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Crafty: Butternut squash and sage give traditional pasta an autumnal edge


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While there is nothing particularly difficult about the recipe itself–no fancy French techniques or special equipment–it does require a bit of time. You might feel slightly intimidated by the thought of making your own pasta, but trust me, it’s pretty basic and beginner friendly.

STEP ONE: Make the Pasta Dough   

Start by mounding flour on a clean counter or in wide bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour and place eggs, salt and olive oil into the well. Use a fork to beat the eggs lightly. Gradually add flour to the eggs using your hands or a fork until all the flour is incorporated. Make sure the dough isn’t too stiff or too sticky, and adjust to a smooth consistency by adding water or more flour as needed.

Knead the dough for 10 minutes until it is smooth and stretchy. Divide into four pieces, and wrap the individual dough balls loosely in plastic wrap. Let rest at room temperature for for an hour while you make the filling.

Ingredients:

PASTA DOUGH:

  • 2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil

SQUASH FILLING:

  • One medium butternut squash, halved with seeds removed
  • 5-7 sage leaves
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • Salt to taste

STEP TWO: Prep the Filling

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel squash and then cut into roughly one-inch by one-inch cubes. Place on a baking sheet and put in oven. After 30 minutes, flip the squash over and roast 10-15 more minutes. Then, take squash out of the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Combine squash with sage, parmesan and salt in a food processor and puree until smooth. Set aside. 

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STEP THREE: Roll the Dough

Roll out pasta into very thin, 4-inch wide sheets. You can use a hand-crank pasta maker, an electric pasta roller or roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface. Cut the perimeter of the dough so that it is in the shape of a rectangle. Repeat with another piece of dough.

STEP FOUR: Fill and Seal

With your pasta sheets ready, it’s time to make the ravioli. Using one sheet, make two rows of ½-teaspoon mounds of the squash filling spaced one inch apart. Use your finger to trace water around each piece of filling. Lay your second pasta sheet over top and press down so that the two sheets adhere around the squash mounds. Cut the sheet around each squash mound to make ravioli, being sure that each piece is sealed around the edges. Dust a baking sheet with flour and place ravioli on sheet so that the pieces don’t touch. Use the remaining dough and filling to make another batch of ravioli.

STEP FIVE: Boil and Serve

Cook the ravioli in boiling salted water. Fresh pasta will cook faster than dried, so after three to four minutes, check in as it should be ready (the thinner the pasta dough, the faster it will cook). When pasta is ready, drain. To serve, sprinkle ravioli withtoasted hazelnuts and toss with olive oil that has been heated slightly in a pan with minced garlic. Recipe adapted from Joy of Cooking.  


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