Monday, January 17, 2011

Meatless Monday: Pumpkin Mascarpone Ravioli

As I've written about before, I was lucky enough to receive the pasta attachment for my Kitchen Aid  as a wedding gift.  I haven't used it as much as I should mainly because of poor planning.  While homemade pasta doesn't take long to make, it is more time consuming that throwing a box of pasta in boiling water.  Of course that extra time is soooooo worth it.  As is proven by my pesto with homemade fettucine!

Something I've been dying to tackle with the pasta maker is homemade ravioli, since Thanksgiving when I roasted and pureed pumpkin for pumpkin pie I have wanted to make a Pumpkin Mascarpone Ravioli.  Lucky for me pureed pumpkin keeps beautifully in the freezer so I was able to pull some out to make these little beauties.  Boy am I glad that I did!

When looking for a pasta recipe for my ravioli I decided to turn to Paula of Bellalimento.  She is "la regina italiana" as far as I'm concerned and does traditional Italian food so well.  Lucky for me she had a recipe for pasta that she uses for ravioli that came together super easy.  She also succeeded in making me green with envy for her adorable ravioli stamps!  I just have a fluted pastry roller that I will absolutely be replacing with a ravioli stamp in the near future.

My instructions below are fro freezing the ravioli, you can absolutely cook them right away, but I find they are less apt to stick together while cooking if frozen overnight.   Plus I saw and chef at an Italian restaurant on Diner., Drive-ins and Dives freeze his and I figured if a cheffie does it I should too!

Pumpkin Mascarpone Ravioli
makes approx 2 dozen ravioli

from Bell'alimento

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
5 eggs - lightly beaten
healthy pinch of salt

1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp white pepper
pinch salt

5 Tbsps butter
5 sage leaves
cracked black pepper
grated parmigiano

1.  First get your pasta dough working.  I used my mixer to mix the dough, for instructions on how to do it by hand, click on over to Paula's site.  Place flour in the bowl of your mixer, pour eggs into well.  Using the dough hook, mix on low just until the dough comes together.  You can continue to knead with the dough hook, but I dumped it onto a lightly floured counter and kneaded it by hand until it was smooth and shiny.  Wrap in plastic and set in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
2.  While the dough it chilling mix all of the filling ingredients together and set aside.
3.  Once the dough has chilled and the glutens have relaxed, get your pasta roller set up.  Taking a small piece of dough, feed it through the first setting 2-3 three times.  Then slowly increase the setting one at a time until the sheets of pasta are nice and thin.  I only got up to 5 and it was really good, but think if you go up to 6 it would be perfect.
4.  Lay the pasta sheet on a lightly floured counter.  Place quarter sized dollops, each about a quarter size apart on 1/2 of the pasta sheet.  Carefully fold the other half over top of the filling.  Gently press around each dollop of filling to get rid of air bubbles and cut with a fluted pastry cutter or ravioli stamp.  Repeat with the rest of the dough.  Place finished ravioli on a cookie sheet sprinkled with cornmeal and place finished sheets in freezer.  Once frozen transfer into bags and they are ready to go whenever you fancy ravioli
5.  Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Cook ravioli until they start to float to the surface, should only take 2-3  minutes.
6.  In a large saute pan melt butter and add sage leaves, cook until butter begins to brown and smell nutty and sage leaves crisp up.  Toss ravioli in brown butter and serve garnished with fresh cracked pepper and grated parmigiano reggiano.

These ravioli are delicious!  I had some for lunch yesterday to test them out and get some photos.  I can't wait to see what the boy thinks about them for his Meatless Monday dinner tonight.  They came together super easily and are packed with flavor.  I also love the time spent over the weekend making them translates into a super easy weeknight meal.  It will only take as long to put together as the water takes to boil and cook the pasta.  Paired with a fresh green salad, we'll be all set for tonight!

I really enjoyed my first go at ravioli and can't wait to make them again and play with more fillings.


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