October 14, 2010

Pumpkin Ravioli

We've been thinking about Thanksgiving a lot recently. After all, it's a holiday with very little pretense of being about anything other than food. Michael's parents and brother and my dad will be coming here for the big feast (it was our idea, but fortunately, it wasn't very hard to convince them). Our plan is to experiment with fall flavors but not feel tied to the standard traditions of turkey/stuffing/sweet potato, etc. We were intrigued by a recipe for pumpkin gnocchi at Delicious Days, but then Michael's parents told us about some delicious pumpkin ravioli they get at a Whole Foods in Connecticut, and we just got a new ravioli maker, so we had to test out a pumpkin ravioli recipe.

The ravioli was not entirely a success, but that's mostly because of the ravioli maker itself. The dough stuck to the metal piece that's meant to cut the noodles apart, and it did not cut them, either, so pulling them out by hand resulted in a pretty big mess. We ended up making the rest by hand, which worked far better. Note that it was a Smitten Kitchen post that had inspired us to buy the ravioli maker in the first place, and that we (okay, I) are apparently not very good readers. I just saw the beautiful pictures and wanted to make ravioli with my very own ravioli maker, but did not read the entire post where she talks about the same exact problem that we had. Oops.

The good news is that the pumpkin filling was excellent. This was the first time that we had cooked with a real live pumpkin, and though it was labor intensive, we think that the work was worth it. It was savory and sweet and rich and creamy without being overwhelming, and made our whole kitchen smell like fall. We had plenty of leftover pumpkin that would be well suited to other applications - we're planning to make a risotto with the pumpkin stirred in to coat the rice, then add some sauteed chard. You could also do a lasagna with béchamel, or just serve the pumpkin itself as a side - a more flavorful mashed potato! We served the ravioli with a brown butter sage sauce, which was a perfect complement to the dish.

Pumpkin Mash (makes enough for ravioli for three, plus extra)

- 1 medium sized sugar pie pumpkin
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 1/2 cup stock, plus more if necessary
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1 tbsp turbinado, demarara, or dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

First you need to butcher the pumpkin. Slice it into eighths and remove the skin with a paring knife. Scrape out the seeds and stringy interior, and chop the flesh into half inch cubes. Heat some butter in a medium skillet over medium heat, then add the shallots and let cook until fragrant. Add the cubed pumpkin and all other ingredients, and mix well. Let simmer, stirring occasionally, until the pumpkin is very soft (about 30 minutes). Add additional stock if it starts looking too dry. Gently mash pumpkin with the back of a spoon, and let cook for another 15 minutes. If you want a finer purée, put it in the food processor.

Ravioli (for three servings)

If you don't have a pasta maker, you can buy pre-made wonton wrappers.

- 1 cup of flour
- 2 eggs

Make a mound of flour on a working surface. Make a well in the middle of the flour and put the eggs into the well. Use a fork to gently incorporate the eggs into the flour. Knead with your hands for a minute or two, adding additional flour until you have a slightly sticky dough.

Make balls about two inches in diameter, and put them through the pasta maker to make sheets as thin as you can (we use setting 6 on ours). Lay a sheet of pasta flat on your working surface, and place tablespoons of pumpkin filling about two inches apart. Lay another sheet on top and with your fingers, carefully press down between the ravioli. Use a pastry cutter or sharp knife to cut the ravioli apart. Cook in boiling water for 2 - 3 minutes.

Sage Brown Butter (for three servings)

- 2 tbsp butter
- 4 sage leaves, chopped

Melt the butter over medium heat and add the sage leaves. Cook, stirring frequently, until the butter has turned slightly brown (you will smell a nutty smell and see that the butter has separated and that the bits of fat have turned brown). When finished, toss with the cooked ravioli and some freshly grated parmesan cheese.


  1. Yum!! Dan made pumpkin ravioli the other night with a mushroom cream/walnut sauce - it was delish!!! He just made pumpkin chocolate chip cookies with the leftovers - the house smells like fall AND chocolate!!! Yum. How did i miss that you guys had a food blog????

  2. Hojo those cookies sound amazing! How did you make your ravioli - do you have a ravioli maker, or did you do it by hand?