Pumpkin Ravioli with Brown Butter & Hazelnut Sauce

Pumpkin Ravioli with Brown Butter & Hazelnut Sauce served on a platter with Chicken Sausage
I've been making ravioli for years, duped into it by my father who swore the family tradition had to live on. Only later did I learn that there was no such tradition, he was just trying to get me interested in cooking. It worked. We got the hang of it quickly and had a lot of fun trying new fillings.
This year I decided to try a more seasonal approach and I found a few recipes for pumpkin ravioli. This one is loosely based on one from 1986 and published in The Wolfgang Puck Cookbook.
For the more intrepid, feel free to make your own pumpkin puree, I used canned, organic pumpkin without seasoning. You can make these a day ahead and refrigerate them until about 20 minutes before you're going to cook them. The steps are easy but, if you've never made ravioli, prepare to feel clumsy. I was glad that my friend, Rina, wanted to get involved. It was a fun time and the extra hands were helpful. Here's a tip; don't believe anyone who says you don't need semolina flour. I use half semolina and half all-purpose flour. The gluten in semolina makes it possible to roll thin dough that doesn't explode in the boiling water. I bought only the amount I needed from the bulk aisle at The Kiva in Eugene, Oregon.

Total Time: 3.5 - 4 hours
Yield: 4 to 6 servings (approx 30 ravioli)
Level: Difficult

Ravioli Pasta Dough
1 1/2 cups semolina flour
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 eggs (reserve 1 for egg wash)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin oil
1-2 tablespoons carrot juice (or water)

Combine the flours in a mixing bowl and whisk together with salt. On a clean counter, turn the flour mixture out of the bowl and form a mound. Make a well in the center. Break 4 of the eggs and add the oil into to the well and incorporate. Be ready to work fast, raw eggs are hard to chase around the counter top! First-timers, feel free to use a large bowl to start the mixing process. The dough will start out sticky, then get crumbly. You may need a little liquid (this is where the carrot juice comes in) to make things more pliable. Continue to knead it until you can form a ball. Don't overwork the dough, it will get tough. Divide in 2 and wrap in plastic. Let stand at room temperature for approx 2 hours. It's time to make the filling.

organic canned pumpkin, fresh sage for pumpkin ravioli
Pumpkin Sage Filling
1 pound canned organic pumpkin
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons minced sage + a few leaves for the garnish
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
2 eggs, beaten
1 large green onion - bulb only, chopped.
Freshly ground pepper


Heat the butter on low. When the butter is foamy, add the sage and green onion. Cook until the onion softens. Add the cream and continue stirring occasionally so it doesn't scorch. Remove from the heat.
Image of cream mixture with pumpkin being added a spoon at a time Add the pumpkin puree and stir until it is incorporated.
Add the beaten eggs and Parmesan cheese.
Add the salt and pepper to taste.
Remove from the heat and cool.


Making Ravioli

Rolling the dough through the pasta machineDivide the pasta into manageable pieces that are well-suited to the size of your pasta machine. Roll the dough as thin as you can. My machine has seven settings (#7 being the thinnest) and I liked #6 best. The pasta will seem very delicate; just remember that semolina is a high-gluten flour and it won't be as delicate as it looks. Roll only as much dough as you can handle quickly and keep the unrolled dough covered so it doesn't dry-out. No pasta machine? No problem, just plan on working a little harder. The dough needs to be very thin, crepe-like.
Thinly rolled sheets of pasta, top and bottom layers, ready for ravioli filling
Roll out two sheets and brush egg wash on one side. On the sheet with egg wash, spoon 1 1/2 teaspoons of filling for each ravioli on the sheet and space them far enough apart to leave ample room for the pasta to seal around the filling (approx 1/2 inch all the way around). Gently lay the top layer of pasta over the pumpkin and press the edges together to seal.

Cut the ravioli apart, trim to a somewhat uniform size and let them rest on a lint-free cloth. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, while you make the sauce.
image of sealing the pasta arounf the raviolipumpkin filling is shown on one sheet of pasta, on top of egg wash.image of top sheet of pasta being carefully laid on top of the sheet with the filling
image of pasta sheet with filled ravioli. Ravioli are being cut apart after they've been sealed.

Brown Butter Sauce with Hazelnuts & Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 cup butter.
1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts, rough chopped
salt & pepper to taste
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (Reserve 1 tablespoon for garnish)
finished ravioli, ready to be cooked.
On a low heat, melt butter until it bubbles and starts to brown. Add half the balsamic vinegar and the hazelnuts. Continue to cook until on low. Be patient.

Cooking the Ravioli

picture of platter with ravioli in brown butter and hazelnut sauce with chicken sausage. Garnished with cheese and sage leaves.Add ravioli, 7 or 8 at a time, to the rapidly boiling water and cook until they float (4-5 minutes). Remove with a slotted spoon and drain.

Place cooked ravioli on a serving platter. Drizzle butter sauce as you add ravioli to prevent them from sticking together. When the last batch of ravioli is done, pour the remaining sauce and hazelnuts on top. Drizzle remaining balsamic vinegar on top, garnish with extra sage leaves and serve immediately.
I served the ravioli with baked sausage made of chicken, garlic and spinach. A side of Brussels sprouts added a little greenery.

Since this dish is savory I chose a red wine. This Pinot Noir is from Broadley Vineyards in Monroe, Oregon.


(photos by Lee Eide)

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