As I already mentioned in one of my last posts, living in Italy for half a year really
made me appreciate Italian food so much. I never get tired of it. I could eat it every day, and still get a kick out of it each time. So when my tummy requested some Italian comfort food the other day, I decided to make pumpkin ravioli. They were accompanied by a buttery sage sauce . I made everything from scratch. I used whole wheat flour instead of plain white flour.
Topped off with some roasted hazelnuts this was the most satisfying dinner I could think of. It was the first time since culinary school that I made ravioli from scratch. This is a bit of a time consuming dish but it's really worth the time. It's also a great choice when hosting guests since homemade pasta always impress everyone, and you can prepare them in advance.
Even the most picky eater, and we all know at least one or two of these little stinkers, will be pleased, and won't have anything to complain about:-) But be prepared, this recipe will keep you busy for a few hours. It's not complicated, just very time intense. Here's the recipe, if you want to cook this elaborate meal at home:
For the dough:
370 g (13, 1 oz) whole wheat flour
1 ½ tsp salt
3 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp water
For the filling:
1 big white onion, chopped finely
2 Tbsp butter
1 clove garlic, minzed
1 tsp rosemary, chopped finely
1 small hokkaido pumpkin, cooked & pitted
½ cup grated parmesan
½ cup ricotta cheese
Salt, to taste
½ tsp white wine or to taste
For the sauce:
Large, fresh sage leaves, chopped coarsely
Roasted hazelnuts, halved
First, roast the hazelnuts in a pan without the addition of oil. Then set them aside. Now prepare the filling by cutting your pumpkin in half. Place the unpeeled halves in boiling water, and cook them till they're soft. Once that's done, remove the seeds, and cut the halves into chunks. Let them cool down a bit, and set them aside.
Now add butter, onions, rosemary and garlic to a cold pan. Then set the heat to medium, and sweat them for about 3-5 minutes. Do not let the onions, and garlic turn brown, they should remain pale. Then add this mixture to a food processor. Add the pumpkin, ricotta, wine, parmesan and salt as well.
Mix until everything is smooth, and creamy. Then set the mixture aside. It is now time to prepare your dough. Add all the ingredients, and mix them with an electric mixer using the dough hooks. Once a dough has formed, continue kneading it with your hands about 4 more minutes. Now place the dough into your pasta machine.
Flatten the dough. It should be almost paper-thin. Not too thin though, otherwise your ravioli will burst while cooking. In case you do not have a pasta machine, you can use a rolling pin, and flatten it the old fashioned way. Let me tell you, doing it the old fashioned way is a real work out. Once flattened, cut the dough into little squares.
The size is up to you. However, do not make them too small. Also don't throw away the remaining dough scraps. You can cook them, and voila, you have fresh noodles which you can use for a different dish or you can freeze them. Now place about a tsp of the filling (this amount depends on how big your squares are) into the middle of your squares.
Only use half of your squares for this. Brush the edges of the filled squares with water, and place the remaining naked squares on top. Close them tightly by using a fork, and press the top edges onto the bottom edges. Make sure you do this well, otherwise the filling will leak out when you cook your raviolis.
Now place your beautiful raviolis into simmering water. I cooked mine about 9 minutes but this varies. Make sure they are cooked through. Drain them, and add them to the sauce. That's it, you're done. Enjoy this meal, you really earned it:-)