Making my own ravioli at home has been on my to-do list for years – it really boiled down to not wanting to commit to buying a bunch of kitchen tools for something I wasn’t quite sure I’d be able to master. I found the ultimate compromise in Pasta Etc.’s Vegan Whole Grain pasta dough – I picked up a package from Whole Foods yesterday and got to work.
I started off by roasting a full butternut squash – I knew that this would end up being a lot more than I needed, but I decided that I would just freeze the extra for a soup or lasagna on a lazy dinner night.
I peeled and cubed the squash and roasted it for about 90 minutes at 375F – half way through, I added in 5 garlic cloves (skins intact) and allowed them to roast along with the squash.
Once the squash had cooked and cooled, I pureed it with some ricotta cheese, garlic amongst other things (you can get more details in the recipe below).
To make the raviolis, I cut the fresh pasta sheet into a long rectangle (as long as my largest cutting board). I found that the best way to use this pasta was to rinse it under cold water on both sides – the pasta has a fine coating of flour or corn meal to prevent it from sticking, but that got in the way of the raviolis sealing. Once it was rinsed, I placed it on the cutting board and added 1 to 2 tsp of the filling, as shown below.
To seal the raviolis, I folded the pasta in half and pressed in-between the filling to seal each ravioli. I then cut the raviolis into squares and squeezed the edges to ensure they were fully sealed.
As I boiled a pot of water for the raviolis, I made the brown butter sauce with lemon juice, shallots and sage (recipe below). I placed the cooked raviolis (you know they are ready when they float to the top of your pot of salted water) in the sauce, topped with some parmesan and finally got to enjoy a delicious batch of almost-homemade raviolis – the picture doesn’t do them justice!
Ravioli Filling Ingredients
- 1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
- 5 cloves of garlic, skins on
- 1/2 cup ricotta cheese (or to make this filling vegan, you could use a vegan cream cheese like Toffuti)
- 5 fresh sage leaves, minced
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (I used more because I actually like the balance of spiciness with the sweet squash)
- pinch nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- salt to taste – make sure the filling is seasoned well – it will otherwise taste bland when filled in the dough
- Roast the butternut squash at 375F for 90 minutes – half way through, add in the garlic cloves so they roast as well.
- Allow the squash to cool and then mash in the cloves of garlic into the squash.
- Add the ricotta cheese and all the seasonings to the mix – I opted to use my hand mixer to puree the filling.
Brown Butter Sauce with Sage
- 4 tbsp butter (I’m sure you could use Earth Balance to make this a vegan option)
- 2 shallots, minced
- 8 fresh sage leaves, kept whole
- juice from half a lemon
- parmesan cheese (as much as you want…or not)
- Pick a large flat pan to make the sauce in so you can add your cooked pasta straight in.
- Cook the shallots in 1 tbsp of butter – once they soften, remove the shallots from the butter (so they don’t burn) and add the remaining butter into the pan.
- Allow the butter to brown – this link is a great resource if you’ve never done this before.
- Remove the pan from the heat – add the cooked shallots, sage leaves and lemon juice.
- Add the cooked raviolis in the pan – it is better to include some of the pasta water, so don’t fully drain them – instead, remove them from the boiling water using a slotted spoon.
- Top with parmesan cheese and enjoy!
I can’t wait to try out different fillings – wild mushroom or sun dried tomato with spinach or cheese – possibilities are endless! And in the meantime, I have enough filling leftover in my freezer for a roasted butternut squash lasagna in a few weeks.