I absolutely love this dish because everyone in my family (myself included) thinks it is delicious! I know I am not alone on my constant mission to find healthy, well-balanced dinners that all four of us can enjoy together (I am not a fan of making separate meals). And the best part about this dish is that once you do the hard part, which is detailed below, you can freeze the uncooked raviolis. Think of those nights when you have no plan for dinner or better yet when you are going out and need something quick for the babysitter to feed the kids. What do a lot of moms do? Throw some frozen chicken nuggets in the microwave for a few minutes. Now if you had some raviolis in your freezer, you could put forth almost the exact same effort by throwing a few in some boiling water for only 4 minutes (sans the sauce). Yes, that is all it takes for fresh pasta to cook…even when they start out frozen!
So, I highly recommend spending one Sunday afternoon making a big batch of these tasty treats. It will take some time and oh it will make a mess, but I promise it is definitely worth it. Plus, if you have kids I am sure they would LOVE to help you roll out the dough. You don’t even have to tell them that the yummy, sweet butternut squash inside the ravioli is actually a vegetable!
- 6 eggs
- 3 cups whole-wheat flour (I use King Arthur’s Organic White Whole-Wheat Flour)
- 2 ½ lbs butternut squash
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- Zest of 1 large orange
- ½ cup mascarpone cheese (if you can’t find mascarpone use cream cheese as an alternative)
- ⅓ cup parmesan cheese
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch of nutmeg
- Salt and freshly found pepper, to taste
- 5 tablespoons butter
- 2 handfuls of sage leaves, torn
- Blend the eggs and flour together in a food processor (with dough blade), kitchen aid mixer (with dough hook), or by hand with a fork.
- If using a processor or mixer the dough will be one large ball chasing itself around the bowl when it is done.
- If the ball of dough is even slightly sticky when you take it out then pat it with flour. Wrap it in plastic wrap and let it rest for at least 20 – 30 minutes on the counter.
- Either roll it out by hand or use a pasta machine to thin out the dough and make sheets of pasta (follow manufacturers instructions).
Some Pasta Making Tips:
When you are working with your dough it should not be sticky at all so pat it with flour as needed.
My pasta machine has 6 settings – setting 1 makes the dough the thickest and 6 makes it the thinnest. I start on 1, fold the dough over a few times and keep running it through on setting 1 until it is a nice flat piece. Then you progress through 2, 3, 4, etc. to the desired thickness. I find that when making ravioli it is best to stop at 4 otherwise it will get too thin and break apart easily once the moisture of the filling touches it.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Slice the squash lengthwise and remove the seeds. Put the cut side down on a greased baking sheet (or sheet covered with parchment paper).
- Roast the squash in the oven until tender when pierced with a fork. For smaller squash it could take 30 – 40 minutes. For larger squash it could take up to an hour. (This is a good time to mix your dough so it has time to rest – see details above)
- When squash is done scoop the pulp out into a large mixing bowl and discard the skin. Add all ingredients from the butter down to the salt and pepper and stir together thoroughly.
- This filling can be made a day in advance or used to make raviolis immediately.
- When you are ready to make the raviolis, follow the instructions above for making your dough. Lay the finished dough out in sheets and by the spoonful add the ravioli filling. You can brush the dough in-between the filling with either warm water or some egg wash (egg with a touch of water) to help the two pieces stick together. I use an inexpensive Williams Sonoma ravioli tool to seal it together.
- Freeze (do not refrigerate) leftovers on sheets of wax paper in a Tupperwear container. Raviolis should not be touching and there is never a need to defrost…just throw the frozen ones right in the boiling water for about 4 minutes.
If you are boiling them fresh just after making them then it only takes about 3 minutes.
- Cook the butter over med-high heat in a sautee pan.
- Add the sage leaves to the butter.
- Cook until butter begins to turn brown then remove from heat immediately.
- Pour over cooked ravioli.