Homemade Ravioli

You don’t need a pasta machine to make ravioli from scratch—just a little time and energy.

October is National Pasta Month, and we should all be celebrating that amazingly simple amalgam of flour and water (or flour and egg) that is the basis for some of the tastiest comfort foods. Even if you’ve never made your own pasta, this recipe for butternut-squash ravioli is within your grasp and opens the door to hundreds of variations. Mai abbastanza pasta!

Pasta Dough
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup semolina flour
2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon olive oil
Water, as needed

In a food processor, combine the flour and salt. Add the two eggs and olive oil, and process until the dough forms a ball and cleans the sides of the bowl. If the dough does not come together or seems too dry, add water one tablespoon at a time until the dough forms. Remove the dough, and give it a few turns by hand to create a smooth ball. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for at least 20 minutes.  

Butternut-Squash Filling
1 medium butternut squash
1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 dash nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the squash in half lengthwise, and remove the seeds. Place cut side down on a parchment-lined baking pan. Roast for one hour until browned and very soft. Let it cool until it’s easy to handle, and scrape the squash from the skin into a large bowl. Add the cheese and spices, and mix well until smooth. Cool completely.

Divide the dough into four pieces. Roll out one piece into a 4-by-20-inch rectangle that’s one-eighth inch thick. (Use the pasta roller attachment for your stand mixer if available). Place two teaspoons of filling at 2-inch intervals in the center of the strip starting ½ inch from the edge. Moisten the long edge with a little water, and fold the strip over to enclose the filling. Carefully press down around the mounds of filling to remove air bubbles. Use a knife or pastry cutter to separate the ravioli and then seal the edges with the tines of a fork. Place the finished ravioli on a floured board or a pan sprinkled with corn meal to prevent them from sticking. Repeat with the other portions of the dough. Place the ravioli in six quarts of boiling water. Return to a boil, and then lower the temperature to a simmer. Stir gently for two or three minutes until the ravioli float. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain well before adding to sauce.

Brown Butter and Sage Sauce
While the ravioli are boiling, add eight tablespoons of butter to a large skillet with eight to 10 fresh sage leaves. Cook until the butter just begins to brown. Add the cooked ravioli, and turn gently to coat. Serve with additional grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.