squash and feta stuffed ravioli

I adore fresh pasta, and make it no where near often enough but I recently took a trip to an Italian grocery and came home with about 6 lbs of “Tipo 00” flour (a belly aching total wheat indulgence for our house). This flour is the essential ingredient in pasta making, and although you can make this recipe using spelt or even quinoa flour the results will be no where near as perfect as they are with the “tipo 00”!

There are some tools which although you don’t require, will help make your pasta making dreamy: a stand mixer, a pasta roller (hand crank is best) and a ravioli tray (I got one for the holidays last year and today was the virgin run). Yes you can do this all by hand using muscles, a rolling pin, and a knife and fork, but if you have the gadgets then might as well bust em out! I found my ravioli tray a little challenging to use because it makes mini pastas and I am a certifiable over stuffer so a few minor squash filling explosions aside I yielded some very pretty parcels… about 3 dozen of them in all. Had I had a little more patience this recipe would have yielded a feast and a great amount of ravioli for the freezer too, but as it was  I ended up serving pasta two ways for dinner and settled on making stuffed cannelloni to use the balance of my dough and filling.. these were slathered in cheese and baked in tomato sauce, they were very nice but the raviolis, well they were divine  in a smoky brown butter sage dressing.

Pasta

1 lb tipo 00 flour

6 egg yokes

4 eggs

using a stand mixer or the flour well on the counter technique combine the flour and eggs into a crumbly mixture, not unlike bread crumbs. Then on a large clean floured surface begin to kneed the crumbly dough into a ball, which after some achy kneed-y minutes will become elastics and silky and shiny. Place your dough ball in a tighly sealed plastic bag and allow to sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Don’t rush it or you will get hole-y pasta.

Once your pasta is set cut into handful size sections and run through a hand crank pasta machine to the thinnest setting.

Squash and feta filling

The other night I roasted a whole spaghetti squash with olive oil, S+P and garlic. I served half that night and kept the other half for this recipe. You could use any type of squash, so long as you have 2 cups of it mashed and seasoned and ready for the filling.

In a large bowl combine:

2 cups of roasted squash

1 cup ricotta cheese

1/2 cup of my home-made goat feta cheese (and sadly the last of it)

a handful of fresh finely chopped parsley

S+P

a pinch of both: nutmeg (freshly ground) and dried sage

stuff your pasta either as ravioli or cannelloni using a piping bag for clean lines then bake or boil…

pasta 2 ways:

cannelloni : in a olive oiled pan place cannellonis and smother in a nice tomatoes sauce cover with parm and bake at 400 for about 25 minutes, then add more cheese and some fresh parsley and broil for 4 minutes. For this tomato sauce I used a method my dearest friend in Montreal taught me years ago; in a good amount of olive oil brown slivers of garlic until deep golden, then add 1 tin stewed tomatoes sliced razor thin, simmer, season and toss in pasta.

ravioli: boil the raviolis until they float about 4 minutes in salted rapidly boiling water (in a overly large pot). Mean while in a small cast iron pan make a quick brown butter sauce: equal parts olive oil and butter, S+P, minced garlic, fresh parsley, dried sage, and for a smokey kick I added a tbsp of a locally made caribean hot sauce. Once melted and browning, toss cooked raviolis in butter sauce and serve with fresh grated parm.

YUM… we are all stuffed up and satisfied!

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