Pumpkin Spice Ravioli

As I continue my quest for all things pumpkin this fall, one rainy evening this week I decided that I really had to have some hearty homemade ravioli. Lost in a daydream reminiscing about my time spent at a quaint villa in Tuscany learning to hand make these little luscious pillows, I drifted off to rolling green hills dotted with olive orchards and lemon groves, and chianti-filled evenings… OK, snap out of it! What to put in the filling? Seasonal spice, creamy mascarpone and pumpkin puree of course. Top it off with some brown butter, fried sage, and a few flakes of fresh grated Asiago, and you’ll float off into your own dreamland of Italian inspired bliss.

Pumpkin Spice Mascarpone Ravioli with Brown Butter and Fried Sage

Ingredients for filling & sauce:

  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced (about ½ cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 large crimini or button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 c. pumpkin puree
  • 3 Tbs. red wine
  • ¼ tsp. clove
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • ½ tsp. ground sage
  • ⅓ c. mascarpone cheese
  • fresh sage, chiffonade (ribbons)
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • fresh shaved Parmesan or Asiago cheese

Ingredients for dough:

  • 2 ½ c. all purpose flour
  • ½ c. wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ – ⅔ c. water
  • 1 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil

Method:

1. Whisk eggs together in a small bowl. In a second bowl, combine flour and salt. Make a large well in the center of the flour mixture. Pour the eggs into the well, draw through the flour using your fingers or a fork until roughly incorporated. Add olive oil and begin to add water 2 Tbs. at a time as needed until dough forms. Note: depending on flour, humidity and other variables you may not need all of the water, I used 8 Tbs. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface, and knead with your hands until dough is soft and springy. Gather the dough into a ball, cut it in half, wrap each and set aside for an hour to let the gluten settle. This helps the dough have an elasticy texture which makes for easy handling and minimal tearing.

2. Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan, sweat onions and garlic in olive oil. Add mushrooms and allow to brown on medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes. When they are almost fully browned, stir in a pinch of salt. Deglaze pan with red wine and fully reduce on low heat. Add pumpkin puree and spices and heat on low for another minute or two.

3. Transfer warm pumpkin mushroom mix to a food processor, add the mascarpone cheese and puree until thick and creamy. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside to cool.

4. Divide each dough ball into pieces, and pass through a pasta roller 3 or 4 times until very thin, about 1/16 if an inch if possible. If you don’t have a pasta roller, you can roll the dough out by hand on a lightly floured wooden cutting board. Ultimate thinness is the goal here. Without the machine roller, your ravioli will be a little bit thicker & doughier, but delicious all the same. Keep the pieces covered so that they don’t dry out.

5. Lay a strip of the rolled dough on a lightly floured wooden cutting board. Spoon teaspoons of pumpkin filling onto the dough, about 2 inches apart. Lay another piece of rolled dough atop the filling, and gently press the dough together forming the will-be ravioli. Cut into squares, and press a fork around the edges of each. Keep ravioli covered until ready to freeze or cook.

6. To cook ravioli, bring a large sauce pan of salted water to a boil. Add the raviolis in small batches and give a gentle stir. Allow to cook for about 3-4 minutes, until just tender and they float to the surface.

7. Heat butter in small sauté pan over medium heat until melted and frothy, continuously swirling the pan. When butter just starts to smell nutty and slightly brown, add the sage and gently swirl pan a couple more times until sage is slightly crisp. Season with a bit of salt and pepper to taste.

8. Serve ravioli with a spoonful or two of brown butter and sage along with some fresh shaved Parmesan or Asiago cheese.