The winter is a great time to dust off that pasta machine you may have received as a gift and actually use it! If you have a Kitchenaid mixer, you can also get a pasta attachment for it to roll out your dough. Below are instructions on how to make a simple pasta dough in the food processor.
I then use the dough to make a delicious butternut squash and montrachet cheese ravioli flavored with fried sage. I make the ravioli then freeze them on a parchment lined sheet pan. When frozen, I place them in a zip lock bag. Then just take them out as needed and boil them in the frozen state. Make sure not to overcrowd the pot when cooking the ravioli. If needed, do them in batches.
- one pound of all purpose flour
- (I use a small kitchen scale to weigh out flour)
- 4 eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 to 2 tablespoons cold water, if needed
- 1 small butternut or buttercup squash
- 4 ounces of montrachet goat cheese
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil
- 2 to 3 tablespoons bread crumbs
- salt and white pepper to taste
- additional flour to lightly dust pasta
- water to brush pasta
Brown butter sauce
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 8 fresh sage leaves
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons chopped pecans
- 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- steam spinach
- Shaved Parmesan
- sage leaves
The dough should resemble coarse corn meal but should be wet enough to hold together between your finger tips. If too dry, pulse in a little water until the dough can hold together like this.
Lightly flour your work area. Place the dough on your work area and knead the dough for several minutes until it gets very smooth. Cut the dough into four pieces. Flatten them into disks. Refrigerate for about an hour before putting the dough through the pasta machine.
To put dough thru pasta maker
Take one of the pieces of dough and lightly dust with flour. Have the pasta machine on the widest setting. Push the dough through the pasta machine at the widest level. Take dough and fold it into thirds, like a book.
Place through the pasta machine at the widest level for two or three more times. If the dough gets too long, cut in half.
Place the pasta machine on the next level and put dough through several times. Continue on the next level and put dough through several times.
When making ravioli, I don’t like to get the dough too thin or the filling pushes through. I usually go about 3 settings. If you are making pasta noodles, you can continue to process the dough through additional levels.
Place the finished pasta sheets on a parchment lined pan. You should have 6 to 8 finished sheets. I place parchment on top of the sheets and then place another layer of pasta. Cover loosely with saran wrap and store in the refrigerator until you are ready to finish the ravioli. Can be stored for about 2 hours in refrigerator loosely covered with plastic.
To make the filling
Prepare the squash by cutting it in half and removing the seeds. Have oven preheated to 350 degrees. Line a baking pan with two inch sides with foil. Place the squash, cut side down, on the pan and pour 1 1/2 inches of hot water around the squash. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes or until squash is very tender.
Remove and let cool. Scoop out the squash and place in a bowl. Add the brown sugar, nutmeg, cheese, bread crumbs and salt and white pepper. Stir to combine (Alternately, place mixture in a food processor and process until smooth.)
Make the filling mixture several hours prior to making the pasta and refrigerate until ready to use. Can also be made the day before.
To form the ravioli
Have a baking pan ready lined with parchment paper. You will be placing the finished ravioli on the pan. I freeze them on the pan then place them in freezer bags. You can simply take them out and boil them in their frozen state when you are ready to use them.
Place a scant teaspoon of filling on one side of a pasta sheet. Brush with water.
Carefully fold the pasta over the filling and press between the filling to take out air bubbles. Using a sharp knife or a pastry cutter, cut pasta into squares. Place the pasta squares on the prepared baking sheet.
Continue with remaining dough. If you have left over filling, simply freeze it and use at another time.
Have your sauce ingredients ready so you can make the sauce while pasta is cooking. (If you are doing a large amount of pasta, you may want to cook the pasta in two or three batches so you don’t overcrowd them in the pot).
Place the pasta in the water and cook. The ravioli will only take about 4 to 5 minutes to cook. When they float they are done.
Add the cooked pasta and toss to coat.
To serve, place mounds of steamed spinach in the center of four pasta bowls. Place ravioli around the spinach. Divide the sauce among the bowls.
Garnish with shaved Parmesan cheese and additional sage leaves if desired.