Pumpkin Ravioli with Sage Browned Butter and Amoretti

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pumpkin raviI am continuing my campaign against everything “Pumpkin Spiced.”  My strategy is to provide actual pumpkin foods, which I adore.

If you read the last post, you are now ready to graduate from homemade noodles to homemade stuffed pasta.   Congratulations!

The first time I heard of these raviolis, they sounded kinda gross to me. I grew up knowing pumpkin only in pie, and the idea of a savory application was super-weird. But I was raised right, so I kept my opinions to myself, and I tried them. This was the beginning of a beautiful friendship between me and the squash family.

The sweet creamy texture of roasted squash is so perfectly paired with browned butter and sage – the two flavors melt together in my mouth like … like butter. To top it off, these ravioli are finished with a crumbling of an amoretti cookie or almond biscotti, a stroke of genius that I can only attribute to a culinary savant. Whoever you are, I am not worthy. Make this filling first, and let it cool while you make the fresh pasta recipe from last week. Invite all your friends over for a autumnal feast, then make them do the dishes.
Happy Fall!

INGREDIENTS

1 pound pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled and cut into 2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 bay leaves, crushed
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 eggs
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1 recipe pasta dough
4 ounces (1 stick unsalted butter)
3-4 leaves fresh sage

3-4 amoretti cookies or almond biscotti, crushed

1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 450˚F. Toss cubed squash with olive oil, bay, and thyme, and spread onto a baking sheet in a single layer. Roast until golden brown and tender, about 30 minutes. Stir squash occasionally for even browning. Cool completely.
  2. Transfer cooled squash to a food processor, and blend. Add eggs, cream, salt and pepper, and process to a smooth puree. Set aside.
  3. Roll out 2 sheets of pasta dough to the thinnest setting of your pasta machine. Brush one sheet with water, and use a teaspoon to place equal mounds of puree, about 2 inches apart, down the length of the sheet. Lay the second sheet of pasta directly on top of the first, and press around the mounds of pumpkin to seal the dough. Us a cookie cutter, pastry wheel, or knife to cut out the ravioli, and set them aside on a baking sheet dusted lightly with semolina. (Do not overlap moist, fresh ravioli). Repeat with remaining dough. Scraps of dough can also be easily re-rolled.
  4. In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat melt butter with sage. Let butter foam,  then let the solids sink to the bottom and brown before removing the pan from the heat. Set aside.
  5. Bring a huge pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Add raviolis carefully. The raviolis will sink to the bottom, and slowly make their way back to the surface. When they come back up,  in about 3-4 minutes, they are done. Drain them well. Return the brown butter pan briefly to the heat to re-warm, then add drained ravioli. Toss to coat, then serve with a sprinkling of crushed amoretti, and a dust of Parmesan.

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