I typically make every attempt to mainline simplicity when it comes to meals. I challenge myself to find create the simplest recipes with maximum pay out. However, occasionally I love a more complex recipe (read: enjoying the fruits of my labor, in ravioli form) and this dish is perfect for that. Making pasta is such an underrated process, making boxed pasta eternally second fiddle when it comes to flavor and texture. I know the thought of homemade pasta sounds intensive but it’s fun, more simple than it sounds, and requires minimal ingredients (all of which you probably already have!).
If you don’t have the time, I promise I won’t shame you for buying pre-made ravioli and just making the sauce (its not as good but will definitely suffice for an easy weeknight meal!). Also the simple brown butter sage sauce will hands-down elevate store bought ravioli in minutes.
This post will walk you through ravioli 3 ways. The first way is making everything, dough and all. The second way is to make the filling but to skip the pasta process and use wanton wrappers instead (follow step 1 in the instructions, then skip to step 6). Way 3 is a major time saver. For that one you can buy store-bought ravioli (yes I said it) and just make the brown butter sage sauce (skip to step 9 in the instructions)
Fresh Pasta v. Dried Pasta
Fresh pasta versus dry pasta, whats the difference? The pasta used in this recipe is ‘fresh’ pasta. This name is given due to this pasta being made with eggs, which are not typically shelf stable. Fresh pasta is also typically cooked immediately after it is made, unless frozen.
Dry pasta on the other hand, like the kind we typically buy at the store, is made with flour and water instead of flour and eggs. This lends to the pasta becoming shelf stable once dried, giving us this affordable weekly staple we all know and love. If you have never made fresh pasta I encourage you do to so! Definitely no shame in store-bought or dried pasta (don’t hear me say that, its a staple for me) but if you’re interested in the flavor and texture differences, give it a try (we all need more pasta !).
I also encourage you all to remember that food does not have moral value and should not be categorized as ‘good’ and ‘bad.’ Diet culture has done so much to make us believe that carbs are the problem. Carbs are our bodies first source of energy and so important for our day to day functioning (more on that here). Don’t let the diet culture demonization of carbohydrates steer you away from enjoying in this age old crowd pleaser! Brenna O’Malley, registered dietitian and founder of The Wellful, has a great post on diet culture and how to play your part in silencing the diet culture noise (definitelyyy worth the read !).
The ingredients for this butternut squash and sage ravioli are simple. This dish is composed of seven ingredients, most of which are pantry staples. Three ingredients are for the pasta, three for the filling and one for the sauce. The flavor combination in this dish is truly unrivaled. The garlic, sage and ricotta combined with the butternut squash in the filling are an award winning combo. Not to mention the butternut squash is in it’s peak season (see my previous post to learn more) leading to next level flavor !!
The dish is finished off by a mouthwatering brown butter sage sauce. Brown butter is simply butter slowly cooked in a skillet while being constantly stirred. The result is a nutty flavor that is tantalizing. Sally’s Baking Addiction has a great post on how to make the perfect brown butter you can find here.
The (Ravioli) Process : 3 Ways
I promised ravioli 3 ways and here they are.
Way #1 is making everything, dough and all.
Way #2 is to skip the pasta and make the filling. In lieu of making the pasta, you’ll use wanton wrappers for the pasta portion. (follow step 1 in the instructions, then skip to step 6)
Lastly, way #3 you can buy store-bought ravioli (yes I said it) and just make the brown butter sage sauce (pick up at step 9 in the instructions)
Way #1: While this whole process can be time intensive, it is more simple than it sounds and so worth it. I made mine in shifts when I had the time and it made the composing process seamless. The most important part is to get the butternut squash cooking (doing this the day before can help expedite the process). It takes about an hour in the oven so this needs to be done first.
Next the ravioli dough will be prepped as it needs to chill for 30 minutes. While that is chilling, the filling will be made. Note this is sans butternut squash because it still in the oven at this point. Next, the dough will be rolled out and cut into individual raviolis (*Way #2 pick up here with your wonton wrappers). Once the filling is completed the ravioli process will commence! After they are composed, they need to be briefly boiled.
(*Way #3 now’s your time) While you are waiting on the water to boil, that’s when the brown butter sage sauce is made. Lastly, finish off the cooked ravioli with the brown butter sage sauce.
I found that my dough made enough for 2 people but I had left over filling. So double the dough if you’re cooking for more than 2! You now have yourself a dish portraying the best that fall has to offer. Enjoy this butternut squash and sage ravioli!
Butternut Squash and Sage Ravioli
- 1 butternut squash
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 5 eggs
- 3/4 cup ricotta cheese
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 bunch fresh sage
- 1/2 stick butter
- wonton wrappers. It will take double the amount of raviolis you want to make (each ravioli takes 2 wonton wrappers)
- First, preheat the oven to 375. Slice the butternut squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Then fill a glass baking dish with 1/2 an inch of water to prevent the dish from burning. Then place the squash flesh side down in the water and pop in the oven for 1 hour.
- For the ravioli dough, combine the flour and salt and dump them out on a clean surface. Make a well in the middle of the flour and crack 4 of the eggs into the well. Slowly combine the eggs and flour, kneading as you go and adding flour as necessary, to form the dough. Once the dough is in a ball, wrap it in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- While the dough is chilling, make the filling. Combine the ricotta, garlic and parmesan in the food processor. Pulse until combined, move to a bowl and set aside. Next chop some of the sage (about 1-2 tbsp once minced) and combine with the ricotta mixture.
- Once the dough has been chilling for 30 minutes, remove it from the fridge and cut it into two equal parts. Place on a floured surface and roll each half into a thin sheet. This is where a pasta maker comes in handy, but if you're like me and don't have one, a rolling pin will suffice! Just make sure you get it as thin as possible.
- Once each sheet is rolled out, cut out the individual ravioli pieces of comparable size. A biscuit cutter will work as will just cutting the dough into squares.
- At this point, the butternut squash should be done. Remove from the oven and scoop out the flesh. Add the 1 cup of the cooked butternut squash to the ricotta mixture and mix until combined.
- Take half of your ravioli cut-outs and place 1/2 tbsp or so of filling in the middle of each cut-out. Then, crack an egg and whisk with one tbsp of water to create an egg wash. Use this to go around the outside of the ravioli cut-outs, essentially outlining the filling (this will act as your ravioli glue)
- Then, place a second cut out on top of the one with filling and press the edges together. Complete for all the cut-outs.
- Once your ravioli are complete, add a pot of salted water to the stove. While the water is boiling, add the butter and remaining sage to a skillet. Brown the butter (5-8 minutes constantly stirring). As soon as it turns golden brown, remove from heat and transfer to a bowl. This will be the sauce for the ravioli.
- Once the water is boiling, add the ravioli for about 10 minutes or until they rise to the surface. Remove from the water and place in a serving dish. Add the brown butter and sage over top and enjoy!