During the fall, one of my favorite things to grab while at the grocery store has always been any type of pumpkin or butternut squash ravioli. There is something so comforting about a warm pasta dinner filled with all the fall seasonal flavors and spices. While I do really like the ones you can find in a store, if I have a little extra time it's my favorite thing to make these seasonal raviolis by hand. When we were little, our mom would make these for us at our parent's restaurant and I was always so amused how such a simple filling can have the most delicious flavor. Sometimes it's all about a combination of fresh and healthy ingredients, and these pumpkin ravioli with brown butter sage sauce (necessary, and gives these simple ravs an elegant twist!) prove just that.
Which is truly just flour and egg! I find it easiest to add the flour to a large bowl, make a small well in the center, and crack the eggs in the well. Using a fork, you'll want to gently combine the eggs into the flour. Then it's as easy as using the dough hook of a stand mixer to knead the dough for a few minutes. If it's too dry you can always sprinkle in a little water until everything comes together. I also find it helpful to remove it from the bowl and knead by hand for a few minutes to ensure it's as smooth as possible. We'll let the dough rest for half an hour while we get the filling going.
One of my favorite things about homemade ravioli is I know exactly what's in them, and like I said, sometimes it's the simplest combinations that truly taste the most delicious. This fall filling is as easy as combining pumpkin puree (it is autumn after all!), grated parmesan, thyme, and some salt and pepper in a medium bowl. You can absolutely roast a pumpkin to use for the puree, but sometimes I find it is easier to get your hands on the canned version and as long as the ingredients are just 100% pumpkin, you should be good to go!
In terms of the spices, a lot of pumpkin or squash ravioli recipes contain nutmeg, but I knew I wanted to make sure these guys were as savory as possible, so I opted for some fresh thyme instead. If there's anything that tastes like a New England fall to me, maybe even more than pumpkin pie, it's thyme! The tried and true autumn trifecta (thyme, sage, and rosemary) are something you'll always be able to find in my fridge starting September 1, because in my opinion, they give any recipe that cozy, fall, vibe.
Pop that filling in the fridge and it's time to roll out the dough. I find it easiest to cut the dough into 4 pieces, flatten it with my hand into a small rectangular shape, and thin it out using the pasta maker attachment for a stand mixer. My biggest tip would be to make sure the dough isn't too thin. Starting on the thickest setting, lightly flour the piece of dough and run it through the pasta maker. Turn it to one setting higher, and proceed twice, until you're on the 4th setting. I've found this is a sure-fire way to get that just thick enough dough! I've often read that pasta dough should be thin enough so you could read a newspaper through it, but I find this is often too thin for making a filled pasta, so the 4th setting has worked great for me.
Lay out each rolled out sheet on a floured (very important, nothing more sad than a stuck-to-counter-rav) work surface, and place that pumpkin filling in a pastry bag if you have one. Next, it's as easy as brushing one of the sheets with egg wash, piping or spooning tablespoon sized amounts of filling on that sheet, and laying another sheet of dough gently over. After careflly enclosing each ravioli, you're good to go to grab a pastry wheel to cut the edges of each and make them extra pretty! Place these on a parchment lined baking sheet, repeat with the other two sheets, and then get ready for the best part which will have your kitchen smelling like your favorite fall candle.
So it's definitely common knowledge that brown butter is superior, (to regular butter, and pretty much most other things), but imagine brown butter, infused with some sage leaves, brightened up with some balsamic, and fall-i-fied with some swirled in pumpkin. I'm not sure about you but my mouth is watering! The brown butter is as easy as adding in some sage leaves, swirling the butter in a large skillet until golden flakes form, and setting aside the beautiful and buttery sage leaves.
Next we'll add in a bit of our leftover filling, some chicken broth, a dash of balsamic, and some salt and pepper. Up until the age of probably 20, I had a bit of fear of butter. So strange, I know, but something about the creamy flavor did not sit well with me on its own. When my mom would make us these ravioli she would add in the balsamic, and I was hooked on the acidity and brightness it added to this simple sauce.
Once that seasonal sauce is simmering, you're good to go to pop the ravioli in a large pot of boiling water. Another tip from our mom is that when you're cooking a filled pasta, it's helpful to keep the water at a slow boil which helps ensure the edges of the ravioli don't open up or leak. Once the ravioli are floating, scoop each out of the water using a strainer ladle and place directly into the sauce. Gently toss the ravioli in the sauce until each is coated. Serve these raviolis right away, topped with your reserved sage leaves, and of course, tons of freshly grated parmesan.
Light your favorite fall candle and serve up this seasonal, warm, cozy dinner full of the autumn flavors of pumpkin, thyme, and sage wrapped up in a homemade ravioli.
An easier than expected homemade fall pumpkin ravioli filled pasta in a brown butter sauce with sage- the warmest autumn dinner recipe.
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