Parmesan and Butternut Squash Ravioli with Fried Sage

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Parmesan, squash, and sage form a magical combination in this classic Italian pasta. Although it is time consuming to make, the result is well worth your effort. It’s imperative that the squash be dry without a trace of liquid; otherwise, the stuffing will seep out the edges of the ravioli.

Ingredients

For the Filling

  • 1 butternut squash, 2–2½ lb (1–1.25 kg)
  • 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • ½ cup (2 oz/60 g) freshly grated Parmesan cheese, preferably Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp freshly ground pepper All-purpose flour for dusting
  • 12 oz (375 g) purchased fresh pasta sheets
  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 24 fresh sage leaves
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • ½ cup (4 oz/125 g) unsalted butter, melted

Method

To make the filling, preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out and discard the seeds and fibers. Rub the cut sides with olive oil. Place the halves, cut side down, on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until the flesh is tender when pierced with a knife, 1–1½ hours. Let cool, scoop the flesh into a bowl, and mash with a fork. If the flesh is runny, put it in a saucepan over medium-high heat and cook until dry, 3–5 minutes, then cool. Stir in the egg, cheese, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and pepper, mixing well. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

On a lightly floured work surface, unfold the pasta sheet(s). Fold in half lengthwise to mark the center, then unfold it so that it lies flat again. Place teaspoonfuls of the filling inch (4 cm) apart in a straight row down the center of one side of the fold. Dip a pastry brush in cool water and lightly brush around the filling. Fold the dough over the filling. Using your fingers, mold the dough around the filling to eliminate air pockets. Press the edges of dough together firmly to seal. Using a fluted pastry wheel, cut around the filled pasta strip, crimping the edges and trimming away about inch (3 mm). Then, cut evenly between the mounds, making ravioli. Place the ravioli in a single layer on a lightly floured baking sheet.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. In batches, gently slide in the ravioli, being careful not to crowd them. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until tender, 6–8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the ravioli to a warmed platter and keep warm.

Meanwhile, in a frying pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the sage and cook until crisp, about 1 minute. Drain on paper towels. Stir the lemon juice into the melted butter and pour over the ravioli. Garnish with fried sage leaves and serve at once.

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