Updated: Nov 19, 2020
It's only been a couple of years since I incorporated ravioli into our holiday meal. We've never had a pasta dish like macaroni or anything. (Not that it's necessary, but) I always felt that our Thanksgiving menu could handle a delicious and flavorful Italian dish.
My first introduction of pasta to the holidays was Buitoni Mushroom Agnolotti which, if you haven't tried, is so dang good. Seeing as I have some mushroom-averted family members I switched it up to HemisFares Butternut Squash Ravioli. After two successful attempts over the last year of making pasta from scratch, I decided to see how this recipe would turn out home made.
*Full Disclosure: When cooking a meal as intense as Thanksgiving dinner, I think it is worth your time and effort to purchase a pre-made ravioli because they are delicious. However, if you are hosting a small dinner party, want to make something special for date night, or are only responsible bringing one side dish to for the holidays, this recipe is truly impressive!
This recipe makes about 24-30 ravioli depending on your size. You could probably make more if you're not as wasteful as me!*
For the Pasta Dough
This was my 3rd time making pasta dough from scratch and my first time using 00 flour (a very fine flour) instead of regular all-purpose flour and I didn't notice that big of a difference. So if you only have all-purpose, don't be scared to try it!
I am not the best baker because I don't like to measure anything so I try to keep this dough as simple as possible. For every 3/4 cup of flour, use 1 large egg. For this batch I used 3 eggs and 2 1/4 cups of flour.
Pile your flour onto a very clean kitchen counter and make a well in the center like a volcano. Drizzle a tiny splash of EVOO and a little pinch of salt (I use my Himilayan pink grinder because that's all I have. You can kind of see the flecks of pink it the uncooked dough.) Beat your eggs in a small bowl and then add them to your well.
Using a fork gently mix the eggs while slowly pulling in some of the flour a little bit at a time. It will be liquid until all of a sudden it's not. Once it balls up, scrape any dough off of your fork and begin to work with your hands. You may not need to incorporate every bit of the flour.
Knead your dough for several minutes. I found it easier to divide my dough in half to knead. I have never had super smooth dough like I see on the cooking shows, there always seems to be bumps and cracks, so don't sweat it. As long as your dough is not too wet, it will get perfectly smooth during the rolling process. Wrap your dough in plastic wrap and let it chill in the fridge for an hour before rolling.
I use a KitchenAid Pasta Maker Attachments along with my KitchenAid mixer when making fresh pasta. I cut my ball of dough into manageable size pieces and flatten them with my hands. I run then through the roller at its widest setting (1 for me) three times. For this ravioli recipe, I ran it through each level three times before moving up to the next level. Once I got to level 6, I only ran it through once. If at any point your pasta tears or becomes a wonky shape, you can fold it to the correct shape and run it through at a lower level. Before placing your rolled out pieces down, make sure to thoroughly flour both sides and place plastic wrap in between. Fresh pasta likes to stick to fresh pasta!
For the Filling
You will want to make your filling the day before so that it is completely cool. I found a 10 oz bag of frozen butternut squash and my grocery store and I jumped on it because: 1. cutting open a butternut squash is hard and 2: every one needs a few short cuts on Thanksgiving. Cook this frozen butternut squash in the oven according to the package directions until it is very soft.
In a pan, sauté chopped shallot (3T) and garlic (1T) in some butter (2T) and olive oil (2T.) As soon as your squash comes out of the oven, add it to your pan. It should be soft enough that you can mash it up with a spatula or a potato masher. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Remove your pan from the heat and add 1/2 cup to 1 cup of parmesan cheese depending on your preference. You may also choose to add a splash of heavy cream to make your mixture very smooth and creamy.
Let this cool down and then refrigerate before adding to your fresh pasta dough.
For the Sauce
Add 1 stick of salted butter to a light-colored pan over low-medium heat. Once it's melted, you can add in your whole sage leaves. Let your butter cook for several minutes until it starts to turn brown. Stir it regularly so this brown bits don't stick to the bottom and burn.
Lay out one sheet of your rolled pasta dough.
Drop 1 small spoonful of your filling on the dough leaving at least 2 inches in between.
Dip your finger in some water and wet the dough around the filling.
Lay your next sheet of pasta over top and press down to seal it to the wet dough beneath.
Use a ravioli or cookie cutter to cut out your ravioli and place on a floured baking sheet.
Once all of your ravioli are made, drop them in a pot of salted boiling water. They will only need to cook for a couple of minutes. When they all float to the top, you can transfer them directly into your browned butter and toss!
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If you try this ravioli recipe this year, make sure you tag me on IG @carlyrhill so that I can see your masterpiece! Click the links below to see some more of my Thanksgiving Recipe Series!