Pasta has always been one of my absolute favourite things to eat both at home and when eating out. But, if you told me a few years ago I could make it easily for myself, well I probably would have laughed at you. Not that I don’t love to cook, I actually do. But pasta, especially filled pasta like homemade ravioli? Well, that seemed like something that was better off left to Italian grandmothers and professional chefs.
In 2015 I visited Italy for the second time. I had a few days in Rome and partnered with a global tour operator who offered a cooking class with a local. With the ‘when in Italy’ mind frame I signed up for a pasta making class with a local woman in a nearby neighbourhood named Francesca. I spent 3 hours in her home learning how to make pasta; fettuccini, gnocchi, and ravioli. There were four of us that day; Francesca, myself, a film-maker who lived in Rome having been married (now divorced) to an Italian man, and an exchange student. As we rolled dough, cut vegetables, and made fillings I was bombarded with dozens of stories and warnings from all three women about Italian men. It was actually hilarious and made the experience even more enjoyable.
Our homemade pasta making session was long. About three hours to make the three types of pasta. But, as we sat down to enjoy our dinner I couldn’t help but feel proud of myself and what I had made. Even though I did have a lot of help. However, since it took so long I didn’t see myself repeating the process anytime soon.
Well, until the COVID-19 pandemic hit and I literally had nothing but time and the need to feel like I was sort of travelling. At least travelling through food. So, I decided to see if I could remember any of my homemade pasta making skills (5 years later) and bought myself a pasta maker.
Honestly, it might be one of my favourite purchases. Which probably sounds silly as someone who travels (well, when it’s safe) for a living. But being able to make my own fresh pasta (instead of buying the dried bag from the store) does remind me of Italy. And right now, when the world is closed off to travel, that’s what I need. And I thought I would share in case anyone else needs that right now too.
I’ve had my pasta maker for over a month now and used it several times for a variety of pasta experiments but my favourite (so far) is the homemade butternut squash ravioli. It is also the favourite among my family and friends who I force my kitchen experiments on.
I will be clear that I did not make these recipes up completely on my own. I did search the internet for recipe ideas. However, since there is a global pandemic on and grocery shopping is not something we can do quite as easily as we used to, I have combined and adapted the recipes based on what I had on hand and I’m pleased to say, they turned out really well.
So, with that in mind, here’s my version of a recipe for homemade butternut squash ravioli.
Butternut Squash Ravioli Recipe
You Will Need
- Mixing bowl (like a Kitchenaid, with mixing attachment and kneading (hook) attachment). If you don’t have, you could use your hands. It’s just harder.
- Pasta roller (I have the Kitchenaid pasta attachment for my Kitchenaid and it’s the best)
- Ravioli cutter/pizza cutter/ knife
- Pastry brush
For the Pasta
- 4 large eggs
- 5 cups of Flour
- 1 tsp of salt
- 1 tbs of water
For the Butternut Squash Ravioli Filling
- one medium-sized butternut squash (you want about 3 cups worth)
- olive oil
- salt and Pepper
- 2 tbs liquid honey
- 1 cup of ricotta cheese
- ¼ cup of feta cheese
- ¼ cup of grated parmesan cheese
For the Pasta (Recipe from Kitchenaid pasta attachment)
Crack your 4 eggs in a measuring cup. If not quite 1 cup, add water
Pour flour and salt into a large mixing bowl, add eggs and the 1tbs of water
Mix until slightly incorporated, then knead. I use the kneading tool on my Kitchenaid, but you can knead by hand.
When finished, form into a ball, wrap, and refrigerate for at least an hour to rest before using.
Butternut Squash Ravioli filling
Cook butternut squash in the oven at 350C for about an hour (or until you can easily stick a fork in it). Let cool.
Peel, remove seeds, and cube the butternut squash
In a blender, blend the cooked butternut squash with honey, a generous drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper until a smooth consistency. If it seems too thick, add more olive oil.
Blend in ricotta, feta, and parmesan until totally incorporated into a creamy mixture.
Assembling the Butternut Squash Ravioli
Roll out your dough on setting number 7 if you have the Kitchenaid pasta attachment into a long strip.
Lay it on a lightly floured cutting board so it doesn’t stick and then place about 1 (full) tsp of filling on the dough in a line across the middle of the strip of pasta dough. Each mound of filling should be about 1 inch apart.
Once completed, dip your pastry brush in some water and run along the edges of the dough and in-between the mounds of filling.
Roll out another, similar size, strip of dough and place it carefully over the top.
Then, using your fingers, press around each mound of filling to seal the dough. Work from the inside out to get out the air.
Use a ravioli cutter/pizza cutter/ knife to cut them into squares. Then use the fork to press around the edges to make sure they are sealed.
When you are ready to cook them, place the raviolis in a large pot of boiling water. They take about 5 minutes to cook. You will know they are ready when they float to the surface.
What Sauce Should I Serve with My Homemade Butternut Squash Ravioli?
When it comes to sauce, you have a couple of options. The most common sauce for butternut squash ravioli seems to be a browned butter sage sauce. You can find a recipe for that here. I’ve also seen people recommend roasted red pepper cream sauce or a creamy white wine sauce but I haven’t tried those (yet!)
Homemade Ravioli Tips
How Early can I Prepare My Ravioli?
You can prep your ravioli a few hours in advance before cooking them. I dust a cookie tray lightly with flour (so they don’t stick) and set them on there until I am ready to use them.
Can I Freeze Them?
Absolutely! The recipe I shared above makes a good 30+ raviolis so I just freeze what I don’t need then let them defrost before I cook them. I let them sit out for a bit first though, on a lightly floured cookie sheet, so they don’t stick together when I put them in the ziplock bag.