As the colder weather starts to roll in and the leaves continue to change, what we eat seasonally is also changing! Our true summer veggies are well past their last harvest, leaving only the hardy winter crops to choose from. “Winter crops” refers to veggies that can withstand much lower soil and air temperatures without significant damage. One of the most common of these varieties is winter squash, specifically butternut squash. In the fall, all roads lead to comfort food, which is why we’ve chosen one of our most abundant winter crops to create today’s dish!
One of the greatest attributes about winter squash is their shelf life. Even if you harvest them before they are fully ripe, you can keep these squash stored in a dry and relatively cool space (even just on your counter), and they will cure over time and finish ripening. Winter squash are a fantastic crop to add to your garden if you are looking to experience the taste of fresh, organic veggies year-round!
This pasta dish is remarkably easy, and a festive, hearty fall treat. The natural sweetness of butternut squash paired with tangy goat cheese gives these raviolis the perfect balance of sweet and savory. I promise, homemade pasta isn’t as scary as it seems!
For the Pasta:
- 2 cups of all purpose flour
- 3 eggs
- ½ tablespoon olive oil
- 1-2 teaspoons salt
On a wooden surface or cutting board, create a shallow hole in the middle of your flour. Crack all 3 eggs into the center and slowly start whisking the eggs together using a fork. During this process, continuously add flour using your fork. Continue whisking until too tough, and go in with your hands! Using the heel of your palm, fold and kneed the dough repeatedly, adding more olive oil when needed, until dough is a yellow color with minimal white flour showing. *Note: This process takes about 10-20 minutes. Your dough will seem as though it is too dry at times, but trust the process! It will come together as it should. Once kneaded together, use a pasta maker or rolling pin to roll out your dough until it is about ⅕ of an inch thick. Rub with a bit of flour, and cut into even sized squares.
For the Filling:
- 1 medium sized butternut squash (roasted)
- 2 ounces playing goat cheese
- 2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon melted, salted butter
- Salt & pepper
Peel and cut your butternut squash in half, being sure to scoop out seeds from the center. Lightly coat the cut sides with a bit of olive oil and salt and pepper, and bake on a baking sheet cut side down at 425 degrees until fork tender, about 40 minutes.
Once baked, cut up and add to bowl or blender/food processor. Add in your butter, goat cheese, nutmeg, salt & pepper and fresh thyme. Mix (hand mash, or blend) until smooth.
Putting it Together:
To create your ravioli, put a small dollop of the butternut squash filling in the center of half of your cut out pasta squares. Be careful not to overfill, or the ravioli will not seal fully. Lightly press another pasta square on top of the filling, and seal the edges using the underside of a fork.
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add ravioli and cook until they float to the top. Remember, this is FRESH pasta, these babies will cook in about 30 seconds! Add whatever sauce, buttery, delicious topping you’d like (for this, I just used butter and thyme), and enjoy!