I’ve had a butternut squash sitting around, and have had thoughts of turning it into ravioli for a while now… so last Sunday, I had some time and decided it was pasta day. Making pasta from scratch is really quite easy, and even easier with a Kitchen Aid, or other brand of stand mixer. I used to have a manual pasta roller, which worked great, but I felt like I needed three hands. The roller attachment on the stand mixer is great because it turns the rollers for you, freeing up one hand so that you can hold the pasta with two. You just need some time, because the dough has to rest, and it takes a little while to roll out and form the raviolis. Here’s the recipe I used this time for the pasta. I normally use only white flour, but tried this with semolina, and I really liked both the texture and the flavor. I had a lot of pasta, so I made half into ravioli, and half into fettuccine, which we ate the next day with a simple tomato sauce.
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup semolina flour1 tsp. salt
1 Tbs. olive oil
2 Tbs. water, plus more as needed
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater, combine the all-purpose and semolina flours, salt and olive oil. Beat on low speed just until combined, about 30 seconds.
- In a small pitcher or other pourable container, whisk together the eggs and water. With the mixer on low speed, slowly drizzle in the egg mixture and beat until the flour has been absorbed into the egg mixture, about 2 minutes.
- Stop the mixer and, using your hands, squeeze a small amount of dough into a ball. It should be moist enough to hold together but not sticky; if it is too dry, add more water, 1 tsp. at a time.
- Transfer the dough to a work surface and shape into 4 balls. Wrap separately with plastic wrap, then flatten each ball into a disk. Let stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.
- Attach the pasta roller to the mixer. Unwrap 1 dough disk and dust lightly with all-purpose flour. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough into a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick and no wider than the pasta roller. Roll the dough through the rollers once at the widest setting, then lay the pasta on the work surface and fold it into thirds. Repeat the process 2 more times, rolling out the dough, rolling it through the rollers at the widest setting, and folding it into thirds each time.
- Now thin the dough by rolling it through the rollers at the second-to-widest setting. Repeat, setting the rollers one notch narrower each time, until the desired thinness is reached. (For the ravioli I go pretty thin, 7 or 8 on the dial. For fettucini or spaghetti, I stop at 6)
- Transfer the dough to a baking sheet, cover loosely with plastic wrap and roll out the other dough disks, covering them as you roll them out so they don’t dry out.
- Next, fill the ravioli. (recipe for the squash filling follows, but you can make hundreds of different fillings – just fill them with whatever you like!) This can be done by hand, with the attachment sold with the mixer, or with a ravioli press (see photo – that’s what I did). If you’re filling them by hand, spread one sheet of pasta out, place spoonfuls of filling in little mounds along one long side, leaving about 1/2″ border on the bottom edge and at least 2″ on the top edge, and spacing them about 1/2″ or more apart. Fold the long side of the pasta over the filling, and press as much air out of each individual mound as you can. Cut in between the mounds with a knife or a ravioli cutter. If using a knife, crimp the edges with a fork to help seal the pasta. For the ravioli press like the one I used, you lay a sheet of pasta on the metal part, use the plastic to press down on it and create little pockets, then fill the pockets, top with another sheet of pasta, and use a rolling pin to seal the edges. Very fun contraption!
- Spread the filled raviolis on a well floured baking sheet, dust with a little more flour, and cover with a clean kitchen cloth till you’re ready to cook them. If you have extras, spread them out on a baking sheet, freeze them, and then transfer them to a plastic bag. They will keep in the freezer for a few months.
- If you’re making a different kind of pasta, attach a pasta cutter to the mixer and cut the pasta into the desired shape, or you can cut it by hand. I have this handy pasta drying rack to hang it on so it can dry, but you can even hang it over the door of a cupboard that has a kitchen towel draped over it. The dried pasta can be kept in the refrigerator for a week.
- To cook, place in a large pot of boiling salted water – fresh pasta will cook very quickly, just a couple of minutes after the water returns to a boil.
- Serve with your favorite sauce. For the ravioli, I made a sauce with shallots, some cognac, reduced, added some cream, reduced that a little and wilted in some savoy spinach.
Here’s what I did for the squash filling.
1 butternut squash
1/2 stick butter, melted
2 tbsp sage, finely chopped
1 tbsp fennel seeds, toasted and ground
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
- Preheat oven to 400°
- Cut squashes in half and place cut side up on a baking sheet. Use a ring of aluminum foil to help keep level if necessary.
- Combine melted butter, sage, fennel seeds, salt and pepper, and brush on to cut side of squash.
- Roast for about one hour, till squash is very tender.
- Allow to cool slightly, then scoop out flesh of squash and puree in food processor. Taste for seasoning.
Oh, and a bonus, after I scooped the seeds out of my squash, instead of throwing them out, I cleaned any squash flesh off of them, spread them on a baking sheet, sprinkled with a little salt, and tossed them in the oven for about 20 minutes – great snack!
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