Monday, March 10, 2014

Meatless: Pumpkin Ravioli

This recipe might seem a little exotic and intimidating if you've never made fresh pasta before, but a long rest and extra yolks make it relatively easy to roll out, even without a pasta machine. Pumpkin-filled pasta is a specialty of the Emilia-Romagna region of northern Italy, and, more importantly for me, seems to be a great hit with picky eaters!
So easy, a child could do it! (sort of.)


  • 2 c flour
  • 3 eggs (or 2 eggs and 2 yolks, if rollling by hand)
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 T olive oil


  • 1 c pumpkin puree
  • 1 c grated Parmesan (grated very finely on a Microplane; use less if it is more coarsely grated)
  • 1 egg
  • ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • ¼–½ c bread crumbs
  • salt to taste


  • 4 T butter
  • 1 small shallot, finely minced
  • 2 tsp. fresh sage
Place flour on countertop, create a large well in the middle. Add the other ingredients to the well and beat with a fork, slowly incorporating flour. Knead until smooth and well-combined, and shape into a log. Wrap in plastic wrap and let rest on counter, 15 minutes if rolling by machine, and 1–4 hours if rolling by hand.

For filling, combine pumpkin, cheese, egg, and nutmeg. Add bread crumbs a couple tablespoons at a time, until mixture is thick enough to stand in coherent spoonfuls.

To shape pasta, divide into six pieces and roll out, on an unfloured surface, one at a time to approximately 6"x18", and see-through, about 1/32" thick. (If rolling by hand, alternate rolling and stretching for best results.) Place four or five scant-tablespoon portions along one side of the sheet, a couple of inches apart, and trace around each with a fingertip dipped in water. Fold the sheet in half, cut in between the scoops of filling, and press edges around each to seal.

To make sauce, melt butter over medium heat in a shallow pan or skillet, until it just begins to brown (it's easiest to see this in a light colored pan. Add shallot and cook until softened (butter will continue to brown). Remove from heat, add sage and set aside while pasta cooks.

Cook pasta four or six at a time in boiling salted water for about 5 minutes. Toss with sauce and serve immediately with plenty of extra Parmesan. 

Notes: I ended up with 24 ravioli, with about 1/3 of the filling left over. I think if I were using a pasta machine, I would have been able to get the pasta rolled thinner, and probably used all the filling on 36 ravioli. 

To freeze, place uncooked ravioli on a baking rack for half an hour or so, until surface is slightly dry. Freeze with parchment or wax paper between layers.

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