There's something about fall's cooler weather that gets me thinking about Italian food, especially homemade pasta, which my husband has become quite adept at making over the past few years. One of my family's favorites is cheese ravioli, made here with pumpkin and fresh nutmeg for a subtle taste of fall.
Homemade pasta isn't hard once you get the hang of it, but it does take some effort. If you'd rather not, simply substitute pre-made wonton wrappers.
- 4 cups flour
- 4 eggs
- 6 tablespoons water
- 8 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for passing
- 1/2 cup pumpkin
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Large pinch hot pepper flakes, or more to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, or more to taste
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 5 or 6 fresh sage leaves, torn into small pieces
To make ravioli: Place flour in a large bowl. Make a well in the center. Beat the eggs, water and oil; pour into well. Stir together, forming a ball. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 8-10 minutes, adding remaining flour if necessary to keep dough from sticking. (You also can make it in a Kitchenaid mixer.) Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.
Divide pasta dough into baseball-sized lumps. Use a pasta machine or roll by hand into long sheets (lasagna size) about 6 inches wide and 1/8-inch thick. (Keep pasta covered until ready to use.)
To make filling: Mix cheeses, pumpkin, egg, salt, hot pepper flakes and nutmeg in a large bowl. Adjust seasonings to taste, then set aside. Put a pot of salted water on the stove, and bring to a boil.
Assemble ravioli: Lay sheets flat on a counter dusted with flour. Working quickly, place about 2 teaspoons of filling every 2 inches on one side of dough. Fold pasta sheet over, then cut into 2-inch lengths with a knife or pastry scraper. Use a fork to seal the three sides of the ravioli. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.
Carefully place ravioli in boiling water, and cook about 5 to 6 minutes, or until they float to the surface. Drain in a colander, reserving about 1/4 cup of pasta water.
Meanwhile, place butter in a large nonstick skillet or saucepan over medium heat. Cook until the butter has browned and is very fragrant and nutty smelling. Stir in sage leaves, and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat, and let it cool off for a minute or so.
Add ravioli to pan and toss very gently. Add a tiny splash of the reserved pasta water and toss again. Serve immediately.
Serves 4 to 6.
Gretchen McKay: email@example.com