I have not made homemade ravioli in years. The last time I made ravioli was in Sicily in with my daughters’ Nona. She was an adorable little Sicilian woman who spent her days running about cooking, cleaning, shopping for meals and looking after her family. She started every day at the crack of dawn by running out to buy all of the ingredients for the day’s meals from the local fishermen, the vegetable stand or the local butcher. Her energy level was unmatched, she was like a whirlwind while she cleaned, chopped, rolled, tasted and baked her day away.
One time while we were staying with her on holiday she decided to show me how to make ravioli. She made a large quantity of pasta dough, large enough to cover the entire kitchen table when rolled out vigorously with a broom handle. When the dough was ready we carefully dolloped a mixture of ricotta, sugar, eggs, lemon zest and herbs a few inches apart onto the first half of the pasta dough. When the first half was ready, she flipped the other half over on top of the first and set about pressing the dough together around each dollop. Then she cut out each ravioli using a rolling pizza cutter that had a zigzag edge. She popped the packets into boiling water and served them with homemade tomato sauce. The whole process was mesmerizing and so memorable that I can still see her moving quickly around the table rolling and sealing the little packets of ricotta heaven. Needless to say I was so intimidated by her ability to make it look so easy I never tried it on my own, until now.
Then, I was watching the Food Network a few weeks ago and Ricardo Larrivee was demonstrating how to make ravioli with wonton wrappers. Here it was, the answer to my fear of making homemade ravioli. It looked so easy so I rushed out and bought the wrappers, found a great filling recipe on SpicySweatSalty’s blog site and got busy.
The result was a light savoury ravioli with a sweet, nutty squash sensation in every bite. They were my first solo homemade ravioli, they were delicious and I had overcome my ravioli making fear.
Could homemade pasta be next?
Butternut Squash, Asiago & Walnut Ravioli with Sage Brown Butter
1 large butternut squash
50 wonton wrappers
1/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 ½ tsp. organic honey
¾ tsp. coarse sea salt
5 oz. fresh grated Asiago cheese
Peel and seed squash and cut into 1/4-inch cubes. Combine squash, walnuts, olive oil, pepper flakes, honey and sea salt in a bowl. Toss ingredients until completely coated with oil. Pour out onto baking sheet and cook in 350-degree F oven for a half hour, stirring every 10 minutes.
Turn temperature on oven up to 500 degrees F and cook squash mixture for 5 minutes or until squash are tender. Let cool.
In food processor, combine squash mixture and cheese. Blend until ingredients are almost smooth.
To make the ravioli, place a wonton wrapper on a clean, flat surface. Brush the edges with water. Place about 1 teaspoon of the squash mixture in the middle of the wonton. Cover with a second wonton wrapper. Press around the filling with fingers or a fork to seal the packets. (Be careful not to pierce the wonton). Cut pressed ravioli with a ravioli press or a round cookie cutter. Repeat with remaining wonton wrappers and squash mixture until all have been used.
Drop the ravioli into the boiling water, and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until tender. Remove, drain.
Place 6 to 8 ravioli on serving plates, and drizzle with sauce. Sprinkle with freshly grated Asiago cheese.
Sage Brown Butter Sauce
1/4 c. butter
3 fresh sage leaves
Salt and black pepper
To make the sauce, melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the sage. Continue to cook and stir until the sage is crispy but not browned. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Filling recipe adapted from a recipe on Spicy Salty Sweet