Little pillows of goodness that put your heart at ease, silky soft and smooth… Yes, I’m talking about fresh, hand made Ravioli. Is there anything better than filled pasta?Every so often a dish comes along and your world comes to a standstill as you are entrenched in peaceful silence, overcome by a sensations of joy and celebrations and all you can think is, “I want more, I need to eat more “ and this is one such dish.I have tried my hand, made and tasted many filled pasta dishes before, everything from, tortellini, Agnolotti to cannelloni, there is just something fun and enjoyable about stuffing and filling pasta with what ever is at hand, it allows for much creation not only with fillings and sauces but also with shapes and sizes.
All throughout Italy and its different regions the same dish will differ from one town to the next with slight differences that make it unique and allowing each region to gain credit for such dish. In Tuscany this dish is served plain, in Lombardia they add amaretto and truffles when available, and in Emilia Romagna mustard fruits are added for spice and sweetness. How ever it is traditionally made, it is always fun to make it your own and give recipes a twist and personal touch.
— 500g 00 flour
— 3 large eggs
— 2 egg yolks
— Pinch of salt
— 100g butter
— 10 sage leaves
— 800g pumpkin flesh (you will need a 2–3kg pumpkin for this)
— 1 white onion (sliced thinly)
— 100g grated Parmesan cheese
— 100g Amaretto biscuits crushed
— 15g mustard fruits (finely chopped)
— 2 eggs
- First you need to preheat your oven to 200c, peel and cut your pumpkin into large chunks and place on a oven tray, drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil and coat your pumpkin. Cover with aluminium foil and cook for around 1hr or until your pumpkin is soft.
- At this stage, you can make your pasta dough. Form a well with your flour and crack your eggs and yolks in to the middle, pinch of salt and mix until the eggs and flour have combined. Kneed the dough until elastic and smooth, (it is then important to now let your pasta rest so the gluten in the dough can retract and relax before rolling your sheets). Cover with plastic wrap and leave in the fridge for 30min or you can even do this the night before, the pasta can rest for as long as you like.
- Cook and sweat your onion in a sauce pan for 10 – 15min until translucent and soft, then set aside. Once your pumpkin is cooked, remove from the baking tray and combine with the onion, season with salt and pepper. Blitz the pumpkin in a food processor until smooth, then transfer to a pan and cook on low heat too remove the excess moisture 15–20min (this is very important, if you leave the moisture in the pumpkin your mixture will be too soft and your ravioli will fall apart). Add your crushed amaretto and chopped mustard fruits. Mix in your grated parmigiano cheese and set the filling aside to cool.
- Roll your pasta using a pasta machine so you have thin sheets of pasta, place small amounts of your filling along the pasta sheet at the upper half of your pasta sheet, leaving room in between so you can close and create your ravioli. With a little amount of water, brush around the filling and along the edges of your pasta sheet (this will act as a glue and help keep your ravioli closed). Fold the lower half so it meets the top, then press down around the filling to remove any remaining air (if you don’t remove the air, when the ravioli cooks the air will expand and your ravioli will explode).
- Cut the ravioli to shape, squares or triangles or round circles and place on a non stick tray until you are ready to cook them (you can also freeze your ravioli, and use then any time you like, just place them in the boiling water frozen and they will cook perfect).
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil, and a large sauce pan to low heat. Place your butter and sage in the pan; melt the butter together with the sage to create your sauce. Cook your pasta in the boiling water, this should only take 3min, then remove and place directly in to the pan of sage/butter and gently coat your ravioli with the sauce. You may need to add a little of the cooking water to loosen up the sauce.
- Once your pasta is coated, plate 8–10 ravioli per person, spoon over some sage and butter, a little grated parmigiano cheese and serve.