Pumpkin ravioli is one of the most delicious things ever and worth the effort. It is a labour of love but the flavours are sublime. The pumpkin is slightly sweet and combines so well with the delicious flavours from the nutmeg and sage. It’s a great starter to a dinner party or as a main meal with a salad and a glass of wine and perfect for a dinner date.
200g of OO flour (you can get this in some supermarkets now)
1/2 teaspoon of salt
extra flour for kneading
a little water if it’s too dry
hand cranked pasta machine
pasta wheel cutter
1 small pumpkin
nutmeg, half a teaspoon or to taste
1/3 cup of ricotta (optional if dairy free)
3 tablespoons of finely pulverised bread crumbs
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup of butter
1 tablespoon of olive oil
8 fresh sage leaves
Parmesan to serve
First start the stuffing off by stabbing the pumpkin a few times and roasting it in the oven on a baking sheet at 200c for about 3/4 of an hour.
Leave to cool, then cut in half and scoop out the seeds and peel off the outer skin and discard. Place the pumpkin flesh in a blender and purée. As you need the filling to be as dry as possible you then need to strain the purée through muslin over night in the fridge, discarding all the liquid.
Mix all the stuffing ingredients together and set aside.
Next make the pasta dough by mixing the dough ingredients together, there are lots of YouTube videos on how to do this. It needs to be kneaded till it’s silky smooth, you can start it off in a food processor then tip it out onto a work surface to knead it. Now start to make sheets of pasta by gradually getting the dough thinner and thinner on the machine, which has settings to do this until the pasta sheets are on it’s finest setting. They should be almost thin as paper.
Lay the sheets on a floured work surface and using a spoon or piping bag with a large plain nozzle (there are YouTube videos for this too), moisten the sheets lightly with a little water and a pastry brush then place about a teaspoon of the mixture in evenly spaced rows one above the other in twos with a space big enough around them to have an even edge around the filled ravioli. Press the top sheet down around the pillow of filling and make sure there’s no air bubbles left otherwise the ravioli can burst when you cook them. With the pasta wheel, press firmly down and score in lines up and down to separate the ravioli, gently pull them apart and leave to dry till on a clean tea towel till you are ready to cook them. If you want to freeze them they keep for up to a month in the freezer.
To cook, simply bring a very large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the ravioli for about five minutes till they float then scoop them out with a slotted spoon and place them on a serving dish, making sure they are well drained and dry.
In a little pan heat the butter and olive oil with the sage leaves and let the sauce turn slightly brown then tip over the ravioli. Serve with lots of fresh Parmesan.