Butternut Squash Ravioli with Hazelnut Sauce Recipe
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Do you ever have a meal at a restaurant that you love so much that you just have to try to recreate it home? That happened to me when my husband and I split a plate of butternut squash ravioli at One-Twenty-Six, one of my favorite local restaurants. And I had plenty of home-grown butternut squash from my garden to experiment with.
The ravioli filling I came up with rivaled the creamy texture and earthy flavors of the original. I encased the filling in sheets of delicate homemade pasta made from an authentic Tuscan recipe I brought home from Italy. The end result was a restaurant-quality dish at a fraction of the cost.
Butternut squash ravioli with hazelnut sauce makes a great meatless entrée or first course. Pair it with a crisp Sauvignon Blanc for a nice contrast to the buttery dish.
To make homemade pasta dough, use very fine (00 grade) flour for best results. For every 2 servings of pasta, use 3/4 cup flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon olive oil, and one egg.
Combine the flour and salt on a clean, flat work surface. Shape the flour into a mound and make a well in the center. Add the eggs to the well and beat with a fork to combine. Add the olive oil to the beaten eggs. Slowly incorporate the flour into the well beginning with the flour from the inside wall of the well and working outward until a sticky ball forms.
Knead the ball of dough until it becomes elastic and smooth, about 10 minutes. Brush the surface of the dough with additional olive oil, wrap in plastic wrap, and let rest for 30 minutes.
- 1 small butternut squash, halved and seeded
- 1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan-Reggiano cheese
- 1/2 whole nutmeg, grated
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 400° F. Rub the flesh of the butternut squash with olive oil and place, cut side down, on a baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes. Let cool, then scoop pulp from skin with a spoon and discard skin.
- In a mixing bowl, beat together squash, mascarpone cheese, Parmesan-Reggiano cheese, nutmeg, and salt until thoroughly combined.
A Pasta Machine for the Home Cook
To make the ravioli:
Roll the dough through a pasta machine three times, then fold over and roll through three more times. Carefully place the pasta sheet on a well-floured surface to prevent sticking. Spoon the butternut squash filling onto one long half of the sheet at intervals, one teaspoon at a time. Fold the other side of the sheet over the filling so the two long edges of the sheet meet with the filling in the middle. Cut the pasta into individual raviolis and seal by brushing the seams with a little water.
Cook the ravioli in boiling salted water for seven minutes. Remove from the water with a slotted spoon and drain.
Cook's note: Fresh wonton wrappers (found in the refrigerator section of the supermarket) may be substituted for homemade pasta dough. Place one teaspoon of filling in the center of a wonton wrapper and fold the wrapper on the diagonal so one corner meets to opposite corner to form a triangle. Seal the edges by moistening with a little water and cook as directed.
The finished dish
To make the sauce:
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts
- 8 fresh sage leaves
- While the pasta is cooking, melt butter in a pan over low heat. (Use one tablespoon of butter per serving.) Add chopped hazelnuts and fresh sage leaves to the melted butter and continue to cook over low heat until the hazelnuts begin to brown and the sage leaves become slightly crispy.
- Before serving, toss the ravioli with the sage butter and top with freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano cheese.
Makes 4 servings.