Pumpkin Ravioli

Monday, February 11th 2008, 3:50 pm
By: News On 6

Amaretti cookies provide a sweet almond flavor, in addition to thickening the filling. It is easy to double this recipe, freezing half of the ravioli for later.
Serves 4 to 6 (makes 24 ravioli)

1 ¼ cups canned pumpkin puree
½ cup ricotta cheese
¼ cup crushed amaretti cookies
1 shallot, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh sage, plus 8 chopped sage leaves for serving
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 large egg
1/3 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese, plus shaved Pecorino Romano for serving
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ recipe Basic Pasta Dough (or 48 square won ton wrappers)
Semolina flour or fine cornmeal, for dusting
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter
Toasted hazelnuts or pumpkin seeds, for serving

1. Place pumpkin, ricotta, amaretti, shallot, sage, nutmeg, egg and grated pecorino in the bowl of a food processor. Puree until smooth. Season well with salt and pepper and chill while preparing the pasta.

2. Following the manufacturer's instructions, roll the pasta dough to the ravioli setting on a pasta machine. Cut the pasta sheets into 48 3- to 4-inch squares. Place half of the pasta squares on a sheet tray dusted with semolina flour and cover with a clean towel. Place remaining pasta squares on a floured work surface and top each with 1 tablespoon of filling. Brush edges with water and top with reserved pasta, pressing to seal in filling. Transfer back to floured baking sheet and cover.

3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop in ravioli and cook until they float, about 4 minutes. Meanwhile, heat butter and 1/3 cup of the pasta cooking water in a large skillet, whisking to emulsify it. Lift ravioli with slotted spoon into butter and add the sage leaves. Toss gently to coat. Divide among serving plates, season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with the shaved cheese and hazelnuts.

Basic Pasta Dough
After rolling fresh dough into sheets, it can be cut into strands, such as tagliatelle or pappardelle, or into shapes to be stuffed with a filling. There may not be anyone in the world that makes fresh pasta as well as Mario Batali does at Babbo in NYC, so why would I try to improve on it - thus, this pasta dough is borrowed from ‘The Babbo Cookbook'. There is no greater Zen-like therapy than making your own dough.
Makes 1 pound

3 ½ - 4 cups all-purpose flour
4 extra-large eggs
½ teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

1. Mound 3 ½ cups of flour in the center of a large cutting board. Make a well in the middle of the flour and add the eggs and olive oil. Using a fork, beat together the eggs and oil, then begin to incorporate the flour, starting with the inner rim of the well. As you expand the well, keep pushing the flour up from the base of the mound to retain the well shape. The dough will come together when half of the flour has been incorporated.

2. Start kneading the dough with the heels of your hands. Once you have a cohesive mass, remove the dough from the board and scrape up and discard any leftover bits. Lightly reflour the board and continue kneading for 6 more minutes. The dough should be elastic and a little sticky. Wrap the dough in plastic and allow to rest for 30 minutes at room temperature before rolling.