Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays of the year. The memories of family together, cooking, eating, scrabble after dinner. I think my families favorite memories are the ones we spent in Readfield, Maine with grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins…we would have 25-35 people at the dinner table (and LOTS of dogs), which overlooked beautiful Marancook Lake.
I was always in charge of the “Italian Entree”, which was usually lasagna or manicotti. This year I thought I would try something different, (we always have an Italian entree for holiday meals). Since my family LOVES homemade ravioli, I thought I would fill them with roasted butternut squash, and the best sauce for this ravioli is a brown butter sage sauce. I know they are going to LOVE these little pillows (ravioli). I hope you do as well…
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups all purpose flour (or 1 1/2 cup all purpose and 1/2 cup semolina flour)*
Add the eggs, oil and salt to the bowl of a food processor. Process until eggs are blended. Add flour and process the mixture until the flour is evenly moistened and crumbly; this will take about 10 seconds. Dough should come together when removed from the bowl. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and let rest 15-30 minutes.
1 butternut squash (approximately 3 lbs.), 2 cups roasted and mashed
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup finely chopped onions or shallots
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3 tablespoons heavy cream
3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 400° F.
Cut butternut squash in half, lengthwise. Scoop out seeds. Place butternut squash halves on a large baking sheet flesh side up. Roast 25 minutes or until flesh is fork-tender.
Scoop squash into a medium sized bowl; using a potato masher mash squash until smooth.
In a medium size sauté pan over medium high heat, add 1 tablespoon butter. When melted add onions or shallots and cook until transparent and soft, about 5 minutes. Add mashed squash, white pepper, nutmeg, and heavy cream, parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese. Mix until well combined. Remove from pan and place on a large dish to cool. When cool, place filling into a large zip bag. Snip a corner off with scissors. This will allow you to squeeze the filling into the ravioli pockets.
Roll dough to #5 on pasta rolling machine using 1/4 of the dough at a time. Keep remaining dough covered so it doesn’t dry out. During the winter months when the humidity is low roll to #5 twice (#6 is too thin). Place one layer of dough on a ravioli press (make sure bottom of dough is well floured so it doesn’t stick when removed). Gently press the pasta dough with the ravioli press. Fill pockets with 1 teaspoon of filling. Top filling with another layer of dough. Use a rolling pin to cut the ravioli. Flip ravioli unto a large sheet pan that has been sprinkled with polenta (to prevent sticking). This recipe makes 5 dozen ravioli. Place sheet pan in freezer, and when ravioli are frozen, place in a zip lock bag until ready to use. Cook in a large pasta pan with an insert in salted boiling water, about 5 minutes.
In a small sauce pan over medium heat add 8 tablespoons of good quality butter (I prefer Kerrygold brand). When butter is melted, add sage leaves. Cook until butter is golden brown. Remove and top sauce of ravioli, make sure you eat the sage leaves, they become very crunchy and quite tasty.