Sunday, October 19, 2008

Make the Pasta: Pumpkin Ravioli!

Our poll determined that pumpkin ravioli with brown butter and sage to be the dish we should make with our triple treat pumpkin. And so we did but not without learning a few things along the way!

First, we decided to use the Mario Batali recipe for Pumpkin Lune with sage and brown butter. It's posted on the Martha Stewart website here and it has a video of Martha and Mario making the pasta. Actually that's where we heard Mario suggest that we make maltagliati pasta with the scraps.

So, we gathered things in place and prepared to make the dough and filling.

Our favorite fresh egg pasta is a recipe from Cook's Illustrated. They don't share their recipes online so I don't have a link. We have their Italian cookbook and the recipe uses the food processor, which makes it so easy.

We used Full Belly Farm eggs in the dough and the dough was a beautiful yellow color from the rich egg yolks.

We cut the pumpkin and roasted it as Mario and Martha suggested. However, I was suspicious that it would take longer than 35 minutes. And it did. A lot longer and I think it could have gone longer. Also, we didn't get as much flesh from it once it was roasted which affected the seasoning proportions.

So, when I added the balsamic vinegar and nutmeg, I cut the amounts by half. It was still a bit too much though.We recommend adding the balsamic vinegar a little bit at the time.

My nonnie (that's how we said and spelled it although I know it isn't proper Italian grammer) had this pasta machine from Italy. I inherited it and it is in pristine condition because she never used it. She rolled everything by hand and in fact, we have her 28 ravioli rolling pin hanging on the wall. Since we don't have years of experience, we used the machine.

We forgot how a little dough goes a long way but it was pretty funny.

The amount of filling is critical. We accidentally put too much in some ravioli and they wouldn't seal properly. The seal is so important and it was harder than it looked.

We tried using two different cutters- one that has more of a sealer and cutter and makes larger ravioli (see above photo) from the Pampered Chef and one that makes smaller ravioli but doesn't have the separated sealer and cutter edges.

We realized that if the dough was too thin, the larger ravioli would tear- also too much filling weighed down the dough. We then adjusted the machine and made a slightly thicker pasta.

We boiled the pasta which was the easiest part. We didn't have any ravioli burst!

The sage and brown butter was delicious! The sage gets crispy and quite lovely. This was so easy to make that I am going to do it much more frequently. We grow sage in our yard so it was fresh and fragrant.

We finally plated our freshly made pasta with plenty of brown butter and sage and parmigiano reggiano. It was very good even at 1 AM when we finally finished it. When we make it again, we will be using less balsamic vinegar and perhaps using butternut squash instead of pumpkin.