I don’t know about you, but when I think of fall foods my mind instinctively goes to butternut squash. Most people might veer towards pumpkin, and while I do LOVE pumpkin, I tend to think that butternut squash is just a bit more versatile.
Today, I’m making butternut squash ravioli – one of my favorite ways to utilize this wonderful fall produce.
Warm spices like cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg are added to cubed butternut squash and baked at a low temperature until soft, then pureed until silky smooth. A little bit of softened cream cheese and Parmigiano-Reggiano are added to the mixture to bind everything together. If you can keep from inhaling the filling, I applaud you, because the smells that will be coming from your kitchen will make you want to weep.
After the raviolis are assembled, they are coated in a simple sage brown butter sauce that is so good, you may never want to try another sauce again. Unsalted butter is slowly melted with fresh sage and then gradually browned until toasty and caramelized. The scent and taste is almost unexplainable – heaven is the only word that I can think of to describe it.
Before we get started I want to say that I’m not going to lie to you, this dish is slightly labor intensive, IF you make your own pasta. Now, I encourage you to make your own pasta, but I realize that most people do not have the time or patience for this, so please feel absolutely free to use store-bought pasta dough or Chinese wonton wrappers. I won’t judge. Promise. I just happen to enjoy the pasta making process – yes I realize this is a little nutty, but hey, everyone’s got their quirks.
Toss cubed squash with a little cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, salt, and olive oil.
Pop in a 325 degree oven for 25-30 minutes until squash is softened and cooked through – toss halfway through.
Transfer cooked squash to a blender or food processor and purée until smooth.
Add softened cream cheese and parmesan to the puréed squash. Set aside.
The choice to use fresh pasta is totally up to you. If you do decide to go ahead and make your own, you can find the recipe here. I like to take the ravioli down to four on the pasta maker but you can go as thin as you want. Using your ravioli stamp, make an impression in the dough so you know where to put your filling. Place ½ teaspoon filling in the middle of each stamp impression on the bottom half of the dough.
Another option instead of using fresh pasta is to use wonton wrappers from the grocery store. Instead of assembling as I’ve shown below, you’re going to want to use one wrapper and put ½ teaspoon of the filling onto the middle of the wrapper. Brush a little water on the edges of each side and fold corner to comer, sealing edges as you go.
Line the bottom edges and middle of each uncut ravioli with water.
Seal ravioli in the middle and on the sides, making sure there are no air bubbles.
Cut out ravioli with stamp and transfer to a baking sheet sprinkled with flour.
Cook ravioli in salted boiling water until cooked through, about 8 minutes. (Less for wonton wrappers)
Return the sauce to the stove and warm over a low heat, add the cooked ravioli and toss in the sauce until completely coated. Season with salt and top with a little parmesan cheese.
- 1 pound of fresh pasta
- 8 cups butternut squash, cut into ½ inch cubes
- 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 ounces softened cream cheese
- ½ cup parmesan cheese (plus extra for garnish)
- 1 stick + 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
- 15 sage leaves, plus more for garnish
- Salt to taste.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine cubed butternut squash, olive oil, spices, and salt together in a large bowl. Spread evenly onto a baking sheet. Bake squash 25-30 minutes until soft and cooked through.
- Transfer squash to a food processor and blend until completely puréed. Transfer back to large bowl.
- Add softened cream cheese and parmesan. Mix until combined. Season to taste with salt.
- Roll pasta out with pasta maker, for thicker ravioli take the dough down to a 4 setting on the pasta machine. If you like it a little thinner you can go as thin as a 2.
- Cook the ravioli in salted boiling water for 5-8 minutes or until cooked through.
- To make the sauce: Combine butter and sage in a large sauté pan. Melt over a medium heat and swirl pan until the butter begins to brown. Once the butter has turned a deep brown turn the heat off and remove the pan from the stove. This should take about three minutes. Season with plenty of salt.
- When ravioli are ready, return the sauce to the stove and warm through over a very low heat. Add ravioli straight from the pasta water to the sauce. Toss until completely coated. Serve with a little chopped sage and extra grated parmesan cheese.