Herbed cheese ravioli with butternut squash truffle sauce

ravioli-butternut-squash-sauceIf you’re looking for a project, I’ve got a good one for you here. Had it not been for the awful showing of the Bears at New England today, I might still be in the kitchen putting this together. I got irritated and shut the game off at half time and went to work on dinner. It was too nice out to be sitting around watching TV anyway.

Squash rule the autumn dinner plate and rather than make a soup or stuff it with something, I wanted to make this sauce.

When done all at once, this will probably take you about 3-4 hours. Ravioli is a pretty labor intensive pasta to make, and I always question myself why I continue to make it. Oh, yeah, that’s right – it’s totally awesome. The good news with this is that you can spread out the tasks and even do some the day before. Especially the pasta. That’s probably the most labor intensive part of this dish – rolling out the dough, filling it, cutting it just right. You can’t rush that part, it just takes what it takes to get it done. If you make the pasta the night before, cover and store it in the refrigerator. You could also just use store-bought pasta and use this sauce to fancy it up.

After hours of preparation, we devoured this in about 6 minutes. It reminded me of Thanksgiving – people spend the entire day cooking and prepping, all for 15 minutes of gastronomic pleasure. Like those Thanksgiving foods, this dish is worth every minute of effort!

I recommend starting with the pasta dough, followed by the filling. Then, roll out and fill the pasta, and place it in the fridge while you work on the sauce. When the sauce is set to simmer (before you puree it), start your pasta water. By the time the water is boiling, you’ll be ready to puree the sauce. While the sauce is cooking, toss the pasta in the water for 4-5 minutes.

Try not to skip the truffle oil – it adds an unexpected pop and depth of flavor that you won’t be sorry about!

Makes 2 hearty servings.


Fresh pasta

  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup semolina flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 – 2 tbsp water

Ravioli filling

  • ¾ cup ricotta cheese
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh sage, roughly chopped
  • Salt and pepper

Butternut squash truffle sauce

  • 2 cups butternut squash, peeled and cut into ½” pieces
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • ½ tbsp. fresh sage, chopped
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black or white pepper
  • ¼ cup pecans, toasted
  • 1-2 tbsp white truffle oil

Pasta instructions

  • Place the flour on a clean working space or in a large bowl and create a well in the center.
  • Add the eggs into the center of the flour and work the flour into the eggs until well combined.
  • Add the water as needed to bring the dough together.
  • Once the dough has come together, knead for 1-2 minutes until the dough is soft.
  • Wrap the dough tightly in plastic and allow it to rest at least 20 minutes or up to 24 hours in the refrigerator.
  • Before you roll out the pasta, let it warm up a bit. You can set it on the counter for 20 minutes or so. This will make it easier to work with. Roll the pasta out in a pasta maker until smooth – setting 6 is a pretty good thickness.
  • Using a piping bag or tablespoon, drop portions of the filling on the rolled pasta, taking care to space them evenly apart.
  • Lightly coat the pasta with water and cover with another sheet of pasta on top of the filling.
  • Seal each ravioli by pressing the two dough sheets together and releasing any air bubbles.
  • Cut into squares using a pastry cutter or ravioli stamp.
  • Dust the finished pasta with semolina.
  • Pasta is ready to cook or can be stored in the fridge until ready for service. Pasta can also be frozen for future use.
Pasta station!
Pasta station!
Adding the filling.
Adding the filling.
Sealed up and ready to go!
Sealed up and ready to go!

Filling instructions

  • Combine ricotta, parmesan, herbs, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl. Season to taste.
  • Filling can be made a few hours ahead.

Sauce instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425. Toss squash with olive oil in a bowl to coat. Transfer to a flat sheet pan and roast for 20-30 minutes, until tender. Remove from oven and set aside.
  • Heat butter until melted and slightly bubbly. Add shallot and cook until softened, about 3 minutes.
  • Add stock and squash, bring to a boil and then let simmer until squash is tender, about 10 minutes.
  • Transfer to a food processor and puree until smooth.
  • Put sauce back into pan and heat over low. Add cream and season with the salt and pepper.

To serve, toss the pasta with the sauce and garnish with the pecans and parsley. Drizzle with truffle oil just before serving.




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