Pumpkin Ravioli With Parmesan-Sage Cream

  •  A ravioli crimper (looks like a ridged pizza cutter, makes the job of making ravioli a lot easier)
  • 1 to 1-1/2 pound pumpkin or other winter squash
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups hot skim milk
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage, finely chopped, or 2 teaspoons dried
  • 6 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese plus additional cheese for passing
  • 12 sheets fresh lasagna noodles, 5 by 7 inches each, enough for 36 ravioli
  • Cornmeal

1) Cut pumpkin in half, remove seeds and place, cut side down, in a baking pan with 1/2-inch water.  Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven about 40 minutes or until very tender.  (Microwaving takes less than half the time.) Scoop out flesh and puree with nutmeg, salt and pepper.  You should have about 1 1/4 cups.

2) Meanwhile, put butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and stir a few minutes.  Add milk slowly and bring to a bare simmer, whisking constantly.  Cook until thickened and you can no longer taste any flour, about 10 minutes.  Add sage, cheese and salt and pepper to taste.  Remove from heat and put plastic wrap on the surface to prevent skin from forming.

3) Spoon out pumpkin puree in 2 rows across and 3 rows down on one lasagna sheet using 1 teaspoon per ravioli.  Brush another sheet with water.  Gently put the second sheet on the first, wet side down.  Run a ravioli cutter down the middle between the two rows and then across, sealing each ravioli with a 3/8-inch border of dough all around. Without a ravioli cutter, press down with the side of your hand along the rows between the fillings, removing any air pockets.  Seal with your fingers and cut the individual ravioli free with a knife, then crimp each with the tines of a fork.  Repeat with remaining pasta and filling until you have 36 ravioli.  (To prevent sticking, put ravioli, as you make them, on a baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal.)

4) Bring a pot with 4 quarts of water and 1 teaspoon salt to a boil over high heat.  While water heats, gently reheat cream sauce.  Add ravioli to cooking water, stir and cook, covered, about 3 or 4 minutes.  All ravioli should rise to the surface.  Drain.

5) Put half the cream sauce into the emptied pasta pot over medium-low heat and add the ravioli.  Add remaining sauce and gently stir, coating all the ravioli.  Serve at once with more cheese passed at the table.  Serves 4.

Sam’s Cooking Tip: Fresh lasagna sheets are now available in many places where fresh pasta is sold.  If the sheets you buy are larger than those indicated in the recipe, reduce the total number of sheets needed to get 36 ravioli.


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