Some people think of pumpkin as a seasonal ingredient. However. The fifteen cans of it sitting on my bookshelf keep swearing that that’s not true.
“Oh no!” they say. “Easter is the perfect occasion to deck the halls with pumpkin pies and pumpkin bread pudding and pumpkin cheesecake!”
They are so full of mixed metaphors that I just don’t know what to do with them.
Except turn them into pumpkin ravioli. It’s the only way to shut them up. And, coincidentally enough. It keeps my stomach pretty happy as well.
Now, I know that homemade pasta seems intimidating. But all you really need is a rolling pin and some biceps and you are good to go. They don’t even need to be big biceps. Mine are laughable sized. They just need to exist. Or you can use a pasta roller or a spiffy KitchenAid stand mixer attachment. No biceps required! Nice.
And if you really really really can’t fathom going at it yourself. Then store-bought pumpkin or butternut squash ravioli will do just fine. I promise.
Makes about 40 ravioli, adapted from The Babbo Cookbook
1 medium-sized pumpkin/butternut squash/acorn squash (about 2-2.5 lb)
1/2-1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 1/2-4 cups AP flour
5 large eggs
1/2 tsp olive oil
1. Preheat the oven to 450. Cut your winter squash of choice in half. Remove the seeds and place cut side up on a baking sheet. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until fork-tender.
2. When cooked, allow to cool enough to touch. Scoop squash flesh into a bowl. Mash with 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, balsamic vinegar, and nutmeg. Add more parmesan cheese to taste. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, eggs, and olive oil. Mix using the bread hook until just combined. Then knead with the hook for about 2 minutes. OR if you don’t have a stand mixer, follow Batali’s instructions here. Cover dough in plastic wrap and allow to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
4. Set up your pasta maker. Break off a chunk of pasta dough and stretch it out to as thin a rectangle as you can. If it is wet, as mine was, add more flour just past the point of stickiness. Roll out the dough to the thinnest setting on your pasta machine. Using a biscuit cutter or a water glass, cut out 2-inch circles. Spoon approximately a tsp of filling onto the center half of the rounds and cover with a second round. Press the edges together firmly to seal. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. You will have extra filling. Eat it with a spoon.
Pumpkin Ravioli with Sage and Toasted Hazelnuts
Serves 4, adapted from Giada de Laurentis
1/2 cup peeled hazelnuts
a few tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 stick salted butter
6 fresh sage leaves
1/2 cup grated parmesan
2 amaretti cookies
1. Preheat oven to 350. Spread hazelnuts on a tray and toast in the oven until brown and fragrant, about 5-7 minutes. Allow to cool completely. Put in a food processor and chop into small chunks.
2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add in a bit of vegetable oil so the ravioli don’t stick to each other. Add the ravioli to the pot. When they float, remove them using a slotted spoon to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm. Reserve the pasta water.
3. In a small saute pan, melt the butter. When butter is sizzling and starts to brown, tear sage leaves into the pan and fry for about 20 seconds. Stir in a ladle of pasta water. Stir in nutmeg and parmesan cheese. Pour sauce over the ravioli and sprinkle with hazelnuts and grated amaretti.