I mentioned after cleaning up my grandmother's pasta and bread board that I wanted to attempt making pasta, which I really don't have much experience with. I'd recently gotten a vintage ravioli cutter and was eager to try it out, so decided to give my first pasta experience a go with butternut squash ravioli.
Well, the pictures do not show my frustration and the ravioli did indeed turn out delicious and looks like ravioli but I am definitely going to have to re-think how I am going to prepare for future pasta posts! The dough really did not cooperate as I had imagined it would, I had flour everywhere and you cannot touch the camera when you have dough up to your elbows. So, we might not see as many pasta posts on a regular basis like I had hoped, but bear with me as I figure out the nuances of a camera and flour!
I'd just made a butternut squash waffle for 17 Apart and had half of a squash leftover, which is where the idea for butternut squash ravioli came into play. The filling was quite simple to make:
Butternut Squash Ravioli Filling:
- 1 1/2 cups roasted butternut squash pulp
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1t nutmeg
- 1/2 cup of ricotta cheese
Puree all of the above together in a blender or with a potato masher to complete your ravioli filling and set aside until ready to fill ravioli.
Basic Ravioli Pasta:
- 2 cups all purpose flour (I used a mixture of white and wheat)
- 1t salt
- 4 large eggs (3 for the dough and the 4th for a wash)
- 1T olive oil
- Additional flour for dusting the board
Eventually, I got things together and created a dough ball that really began to take shape. I continued to knead back and forth several times, punching the ball down and folding until I had something I could work with. Several different recipes said to allow the dough to rest for 30 minutes. I needed a mental break and was glad to give it a rest. I wrapped the dough in plastic wrap and cleaned up my work surface, the floor, my hands, my arms, and basically the whole kitchen.
After the 30 minute break, I felt ready to tackle the next steps.
Next up, rolling out the dough ball into a thin and even sheet. I floured my work surface and began rolling and stretching the dough. I didn't have a pasta rolling tool, was worried I might not get the right thinness. Using my grandmother's rolling pin turned out to be quite simple and I do feel I got the dough stretched out and thin enough to be able to fold and make raviolis.
A quick egg wash over the pasta sheet acts as a glue for the filling and helps seal the pasta edges once cut. With a few evenly spaced scoops of butternut squash filling onto the pasta sheet, I was eager to fold it over and start cutting:
I simply folded the dough over on top of the filling and began to pressout little round raviolis with my vintage Italian pasta cutter. This was probably the most fun part of the entire process for me:
Now these made some sizable raviolis, 4 would be an adequate serving for one person. I was able to rework the leftover dough into another flat sheet and press out 4 more, ending up with 8 large raviolis ready to cook.
In conclusion, I indeed made my first batch of homemade raviolis. What did I learn?
- I feel that a dough machine attached to the blender could have helped create thinner pasta sheets which may have helps make more raviolis. This is something I'll probably look into getting.
- This was a lot of work for 8 raviolis!
- Pasta is a little messier than I thought going in initially.
I ended up boiling and freeze these for a future dish coming later in the week, so stay tuned!
I'm keeping things real with this post and admitting my struggles — I am certainly open to any pasta advice others may have out there. So I open this up and ask, are there any glaring issues with what I did and are there tools out there that would make life easier for me as I move forward in the homemade pasta world?
E.A.T. local E.A.T. well