Simplicity is beautiful, one of life’s most overused clichés, but also one of the most apt descriptions of what’s going on here. A tried and tested classic flavour combination. It’s perfectly cooked fresh pasta enclosing a creamy pumpkin tasting filling, just the right balance of sweet and salty, all drizzled with the epitome of richness; a burnt sage butter and sprinkled with pine nuts for texture and lots and lots and lots and lots of freshly grated Parmesan. Quick note, I found the filling quite lacking in salt once cooked, so make sure to amply salt it before cooking, even if you think you may have gone a bit over, it looses lots of its saltiness once stuffed in the pasta and cooked. You’ll find the recipe after the jump.
This is enough to serve 4 main course portions (about 6-7 large ravioli per person)
For the filling:
250g of good quality ricotta
1/2 large onion finely chopped
2 large cloves of garlic chopped
500-550g of fresh pumpkin de-seeded and chopped into large chunks
1 tbsp of fresh finely chopped rosemary
1 large egg
3/4 of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste
Preheat your oven to 180C.
On a large and flat baking tray, place your pumpkin, skin side down and drizzle with olive oil. Place in the oven for 30-40min until the pumpkin is very tender and starts to caramelise. Remove from the oven and allow to sit and cool down before removing the skin.
In a small pan, heat some olive oil over a medium low heat. Add the garlic, onions and rosemary and cook over the same heat until the onions soften and become translucent making sure not to allow anything to brown or colour. This should take about 10-15min. Remove from the heat and reserve.
In a large mixing bowl, add the ricotta, the egg, the pumpkin, the Parmesan and the onion mix. Using a large fork or a potato masher, mash everything together and mix thoroughly until it becomes a largely lump-free uniform paste. Add salt and pepper to taste, make sure to make it one or two degrees saltier than you would normally like.
For the pasta:
If you’re making fresh pasta, here are the ingredients:
2 cups of flour (all purpose should do just fine)
3 large eggs
On a large clear counter-top form a mound with the four and then create a crater in its center using your hands. Using your hands mix the flour and the eggs together, kneading until they form a rough crumbly dough. It will seem like it’s not working at first, don’t worry, continue kneading until it comes together as a dough. This post here goes through the process of pasta dough making quite thoroughly. Roll out the pasta sheets to the thinnest setting on your pasta machine. To assemble the ravioli, cut a circle out of the sheets and add a tablespoon of the filling on the sheet and then cover with an identical circle. Use egg wash to seal the edges and make sure you push our any trapped air so that they don’t open up when cooking.
Cooking the ravioli is very easy, just dump them into fast boiling heavily salted water, and once they float to the surface, remove them using a slotted spoon and reserve on the side. (no more than 1-11/2min per raviolo)
For the butter sauce:
In a large sauce pan, on a medium high heat, add about 2 large tablespoons of butter with roughly 10(ish) fresh sage leaves torn into thirds. As the butter foams and subsides, add the ravioli into the butter in batches for a quick pan fry on both sides (no more than 30ish seconds each side). Keep the butter on the heat until it starts to brown and flecks start to appear.
Plate the ravioli, drizzle with some of the butter and sage, sprinkle a bit of toasted pine nuts and then amply cover in freshly grated Parmesan cheese, mamma mia! Cosi gustoso!