Pasta for starters!

Homemade Squash Ravioli and Sage Butter


I always envisaged the art of making homemade pasta rested entirely on the shoulders of Italian nonas with hands like shovels, kneading dough in some rustic kitchen and following a recipe that had been handed down for generations. Eschewing from this romantic stereotype, I’ve managed to roll my own pasta on a couple of occasions now, and this butternut squash ravioli dish has easily been my favourite. This works well as a starter or can be served as a lunch the next day with salad. Ravioli freezes well too, so after all that hard work save some portions for a future date.


1. Start with your ravioli filling by cubing the squash, place in a roasting tin, season with salt and pepper. I let this roast at about 180 degrees Celsius for around 40 minutes.

2. I follow, although roughly, the rule of thumb of 100g of flour (pasta flour) to each egg. On a work surface, make a mound of flour (400g) and break each egg into the well in the middle. Add salt and a little olive oil.

3. Knead the dough until you feel it has the right consistency, for around 10 minutes—again this isn’t an exact science, you may need to add some more flour or a little water to get the right consistency. Once happy, place the dough into a bowl and cover for 20 minutes

4. When the squash is ready—you want some colour but not too charred—take out of the oven. Place in blender with Parmesan and a touch of ricotta cheese. Once blended, check seasoning and consistency, you want it to be firm enough to hold in the ravioli mold. Take some of the remaining filling to make your puree. I did this by simply adding to a pan, adding a bit of cream.

5. For the pasta, quarter the dough and begin the process of rolling it out. Once it is thin enough, place into your machine at the highest setting and gradually work your way down; idea is to get the pasta thin enough so that it’ s just transparent. Once you’re happy with this lay out the ravioli strips (I use the back of a chair) and lightly flour your work surface.

6. Place the first strip down and add filling, giving enough space for each portion. Egg wash the bottom of the strip, add the other layer of pasta on top and separate each portion (I just used a sharp knife) and press out air pockets around the filling.

7. Once you’re happy with this, place the ravioli in heavily salted water to boil. At the same time, make a start on your sage butter sauce. (I think the trick for this is to use a fairly high-quality butter), cook down until it goes nut brown and add sage leaves to crisp up.

8. When the ravioli has risen in the water its ready. Prepare plate with a swipe of the puree, add pasta and top with sage butter sauce and some toasted walnuts for texture.