Waking up to the sound of raindrops on the roof and a cool breeze through our bedroom window, I knew that this break from the scorching summer days would call for two things… TV and comfort food. Now, days later, when the rain has not given up, we are hoping that it will stop before we have a repeat of last year.
Rainy days are perfect for baking or any other cooking project that takes longer than usual dinnertime preparation, so I decided it would be a good chance to use my new pasta maker and ravioli cutters and invited some friends around for dinner.
While flipping through an old italian cookbook, I found a perfect recipe for pumpkin ravioli with sage butter sauce, but altered it a little to add goat cheese to the filling. The pumpkin and goat cheese combo works perfectly within these soft pillows of fresh pasta, and the simplicity of the browned butter and sage allows the flavour of the goat cheese to shine through.
Picking a big bunch of sage from my herb garden is so satisfying, as it isn’t a herb I use too regularly, but just love it in combination with pumpkin.
Pasta dough (make in advance as it requires minimum 30 min rest):
300g ’00’ flour
3 large free-range eggs
1/2 teaspoon of salt
- Sift the flour into a large bowl (or onto a clean countertop) and add salt
- Make a well in the centre of the flour and crack eggs into it
- Mix well with your hands or a mixer with dough hook
- When the dough comes together, knead for approx 5 min or until smooth, adding flour or a tiny amount of water as required to get the dough to the right consistency
- Wrap in cling film and allow to rest for a minimum of 30 min
- In the meantime make the filling (as per instructions following)
- Cut your dough into 4 equal pieces
- Keeping the remainder tightly wrapped, take one piece and put it through your pasta machine, starting at the widest setting and continuing onto the narrowest (or you can use a rolling pin but it won’t get as thin or consistent)
- Cut shapes with ravioli cutters (or a ravioli wheel or knife, making sure the shapes are consistent
My pasta making skills still aren’t perfect, but I love the process of creating something from practically nothing. It is amazing to see the pasta come together after starting with flour, eggs and salt.
Ravioli cutters make the whole process easier, making sure the two pieces match up and giving a guideline of how much filling to put in. I still find that my pasta becomes sticky after being filled, meaning that I get holes in my ravioli and lose the best part in the cooking water, but I imagine with practice it will get easier and easier.
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees C
- Cut pumpkin into quarters or large chunks
- Bake until tender (about 30-40 min)
- Remove from oven, allow to cool and mash pumpkin flesh, seasoning with salt, pepper and nutmeg
- Add a teaspoon full of pumpkin and a dollop of goat cheese to the top of each side of ravioli
- Use a mixture of flour and water as ‘glue’ and run it around the edges using your finger
- Put the top on the ravioli and press edges together to seal
- Cook in boiling water for approx 2 min (fresh pasta is much faster to cook than pre-made)
- Meanwhile, add butter and torn up sage leaves to a pan over low-medium heat. Allow to brown but watch closely to ensure it doesn’t burn.
- Drain cooked pasta and top with sage butter sauce
Serve with a rocket, feta and pear salad, drizzled with balsamic glaze, to add a fresh and crispy texture to contrast the rich and soft pasta.
Photos from: my camera