Butternut squash is a cornerstone cold-weather ingredient that makes us forget all about summer.
This recipe for ravioli di zucca wraps the sweet, nutty squash in fresh pasta, douses it in a savory brown-butter-sage sauce, and makes your kitchen smell amazing.
In other words: meet your new favorite comfort dish of the season.
For the Ravioli*:
1 recipe Basic Egg Pasta Dough (click here for the recipe)
1¼ pounds butternut squash (or pumpkin, if desired)
4 ounces amaretti cookies, crumbled
1¼ cups Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
1 tablespoon lemon zest, grated
Salt, to taste
For the Sauce:
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
8 sage leaves
1 cup Grana Padano, grated
Salt, to taste
To prepare the ravioli:
Preheat an oven to 400˚F.
Cut the squash into large slices, remove the seeds and pulp and bake until it is soft, about 30 minutes.
Remove the squash from the oven and let it cool.
Once it is cool, scrape the flesh of the squash off the rind and wrap it in a kitchen towel, place it in a colander and let it drain for 10 minutes.
Combine the amaretti cookies, Parmigiano Reggiano, and lemon zest.
Add the drained squash and a pinch of salt, and stir until the filling is smooth and fully combined.
Roll out the egg pasta dough to form a thin sheet.
On this, arrange small amounts of the filling, about the size of an egg yolk, then fold the sheet over and cut rectangles out of it around the mounds of filling. Be certain to seal the edges of the pasta.
Cook the ravioli in about 6 quarts of well-salted boiling water (think: as salty as the sea) for 2-4 minutes, or until the pasta is al dente.
To make the sauce:
Heat the butter in a medium-sized sauce pan, lay the sage leaves in the pan, and heat until the butter is sizzling gently.
Toast the leaves for about a minute.
Add 1 cup of boiling water to the butter and sage.
Stirring, allow it to simmer for about 2 minutes, reducing the liquid by half.
Keep the sauce hot over very low heat, and return it to a simmer.
Remove the ravioli from the water, and place them directly into the pan with the melted butter and sage.
Adding hot water to loosen the sauce if necessary, toss until a homogeneous sauce is formed.
Cook the pasta for a minute until it is thoroughly coated with sauce, remove the sage leaves, add the grated cheese and serve in warmed bowls.