Pasta falls under that category of things that are incredibly easy (and cheap) to buy, but the satisfaction of making your own is unparalleled. See my thoughts on this here. For a few years now, I’ve loved making my own pasta – it truly tastes better than store bought and when you know that the flavours are a direct result of your own hard work, nothing can compare. I don’t make it every time of course, but on a special occasion, or when the urge to whip out the pasta machine is upon me. Which obviously happened this week. Pasta making is also very fancy. Tell your friends you make your own and the assumption is you are a masterchef, no matter how misshapen they turn out.
I find the process very therapeutic – the kneading and rolling and filling and patting. Very relaxing work in the kitchen. I’ve attempted spaghetti and fettuccini, but my favourite pastas to make (and eat) are those that have fillings – ravioli, tortellini, agnolotti and the like. I seem to opt for more vegetarian fillings than meats, but I’ve dabbled in meat-based fillings and both are divine.
This mushroom ravioli is one of my new favourites – mostly because I love the combination of mushrooms and pasta together. A rich filling of mushroom and ricotta works well with the creamy pumpkin sauce, crispy sage leaves and crunchy, buttery pine nuts. Who could resist! While this recipe is much longer than the recipes I usually post – don’t be disheartened. The hard work is all worth it the moment you and your friends/family take their first bite of your dish.
Don’t be put off if your ravioli don’t turn out the way you’d plan. Mine are still misshapen – with weird folds and ridges. But that is the beauty of homemade. Or ‘rustic’ if you will. Rustic food is the best food, and honestly, you’ll get better the more you practice. I clearly need a bit more practice – but I’m okay with that. It just means more pasta dishes for me 🙂
Mushroom Ravioli with Creamy Pumpkin
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 brown onion , finely diced
- 350 g mushrooms , finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic , minced
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 200 g ricotta
- 1/2 cup parmesan
- 400 g Tipo '00' flour
- 4 large eggs
- 750 g butternut pumpkin , cubed
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup cream
- Salt to taste
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Sage leaves
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- Black pepper
Add olive oil to a fry pan and sauté onions, mushroom and thyme over a medium heat. When onions are translucent, add garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cook mushroom mix until soft.
In a bowl, combine ricotta, parmesan and mushroom mix. Stir to combine and set aside to cool completely.
Place flour on a bench top and create a well in the middle. Crack eggs into the well and swirl flour into the eggs using a fork or your fingers bit by bit until everything is combined.
Knead the dough until smooth and stretchy. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. After cooling, divide dough into 4 portions ready to be rolled out.
Take each lump of dough and roll out on the widest setting of your pasta machine six times - folding the pasta in half between each roll. This works the pasta to make it soft and silky. Make sure you flour your surface and the dough between each rough. Next roll out your pasta going through each setting from the widest to the narrowest. For ravioli, you will need to roll it to the thinnest setting. You should have a nice long, rectangular sheet of pasta.
Scoop half a tablespoon of cooled filling about two centimetres apart on one side of the pasta dough. Fold dough over to cover the blobs of filling. Using the sides of your thumbs, seal each ravioli, pressing down the pasta dough and pushing out any air from around each mound of filling. Now either use a ravioli cutter, or a pasta roller, or just a knife to cut out each ravioli and place on to a tray lined with baking paper. Repeat these steps with each ball of dough.
Preheat oven to 180ºC. Place pumpkin cubes on a tray lined with baking paper and drizzle with olive oil. Roast for 30 minutes until soft.
Place pumpkin into a high-powered blender or food processor with cream and salt and blitz to a silky creamy sauce. If too thick, add 1-2 tablespoons of hot water and re-blend until you reach an appropriate consistency.
In a small fry pan, heat olive oil and fry sage leaves till crispy. Clean pan and use to toast pine nuts until golden and fragrant.
Cook ravioli in hot, salted boiling water. Ravioli will cook very quickly - remove them from the water the moment they float and divide among four plates. Top with dollops of the creamy pumpkin. Sprinkle with toasted pine nuts and sage leaves and some freshly cracked black pepper. Enjoy with a glass of white wine!
Let me see all of your food creations and delicious snaps by using the hashtag #eatnik on your photos!4