100th Recipe - Homemade Butternut Squash Raviolis!

For our 100th Recipe, we decided to hold a little competition to see who could come up with the best recipe. Thank you Holly B. for posting Butternut Squash Ravioli! It was a perfect idea especially as our weather gets chillier, and I also happened to have a new pasta maker to test out.

I grew up watching my grandmother make homemade raviolis every Christmas.  She rolled out her dough by hand and cut out each ravioli, sealing them with a fork.  It was amazing to watch her work.  Last Christmas, I asked if I could use some of her dough to make butternut squash raviolis.  She said she had "never heard of such a thing" but that I could have some of her dough.  I found a simple recipe for the filling and got to work.  She showed me what size to make them and after they were all cooked up, everyone got to try some.  It was a huge success!  Even grandma liked them.

Fast forward to the present.  I have learned how to make the dough myself and I even have a pasta-maker to help roll the dough out to a uniform size.  Now, I share my delicious success with you!  Go forth and make pasta!



Ingredients for Pasta (updated 2013-01-09)*:
3 cups sifted flour
3 large eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
Additional flour (for rolling out dough)

Directions for Pasta:
Put the flour in a large bowl and form a well. Fill the well with the eggs, salt and oil. Scramble the eggs within the well gently with a fork. Then begin mixing the eggs into the dough with two fingers until it becomes a thick paste. Continue to mix by hand until it forms a dough ball. If your dough is too dry, it will keep falling apart instead of turning into a ball. If this happens add 1 tsp of water at a time and knead until the dough stays together. If the dough sticks to your hands dust it lightly with flour until it maintains its form without sticking.

Lightly dust your work surface with flour. Then, push on the dough with the heel of your hand, fold the dough in half, and kneed it with the heel of your hand again. Continue this method for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the dough ball becomes smooth and feels silky on the outsides.

Baste dough with olive oil. Then, wrap in plastic wrap and let it rest in the fridge for 30-60 minutes while you start on the butternut squash filling.

After the resting period, remove the dough from the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature (about 15-20 minutes).

Ingredients for Butternut Squash Filling (updated 2013-01-09):
1 large butternut squash - halved lengthwise, peeled and seeded
2 teaspoons butter
salt and ground black pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

Directions for Butternut Squash Filling:
Preheat oven to 375F. Cut the butternut squash in half and remember to remove the stickers! Place on a large baking pan and put 1 tsp of butter on each half. Salt and pepper to taste. Bake for 45 minutes or until squash is completely cooked.

Remove the seeds, and then scoop the squash into a large bowl. Combine with nutmeg, cinnamon, more butter (if desired), parmesan, and brown sugar, adjusting amounts to taste. Mix completely with a blending stick or mash by hand.

Directions for Pasta Continued:
Grab a small piece of dough and run it through the pasta maker on the widest setting (mine is 7). If it doesn't stay together or the edges don't work, fold the piece in half and run it through again on the highest setting. Then decrease the setting by one and run it through again until it is the desired thickness (somewhere between 1 - lowest and 4 - medium).

Note: Do not allow it to sit for too long before filling with butternut squash or the pasta will dry out and become more difficult to work with.

Lay the strips of pasta on a counter. Apply spoonfuls of filling spaced about 2 inches apart. Cover with another strip of pasta. Remove excess air and lightly push the dough down. Then use a wine glass about 2 1/4" in diameter to cut circle pasta. Pinch the edges together. Place filled raviolis on a plate and freeze for 5 to 10 minutes.

Note: A pizza cutter is very handy for cutting the strips of dough in half.

Bring water to a boil and add raviolis. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until raviolis float to the top and are tender. Serve with alfredo sauce or sage butter sauce (melt 3 tbsp of butter in a pan with 4-8 fresh sage leaves until browned; mix in raviolis and cook for 2-3 minutes in the pan with the sauce).

Any raviolis that will not be eaten that day should be frozen (without touching or they will stick together) on a cookie sheet for 15-20 minutes. Then they can be placed in a freezer-safe bag or container and stored for up to 6 months.

I thoroughly enjoyed making these raviolis and, despite the amount of time they take to make, they are incredible to taste! Enjoy!

*Updated: We made this recipe again later and found my grandmother's old recipe for pasta dough. It was much easier to work with so that is my new recommendation for dough!

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