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  • Writer's pictureEmma Tierson

Butternut Squash Ravioli with Thyme and Garlic Sauce

Is there anything more satisfying than homemade pasta? I don't know about you, but any time I see those words on a menu I get all warm and fuzzy inside. Weird? Maybe, but the difference between homemade pasta and store-bought is night and day.


For the past two weeks, I've had my pasta machine sitting on my table. It has been getting it's a fair share of use lately! I've been trying my hand at a variety of homemade noodles, from linguini, farfalle, lasagna, to even ramen!



The other night I took a look in my freezer to see what vegetable I wanted to eat up. My eyes found the butternut squash and I just knew I had to make ravioli. I've had my ravioli cutter for a few months now, I can't remember why I originally got it, perhaps for some sort of dumpling. The size is quite large at 2.5 inches. Perfect for a more gourmet ravioli.



To make the pasta dough, you simply mix together 4 eggs and 3 cups of flour by hand or using a mixer. Work the dough until it comes together nicely, then let it rest for at least 10 minutes. The dough should not be wet, nor should it be crumbly. It should just stay in shape and be ever so slightly tacky to the touch. I like to wrap it up in plastic wrap during this time instead of a towel because it retains its moisture better.





Let's start with the sauce, which is made from a roux. Please don't skip making a roux. It is so simple, and it is used in a variety of recipes. Need a soup thickened? Roux. Making mac n cheese? Roux. It's Thanksgiving and we need a vegetarian gravy stat! Roux. It will save you in your time of need.


Okay, so to make a roux! It is simple. All that is required is an equal proportion of oil (olive, vegetable, coconut, the list goes on. My favorite is butter) and flour (again a variety of flours can be used here. For gluten loves I think all-purpose or wheat works great. Gluten-free, garbanzo bean flour is amazing). Heat them up in a skillet, whisking every so often for about 2-3 minutes on medium heat. If you need a darker color for your sauce then simply cook the flour longer. It will have a nuttier flavor the longer you cook it unless it starts to burn of course!



After finishing up the sauce, or if you are able to multitask this could be prepared at the same time, the filling needs to get started. This is by far the simplest part of the meal. Warm up the mashed up squash in a skillet. Add some minced garlic and the seasonings. When it tastes good then take it off the stovetop to cool a bit.





After resting, slice a piece off to work through the pasta machine and rewrap the rest of the dough so it does not dry out. I like to throw the piece of dough in a pile of flour before I put it through my press on the widest setting (7 for my machine). Crank it through your machine. The first one-four times you put it through the dough will look rough. Either having holes or very misshapen. To get pretty sheets, you have to fold the dough in half after it goes through, and put it through again. If you don't like how it comes out, just fold and try again. Sometimes it takes me 10 times, sometimes I can get it perfect in 2. If you see any 'ripples' on your dough, re-flour it. Next, put the dough through at the next setting down. This thins the dough and helps create that gorgeous pasta sheet texture. Keep thinning the dough until you get to a good consistency for ravioli. I like a thicker pasta to work with so that the ravioli doesn't burst as easily. For me, the dough is perfect right before it is see-through (setting 3 on my machine).


Ready for filling? Lay down a sheet of pasta and cut it in half. On one sheet 'mark' a few squares on it lightly using the ravioli cutter so you know the placement. Take a half a spoonful or so of your filling and put it in the center of the square. Once you have put filling in all of the markings, gently cover with the other half of the sheet. Now, center the ravioli cutter where the filling is, and press down hard. I like to rock and jiggle it around to make sure the lines are equally pressed down. Do this for the whole row. When you are done, you should be able to tear them away as if it is a perforated paper.


You may have dough left over. This can be reused as if it were extra cookie dough from cut out cookies. Just repeat the process until either the filling has been used up, or you've made enough ravioli.

To finish, boil the ravioli in water for 6-10 minutes depending on the thickness of the dough. Then plate up with the sauce and toppings of your choice!




 

Butternut Squash Ravioli with Thyme and Garlic Sauce


Ingredients:


Dough:

4 Eggs

3c Flour

1Tb Water (optional)


Filling:

12oz Mashed Butternut Squash

1 Clove Minced Garlic

1 Tb Italian Seasoned Breadcrumbs

Parmesan

Salt

Garlic Powder


Sauce:

2Tb Oil or Butter

2 Cloves Minced Garlic

2Tb Flour

2-3C Milk

Thyme

Garlic Powder

Nutmeg

Black Pepper

Parmesan

Salt


Toppings:

Walnuts

Parmesan

Pepper


Directions:

Start out by making your dough. Mix together the 4 eggs and 3 cups of flour until a dough that is well combined and only slightly tacky is formed. This can be done by hand via light kneading or mixer with a dough hook. If it crumbles it is too dry and requires water, one tablespoon at a time. If it is wet to the touch, add more flour. When the dough is ready, wrap it in plastic wrap and keep out until it is time to be used. It should rest for at least 10 minutes.


Begin to prepare the sauce. We are going to start by making a garlicky roux. Put the oil, four, and minced garlic in a skillet on medium heat. Cook for 2-3 minutes, whisking occasionally so that nothing burns. We cook the roux for this amount of time to get rid of the 'flour' flavor and cook the garlic. Next, add about 2 cups of milk and whisk for another minute until it begins to thicken. Add more milk if it becomes too thick. To finish the sauce, at the thyme, garlic powder, black pepper, salt, a dash of nutmeg, and parmesan to taste. Put the heat on low, whisk every so often to assure it is not burning or becoming too thick again.


For the filling, heat up the mashed butternut squash in a skillet on medium heat along with the minced garlic. After heating for a few minutes, add the breadcrumbs and season to taste with the remaining ingredients. Set aside to cool.


To make the ravioli, start by cutting a piece of the dough and throwing it in some flour. Run it through a pasta machine on the thickest setting. Fold it in half and run it through a second, or folding it and running it through, a third time if needed. Once it is smooth and relatively rectangular in shape, run it through the settings, one by one, until the dough is close to being see-through. On my machine, the thickest setting is a 7 and I like to go down to the 3rd setting. Once the dough is at the desired thickness, lay it out and cut it in half. We will use one half as the top, and the other as the bottom of the ravioli. On the bottom half, lightly mark the squares using the ravioli cutter all in a row. Then scoop out about half a spoonful of the filling and place in the center of the square. Do this for the whole row, then gently lay the top half overtop the filling. Cut out the ravioli by centering the cutter where the filling mound is. Press down hard, jiggling the press side to side. Finish cutting the row, the tear the ravioli apart to separate it.


Put the ravioli that are cut out on a baking tray, trying to keep as separate as possible so that they do not rip. If you need to stack them, be sure to flour lightly so they do not stick.


After all of the ravioli has been cut out, boil it in water for 6-10 minutes. Then serve with sauce and toppings.


 


Mangia!



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