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Local And Seasonal: Pumpkin Ravioli with Sage Brown Butter

Pumpkin Ravioli-thumb-600x450-61937
Pumpkins that are grown to be cooked and eaten differ greatly from those that are destined to become jack-o'-lanterns. Their flesh is moist, dense, and heavy. Cooking pumpkins (also known as pie pumpkins) hold their shape when roasted and have an intensely sweet flavor. They can be used in both desserts and savory dishes, like this fall-themed ravioli.
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Pumpkin Ravioli with Sage Brown Butter

Dough ingredients

  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

For the dough:

Mound the flour on a flat surface. Using your fingers or a spoon, poke a hole in the center so that the flour pile looks like a volcano. Crack the eggs into the hole. Beat the eggs with a fork, incorporating bits of flour from the side edges until the dough comes together. If it feels dry and crumbly, add a bit of water. Knead it for a few turns, and then shape the dough into a ball. Pour a few drops of olive oil into your palm and rub it on the dough. Cover it with a damp cloth. The pasta dough will benefit from a 15 to 20 minute rest but you can place it in the fridge for up to 24 hours. (Let the dough warm to room temperature before rolling it out.)
Using a well-floured pasta machine or rolling pin, roll out the pasta dough. Keep it covered with a damp cloth until you are ready to fill the ravioli. Cut the pasta into 5-inch-wide strips. Place rounded teaspoons of filling along the edge closest to you. Fold the dough over itself and press down to seal the ravioli, squeezing out any trapped air. Trim the edges with a sharp knife.

Filling ingredients:

  • 1½ pounds Sugar Pie pumpkin, or other winter squash
  • 1½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • ½ cup grated Parmigiano
  • 1 pound fresh pasta sheets
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons fresh sage leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cooking instructions

Carefully cut the pumpkin in half. Scoop out the seeds. (You can save them for another recipe such as candied pumpkin seeds). Place the two halves on a baking sheet, drizzle them evenly with olive oil, and sprinkle them with red pepper, thyme, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Bake for about 50 minutes, or until the flesh is completely tender.

When the roasted pumpkin is cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh and transfer it to the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add the Parmigiano, and blend until very smooth. Taste for proper seasoning, adding a pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper if needed.

On a floured cutting board, cut the pasta sheets into 2-inch squares. Place 1 teaspoon of filling into the center of each square. Moisten the edges with water, then lay a second square of dough on top of the first and press around the filling to seal. Continue forming ravioli until you've used all the pasta sheets. (Any leftover purée can be reheated and served with roasted chicken for a simple dinner.)

Place the butter and sage leaves in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, swirling the pan, until the butter smells nutty and turns deep golden brown, about 4 - 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop the ravioli into the boiling water. As soon as they float to the surface, transfer them to the hot skillet. Add ½ cup pasta water, then swirl the pan to coat the ravioli in the sage brown butter.

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