravioli, and cook for 1-2 minutes until everything is well combined.
by Erin Alderson