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Homemade Butternut squash ravioli with sun-dried tomatoes

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Cooking time

Prep: 1 hour and 35 minutes Cook: 45 minutes times are rough it depends a lot how long you leave it to cool, and once you get the hang of it you can really cut the time down

Skill level

More effort

Servings

Serves 4

This has quickly become a family favourite even though it's Vegetarian :) depending on how big your appetite is this can comfortably serve between 4-6 people.

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Ingredients

The Filling

  • 500g butternut squash, peeled, de-seeded, chopped into roughly 4cm/1.5in cm pieces (sometimes for a change I do half ie 250g Butternut squash and half ie 250g potato and put a bit of both in each ravioli)
  • 3 tsp olive oil
  • You can use sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper, but I just use couple of pinches of standard table salt and no pepper ( but that's just my taste)
  • half small red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 25g vegetarian hard cheese (like pecorino), finely grated, plus a bit extra to serve (if you have cheese fiends like I have you might need more then a sprinkle left over to garnish)
  • a little pinch of grated nutmeg (seasoning is optional)

The pasta (unless you buy it in pre-made) I like to make it with the kids :)

  • 300g I use Strong (white bread) flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 3 large eggs (ideally free range)
  • 1 tsp salt

The garnish (tasty decoration)

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 sun-dried tomatoes (don't think it matters what it's preserved in I tend to use from a can), drained, cut into thin slices
  • handful fresh leaves: the likes of sage, I like a little spring lettuce and basil with it but its up to you
  • cheese

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C (180C if its a fan oven)/400F/Gas 6. the filling takes the longest to do as you will cook it once initially and have to let it cool completely so it's best to do that first

  2. For the filling, Put the butternut squash (and potato if doing have of both- I peel them but some like the skins left on) pieces into a large bowl, pour two teaspoons of olive oil and stir around to coat the pieces. Add your seasoning, to taste, ie, a couple of pinches of salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper; and then stir again. Place the pieces of butternut (and potato) into a roasting tray and roast in the oven for 18-20 minutes, or until tender

  3. Whilst the butternut is roasting add the thinly sliced onion to the bowl you used to season the butternut. Drizzle over the remaining teaspoon of olive oil and stir to coat. You can season the onions as well depending on your taste preferences, with the salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  4. Once the butternut has roasted for 18-20 minutes (I check it's tender by poking it with a knife, a bit like with baking a cake, if it goes into the pieces easily it's ready), It anyone else has a better way of checking it tender let me know :) sprinkle the onion slices over the butternut and continue to roast for a further 10 minutes. Then remove from the oven and set aside for about five minutes, to cool a little, make sure it is lukewarm but not hot before you do the next bit burnt fingers aren't fun.

  5. Put the warm butternut and onion (and potato if using it to) into a strong high-sided bowl and blend to a thick, smooth purée using a hand-held blender (or get the old masher out if you don't have a hand-held blender), Whilst blending I tend to add the grated cheese (and the seasoning ie nutmeg if you want seasoning added). I mix it all in together whilst it's slightly warm still as I think it mixes through a more evenly but you can wait till it's cooled and then put the cheese and nutmeg on (it's a case of try it yourself and see) :) then set aside until completely cool.

  6. For the pasta, If you a food processor: blend the flour and eggs in a food processor until the ingredients come together to form a dough. Continue to mix for a further minute, removing the lid and turning the dough over every 15-20 seconds (CAUTION: keep hands well away from the sharp blade of the food processor). If like me you don't I'm afraid it's a case of roll up your sleeves and mix it at first with a spoon or whisk and then by hand until the dough starts to feel smooth and pliable for kneading. (takes me 10 or so minutes but I have a bad back)

  7. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead well for 10 minutes, pummelling and stretching the dough until it is smooth, stretchy and has a slight sheen. (or just let the kids loose on it for 5 minutes) :D

  8. Divide the dough into four portions and wrap each in cling film. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. If you've got a roll of cling film it might be an idea to roll out a length of it to practice measuring how big you need to roll your pasta out to for it to yield 12 discs, each 8.5cm/3½in in diameter before having a go at this next bit unless you're lucky enough to have a ravioli cutter

  9. Steps 9- 13 you will be repeating the same processes with the other 2 pieces of chilled pasta I do mine in 2 batches of 12, but if you don’t feel very confident forming the ravioli all at once, divide the pasta into 8 portions at the beginning and make the ravioli in batches of six instead. Bottom side: When the pasta dough has chilled, take the first portion and roll it out onto a lightly floured work surface to a 1mm thickness (it's about the thickness of a penny), you will have to keep dusting the dough with a light coating of flour if it starts to stick. You need the surface area of the rolled-out dough to yield 12 discs, each 8.5cm/3½in in diameter. It takes me a couple a goes, the best way I have found is using a 8.5cm/3½in cookie cutter or drinking glass with this sort of diameter top, mark 12 circles in the sheet of pasta dough without cutting through the dough I make sure there there is about an inch - 1 1/2 inch gap between each one minimum to make it easier to stick the top and bottom layers without risking the ravioli popping.

  10. Top side: Repeat the rolling-out process with the second portion of pasta dough to the same size as the first piece. Set aside carefully.

  11. Divide the cooled filling mixture in half (use the other half for the other 2 pieces of chilling pasta) and place one heaped teaspoon into the centre of each marked pasta disc. Brush the dough surrounding the filling with a little cold water.

  12. Once all of the discs have been filled, lift the second sheet of pasta dough and drape it over the first, carefully smoothing the pasta around each lump of filling using your fingertips to remove any air bubbles and stick the moistened sheets of pasta together.

  13. Dust a baking tray with a little flour. Use a cookie cutter slightly bigger then the one you marked the circles with to cut out the 12 ravioli; place each on the prepared baking tray. Set aside until the second batch is done. Repeat the process with the remaining pasta and filling mixture to make 12 more ravioli.

  14. To cook the ravioli, half-fill a very large saucepan with cold water. Add one teaspoon of salt and bring to the boil. When the water is boiling, carefully lower the ravioli into it, in batches if necessary, using a 'holely spoon as the kids call it' (slotted spoon). Boil for a few minutes, until the pasta is cooked to your liking. (for a first attempt you could either make some extra ravioli or use any extra pieces left over to test the cooking time.)

  15. For the garnish, heat the olive oil in a small frying pan over a medium to high heat. Add the leaves (sage ect) and fry for 10-15 seconds, or until they look almost translucent. Remove from the pan using your slotted spoon and set aside to drain on kitchen paper. Then add the sun-dried tomatoes, fry for 20-30 seconds, stirring well, until heated through. Remove from the heat and set aside on a separate plate.

  16. Carefully drain the ravioli in a colander and return to the saucepan. Stir in the sun-dried tomatoes and leaves or you can just put the leaves on top once its on the plate

  17. To serve, divide the ravioli among four plates, spooning over any sun-dried tomatoes left in the saucepan. Put the garnish leaves, if not mixed in and sprinkle over a little cheese.

  18. Enjoy :)

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