A sweet and funky butternut squash and blue cheese-stuffed homemade ravioli, served in a brown butter sauce with frizzled sage.
Why this recipe works:
- Roasting butternut squash and onion with orange juice and agave helps the edges caramelize for a more complex citrusy-sweet flavor.
- Funky blue cheese subtly balances the sweetness of butternut squash for a more savory filling.
- Adding the sage to the butter instead of the filling keeps the color bright and appealing when the ravioli are cut open, without losing the complementary herbal flavor.
Note: If you're averse to blue cheese, you can omit the cheese from the recipe entirely or substitute a cheese of your choice. Gruyère or goat cheese would both do nicely.
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice from 2 navel oranges
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons agave nectar or honey
- 2 pounds skinned and cubed butternut squash (about 1 medium-large squash)
- 8 ounces coarsely chopped onion (about 2 medium onions)
- 6 cloves garlic, smashed
- 4 whole sprigs sage plus 1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh sage leaves
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 1/3 ounces soft blue cheese, such as Roquefort, Gorgonzola, or Stilton
- 1 recipe Classic fresh egg pasta
- 6 ounces unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons juice from 1 lemon
Adjust oven racks to lower and upper middle positions and preheat oven to 400°F. Meanwhile, whisk orange juice, olive oil, and agave nectar together in a large bowl. Add butternut squash, onion, garlic, and whole sage sprigs. Season with salt and pepper. Stir until the squash and onion are evenly coated then transfer mixture onto 2 foil-lined rimmed baking sheets. Place sheet trays in the oven and roast until squash is completely tender and browned around the edges, about 40 minutes total, rotating pans half way through cooking.
Remove the squash mixture from the oven, discard sage sprigs, and allow to cool. Transfer mixture to the work bowl of a food processor, add blue cheese, and process until completely smooth, about 30 seconds. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a large plate, spread into an even layer, then place uncovered in refrigerator and allow to cool completely, at least 45 minutes.
When ready to roll, divide dough into four even sections. Working one section at a time, with remaining sections tightly wrapped in plastic, roll dough through machine until sheet is just under 1/16th of an inch thick (typically second-to-last setting). Cut sheet in half to create 2 pieces of dough roughly 15 inches long and 5 inches across.
If using a ravioli mold: Place first sheet of dough over metal base. Gently and evenly press plastic mold down to make depressions in dough. Remove and fill each depression with approximately 1 tablespoon filling. Rap mold once or twice to remove any air bubbles. Place second sheet of dough over surface and pat down. Run rolling pin over dough until ridges beneath become visible. Flip the mold over and gently peel it away. If ravioli remain stuck, rap edge of mold on table. If ravioli do not separate easily, use fluted ravioli cutter to complete perforation. Cover ravioli with towel to prevent drying. Repeat with remaining dough and continue to step 6.
If working by hand: Fold first sheet along its midline to make a light crease and re-open. Place 6 heaping tablespoons half inch apart along length of lower half. Moisten upper half with pastry brush dipped in water and fold over, pressing down to remove air bubbles and create a seal around filling. Using fluted ravioli cutter or kitchen knife, cut between filling for 6 even squares. Cover ravioli with towel to prevent drying. Repeat with remaining dough.
At this point, ravioli can be frozen: place ravioli on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet and freeze completely. Transfer to a freezer bag, press out as much air as possible, and store in freezer for up to 2 months.
To cook ravioli, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. In a large saucepan, melt butter over low heat. When butter begins to bubble, add chopped sage and stir until butter is brown and sage is crisp, 3 to 5 minutes. Off heat, squeeze in lemon juice. Season with salt and set aside. Cook ravioli by submerging in boiling water and cooking for 3 minutes (ravioli should float). Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of cooking liquid. Transfer ravioli and liquid to pot with browned butter. Heat over high heat, gently folding and tossing until a rich, emulsified sauce is formed, about 1 minute. Serve immediately.
Pasta machine, ravioli maker (optional), ravioli stamp or wheel