Chef’s Corner: Butternut Squash – Brown Butter Ravioli

dude ranch comfort food

When you’re playing like a dog outside on a cold and blustery day, a recipe like this just warms you up, especially if you’re sitting at a table next to a crackling fire.  Enjoy!

4 cups “00” flour (Caputo is a good brand you can order on
8 egg yolks
2 eggs
1 large butternut squash, halved and seeded
2 Tblsp. olive oil
2 Tblsp. Mascarpone cheese
2 ounces brown butter
Heavy cream to desired consistency
Salt and pepper to taste
The Rest:
1 shallot, sliced into rings and roasted
8 fried sage leaves

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a kitchen aid mixer with paddle attachment, combine the flour and the eggs until well combined. You want the dough to be stiff so that it doesn’t stick when rolling out. You do want it to come together as a smooth ball of dough though. Add more egg if you need to get it to this stage, but the dough should not be wet. Err on the side of too dry.
2. Wrap the dough well and let it rest at least 30 minutes before rolling out.
3. Meanwhile, place the butternut squash halves on a sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and roast in the oven until the flesh is soft. Allow to cool slightly and peel while warm. Reserve some roasted squash for dicing and finishing the dish.
4. In the hopper of a blender or food processor, add the roasted squash, mascarpone cheese and brown butter and blend. The mixture will be dry and tough to move in the blender, add enough cream to get the mixture to move and puree until the right consistency is reached, similar to freshly whipped cream, but more dense. Season the puree with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate the puree until cool.
5. Set up your pasta machine (or you can roll by hand for a more rustic version) and begin rolling the pasta on setting 10. Continue to move down in settings while rolling the dough through until you reach setting 2.
6. Measure 13 inch pieces and cut, dust with flour to prevent sticking to each other and layer in a container until ready to use the pasta.
7. Lay the “top half” of the pasta over the ravioli mold and create the space for the ravioli filling. Fill the space you have just created with the pasta filling, spritz the dough with water so that the pasta will seal and fold the other half of dough up and over. Roll over the ravioli mold to cut out the individual ravioli and layer on a bed of semolina flour or cornmeal to keep from sticking.
8. When ready to cook the pasta, have a pot of salted water boiling on the stove, add the pasta for about a minute until cooked. Fresh pasta does not take as long to cook as dry pasta.
9. To finish the dish, warm the remaining ounce of brown butter in a sauté pan, toss with the remaining squash and the shallot. drain the ravioli into the sauté pan while adding a splash of the pasta water, the starch in the water will help to thicken the pan sauce. Toss all until coated with pan sauce, divide between 4 plates and garnish with fried sage. (Fried sage may seem unnecessary for the dish, but it does add a layer of texture, fragrance and taste to the dish).

Makes 24 ravioli