Autumn is the perfect season to start making seasonal homemade dishes, but between all the pie and cake recipes out there, it can be way too easy to overload on sweets. So, how about something savory? Making your own pasta dough can seem overwhelming, but it’s a great skill to have and much healthier than anything frozen and preserved that you can find in a store. Homemade pasta is also a nice touch for a date night as it is something that you can make together with your significant other.
Making your own fresh pasta dough:
First off, you will need to make your own pasta dough. For this, you will need two and a half cups of flour and 3 whole eggs. Make your flour into a little “mountain” and then indent in the middle until you have a little “well.” Scoop the flour into the egg well and keep adding flour gradually until well incorporated.
Once the flour and the egg are incorporated and start to feel more cohesive, fashion this mass into a ball shape with your palms. Once you have a solid ball, you can start to knead your dough. Add flour to your workstation to avoid sticking and continue until the dough is smooth with no lumps. Divide your dough into two even sections and knead again if necessary until flat.
At this point you would feed the dough into a pasta machine and crank it in order to flatten it further and make it as thin as possible, which might take 2-4 turns in the machine. If you don’t have a pasta machine you could just thin out the dough using a rolling pin repeatedly, but a pasta machine really is hassle-free.
Making your butternut squash filling:
Now that you’ve made your pasta dough, it’s time to make your filling. Ravioli can be filled with anything, of course, but let’s take advantage of the wonderful seasonal vegetables available to us and make a delicious butternut squash filling. Compared to making your own pasta dough, making the ravioli filling is the easiest part! Just find the ripest squash you can find and split into halves. On a very lightly oiled baking sheet, place the squash flat and roast in the oven at 375 degrees for 40 minutes. You can season the squash to your taste before cooking, using a variety of flavorful herbs.
Making the actual ravioli:
Once your butternut squash is ready you can start to fill in your pasta. There is a special tray to make ravioli, but I prefer making them individually. In any case, using the tray method, you lay one pasta sheet flat across one plate and add filling. Then you gently roll another pasta sheet on top and press the top tray onto it in order to imprint the square, crimped shape. When making ravioli by hand, you would cut the desired shape using a cookie cutter, fill with either a spoon or pipe with a pastry bag, and then seal both pasta edges. Cook in boiling water for no longer than 4-8 minutes.
You can top off your ravioli with a brown butter sauce or even a creamy Alfredo sauce if that’s what suits you. And there you have it! A beautifully fragrant and seasonal dish that is wholesome and delicious, and a great alternative for those who want to enjoy the flavors of the season while still maintaining a healthy lifestyle.