squash ravioli with butter sage sauce

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I'm a busy person. I have a crazy job, a 1yr old child, and lots of social obligations.  However, since food is important to me I take time out to make special things every once in a while, and this includes some homemade ravioli from scratch.  Granted, this does take a while and requires special equipment (a pasta maker, a ravioli cutter, and a ravioli tray) but man oh man the results are worth it.  What I like to do is spend a few hours cooking on the weekend and then freeze some of this stuff for a quick dinner later.  This particular ravioli is stuffed with squash and then tossed in a quick butter-sage sauce. 

This is the final product!

After cutting off the hard shell, dice and boil your squash

Try to get roughly even pieces

The basics of homemade pasta - flour, eggs, and olive oil

Make a nice dough

The let it sit wrapped in a cloth

Roll it through the pasta machine


Lay the sheet on the ravioli maker pan, then put in the filling (I used a plastic bag with the corner cut off)

This is what they look like before boiling

and again on the plate

with delicious filling!

Ingredients

For pasta dough:
1 2/3 c flour
2 eggs
small swig of olive oil
pinch of salt

For filling:
3 c uncooked squash, in chunks
1 tsp sugar
dash of cinnamon
dash of salt

For sauce: 
1/4 c fresh sage leaves
butter

Preparation
To make the pasta, you can do it two ways: manually or with a food processor.  If using a processor, just put all the ingredients in there, mix until it forms a dough ball, and then take out an knead for 5 minutes (if you don't know how to knead, just Youtube it).  If you are doing it manually, make a "volcano" with your flour, break the eggs in the middle, and gently mix the flour with the egg from the outside edges in until it forms a dough.  Knead as described.  Wrap it up tightly in plastic wrap or a cloth, and let rest for 30 minutes.  

While your dough is sitting, make your filling.  Boil the squash with salted water until it is tender.  Place in food processor or blender with the other ingredients, tasting for salt and pepper.  Consistency is key here.  If your puree is too thick, you can add a little water.  If' it's too runny, then you can put it all back in a saucepan and boil it until it reduces. 

After 30 minutes, remove dough from plastic wrap, knead a few times more (add flour if the pasta is too wet and a little olive oil if it's too dry).  Using your pasta maker, ring half the ball through the settings, starting on 1 and rolling through each setting until it's the thinnest.  I guess you could do this with a rolling pin if you really wanted to. 

Lay out your pasta sheet on the ravioli maker.  Put your filling in a plastic ziplock bag and cut off a tiny corner - this will be your makeshift pastry filler!  Carefully fill the raviolis, and then top with another pasta sheet, pressing down on the seams of the ravioli.  With a ravioli cutter, cut the pieces on the seams, making sure they are sealed so that your filling doesn't ooze out and ruin the fruits of your painstaking labor. 

To cook, you should boil salted water and toss them in one at a time -- they are done when they float to the top (I like to take them out with a slotted spoon).  If you want to freeze, I recommend parboiling them (boiling them for a few minutes) and then putting on a cookie sheet and freezing them individually, then tossing them into a bag. 

For the sage sauce, it's so simple your mind will be blown - melt butter, add sage leaves, cook until sage leaves are beginning to crisp (watch out your butter doesn't brown!). 

Top cooked ravioli with butter sauce and gobble it down. 


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