STEPS: 9 INGREDIENTS: 9 TIME: 1.5 HRS
This butternut squash ravioli recipe takes a delightful fresh pasta dish with a super-sweet aftertaste and a hint of sage, and makes it so simple that any beginner can manage it.
The ‘standard’ version of this recipe involves lots of multitasking – because you make the sauce and ravioli filling at the same time, in separate pans but using exactly the same ingredients… huh?
However I’ve fully reworked this butternut squash ravioli recipe to bring you the newbie-proof, step-by-step version you see here. So now it only involves:
• Making and rolling out the fresh pasta
• Preparing the butternut filling and stuffing the ravioli
• Cooking up the sauce, boiling the pasta, mixing it and serving!
Important tip: What this ‘training’ approach means is that this particular butternut squash ravioli recipe does take a fair while to make, so only attack it when you have time and patience to spare (i.e. during a lazy weekend rather than immediately after a stressful day at work!).
The great news is that the knowledge you gain from making this dish once will allow you to speed it up significantly next time around (because you’ll have the know-how to make the sauce and filling at the same time).
(If you don’t have the time to make fresh pasta, just follow the ‘sauce making’ steps below and serve this butternut squash ravioli recipe’s day-glo orange sauce with your favourite short pasta.)
Ingredients: (For a printable PDF shopping list of this butternut squash ravioli recipe, click here, or right-click this link and choose ‘Save target/link as’ to save the list for later.)
1kg/35oz butternut squash (if the squash is larger, don’t worry)
Half a bag of general purpose/plain/type zero flour (for the pasta)
4 eggs (for the pasta)
20 fresh sage leaves
2 cloves of garlic
Extra virgin olive oil
Optional: 20g/0.7oz parmesan cheese
Large deep frying pan (ideally with lid)
Large deep pasta pan
Large sharp chopping knife
Electric blender/mixer (or strong potato masher)
Rolling pin (for making pasta)
Optional: Strong vegetable peeler
Optional: Cheese grater (for optional parmesan)
STEP 1 – The first part of this butternut squash ravioli recipe is making enough fresh pasta for four people (i.e. using 4 eggs). Then you need to use a rolling pin to roll this as flat as possible; ideally 1mm thick.
When your fresh pasta is flat, cover with a clean tea towel (to stop it drying and turning brittle) and come back here to continue with step 2…
STEP 2 – Let’s prepare the squash.
Using a sharp knife, chop the ends off the squash and carefully slice its hard skin away. (If you have a strong vegetable peeler, give this is a try; that would be ideal). Now…
• Chop the squash in half long-ways (vertically)
• Chop out the gunky middle and scrape out any remaining seeds with a spoon
• Chop the squash into large chunks a couple of inches square
• Divide the squash chunks into 550g/19.5oz and 250g/9oz piles.
• Put the largest batch in a dish and leave to one side (this is for the sauce later).
STEP 3 – Let’s start the ravioli filling.
• Boil a full kettle, then pour this into the pasta pan and throw in 250g of squash and a teaspoon of salt. Leave boiling on a medium/high heat hob.
• Set the timer for 20 mins. (Here we’re softening the squash so that we can then blend or mash it to use inside the ravioli).
Now you have a choice: either take 20 mins off and go relax until the timer sounds, or speed up this recipe by using this time to chop up the other large batch of squash into 1cm-square cubes. (Recommended… this is arguably the only real dull part of this entire butternut squash ravioli recipe, so I’d get it out of the way now if I were you).
When 20 mins is up, the squash should be soft enough to stick a toothpick or fork through.
STEP 4 – Finishing the ravioli filling.
• Drain the large chunks of boiled squash really well, using a colander
• Wash and tear 5 sage leaves
• Add all this, and the grated parmesan, to your mixer/blender, along with a large pinch of pepper and a small one of salt
• Whiz it until you get a ‘lumpy mash’ consistency (super-smooth is too much).
Note: If you don’t have a blender, prepare this filling instead by mashing these ingredients with a potato masher. You’ll still get the right consistency, it will just take two minutes more.
STEP 5 – There are several ways to make ravioli: you can a piece of kit like Imperia’s heavy duty pasta machine’s ravioli attachment (I’ll explain how to do this in a future page on this site); or use one of the ravioli trays you can buy. My advice: avoid the trays. They don’t work well because the pasta usually sticks inside them… not fun!
Therefore I suggest that we go the ‘pansotti’ route here – by making semi-circle moon-shaped ravioli parcels. Here’s how:
• Cut out circles of flat pasta using a medium sized drinking glass
• Blob just half a teaspoon of filling in the centre of each
• Crack an egg into a cup and whisk/mix using a fork
• Working on one parcel at a time, use a small egg brush or clean finger to paste egg mixture along one side of a circle, then fold over this half to ‘stick’ the parcel together
• Use a fork to press down the parcel’s edges – giving the pansotti traditional ‘ruffled’ ravioli edges.
When all the parcels are done, keep these spaced apart (to avoid them sticking) on lightly floured plates, and cover with a cloth/kitchen roll.
STEP 6 – Now let’s make the butternut squash sauce. You’ll need the large batch of squash for this.
• If you didn’t already, chop the 550g/19.5oz of squash into small 1cm cubes.
• Peel and chop the ends off the garlic cloves, then wash and tear the remaining 15 sage leaves
• Pop the butter in the frying pan on a medium heat hob
• While the butter is melting, throw in the leaves, garlic, and two tablespoons (one large ‘glug’) of olive oil
• Fry and occasionally mix until the garlic turns golden. At this point, unless you like crunching garlic in your meals, take out the garlic chunks (its flavour will already be in the butter/oil mixture).
STEP 7 – Throw all the 1cm cubes of squash into the frying pan and stir well to cover these in the oil and butter mixture. Also add two pinches of salt.
Turn down the hob to low/medium (I use setting 3 out of 6), cover if possible, and fry gently for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Note: The aim here is to soften the cubes into a creamy, slightly lumpy sauce. That’s the ideal consistency (it’s more interesting to eat than just a plain smooth ‘soupy’ sauce).
Tip: When the cubes are very soft, I use a potato masher or fork to just squash maybe 50% of them (not all). This gives a nice mixed texture to the sauce.
STEP 8 – When the sauce is done (see pic above), take it off the heat. Boil another kettle and fill the large first pan with water. Place on a maximum heat hob – yes, we’re finally going to cook the ravioli!
Add a handful of salt (to bring out the pasta’s taste), and a glug of olive oil (to stop the parcels sticking).
Bring the water to the boil and when the ravioli floats to the surface cook for just a minute more.
STEP 9 – Nearly there!
Drain the parcels carefully and add to the sauce on a medium heat hob. Stir gently for two minutes, covering the pasta in that seriously day-glo orange sauce.
Done! This butternut squash ravioli recipe takes its sweet time, but I assure you it’s been worth it…
… savour that succulent first bite, then enjoy the powerful sweet aftertaste that only squash can bring. I’m sure your guests will love it too!
If you liked this butternut squash ravioli recipe… then I think you’ll also enjoy this sumptuously sweet pasta alla norma recipe.
Or why not try some more ravioli recipes?