Sometimes a dish is too good to blog. I’m so busy eating it I don’t think to photograph it. But then some dishes are so good that I have to make them two days in a row just to blog about it.
Last night a friend came over so I could show him how to make ravioli. I winged the filling by using ingredients I already had: delicata squash, frozen chopped spinach, cottage cheese and pecorino Romano cheese.
These tender, flavorful morsels were so good, I just had to make them a day later and share them with my best friend, Kelly.
Squash and spinach ravioli
You will want/need a pasta rolling machine for this recipe – or a wine bottle and a lot of patience.
Ingredients for the dough:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 eggs + 1 yolk
- 2 tablespoons milk
- pinch of salt
Ingredients for the filling:
- 1 medium delicata squash (sub pretty much any other kind of squash here)
- 1/2 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed
- 1/2 cup cottage cheese (sub ricotta if you’d like)
- 1/2 cup grated pecorino Romano cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut the squash in half lengthwise. Cut each half in half. Scoop out the seeds and rub all over with olive oil. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 45 minutes or until flesh is pierced easily with a fork. Remove from oven and cool.
While squash is cooling, make the dough. Place the flour in a large mixing bowl and make a well in the center. Add the eggs, milk and salt to the well and whisk together, slowly incorporating the flour until a shaggy dough forms.
Remove from bowl and knead on a floured surface for a couple of minutes. The dough should be smooth and elastic. If it is too wet, add more flour. If it’s too dry, add a little more milk. Continue to knead for a few more minutes, then wrap the dough ball in plastic wrap and let sit for 30 minutes.
Heat a small pan with the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Place into a medium mixing bowl. Squeeze as much of the liquid out of the spinach as you can and add to the bowl. Scrape the squash into the bowl and add the rest of the filling ingredients. Mix with a fork until well combined. Set aside.
Set up your pasta roller and put it on the biggest setting. Take a palm-sized piece of dough and pat it flat. Run it through the pasta roller one time. It may be tough but it’s ok to press it through unevenly. You’ll be using this largest setting to knead the dough for you.
After the first time through, fold the dough in half and run it through again. Continue folding the dough and running it through four or five more times. Now advance your pasta roller to the next setting and run the dough through once.
Continue narrowing the roller and running the dough through once each time until it’s your desired thickness. Each pasta maker is a little different. With my KitchenAid roller I go to setting 6.
Lay your dough on a lightly floured surface or drape it on a bamboo clothes drying rack while you finish the other pieces of dough.
Now it’s time to assemble your ravioli. First, put a salted pot of water on to boil. Take one strip of pasta and place 1 teaspoon of filling across the bottom of one side, about one inch apart with a 1/2-inch space from the edge.
Fold the long side of the dough in half over the filling and start pressing lightly all around, pushing out air as you go. Press around all the filling so the pasta sticks to itself.
Using a pastry scraper or pizza cutter, cut your dough into individual ravioli. Be sure to cut the long edge because the cutting actually seals the pasta.
Boil your ravioli in two batches. Once the pot returns to a boil, simmer the pasta for just a few minutes until it’s al dente. I like to take a ravioli out of the pot and cut off a corner to test the doneness.
Use a large slotted spoon or spider to remove the ravioli from the pot. Place into shallow serving bowls. Top with a little butter, good olive oil, more pecorino Romano cheese, and a generous amount of freshly ground pepper. Serve with green beans and Italian sausage.