Yesterday, I announced on Instagram that my next post would be my gyoza recipe. It was an unthinking act that has caused me much distress hence. Why? Because today is National Ravioli Day (somewhere, I think the US). How could I be so remiss in promoting one dumpling on another’s most special day of days?
Luckily, I make ravioli all the time, so publishing a recipe here (I’m going with butternut squash) should at least begin to heal the rift between me and my favourite pasta. Here’s hoping anyway.
Theo Randall, chef extraordinaire and all-round great guy, taught me how to make his pasta dough. There are other ways of doing it, but Theo’s is so deliciously rich and works every single time, so I’m going to share it with you too (hope you don’t mind, chef).
150 OO Flour
50g Fine semolina
1 Large egg
3 Large egg yolks
In a large bowl combine all of the ingredients. I use a spatula and then my hands to mix, but a food processor makes the job less mucky. The texture will be a little sticky. Wrap the dough in cling film and pop it in the fridge for a least 30 minutes.
Following on my last trip to our family home in France, I was burdened with five butternut squash for the return journey (thank goodness we were driving). They’d been in the cellar since late summer and needed eating. Tired of soup, I decided to make up a pasta filling. Here’s the result.
1 butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and roughly chopped into smallish cubes
2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
1 small onion, diced
100g soft cheese (I used a mix of ricotta and mascarpone, but any soft cheese will do)
- Cook the squash in boiling water, drain when tender and leave to cool
- In a large frying pan, melt the butter and add the onion and garlic.
- Once the garlic and onion have softened, add the cooked butternut squash and cook until the mixture loses most of its moisture.
- Add the cheese and grate in as much nutmeg as you like (I’m heavy-handed here, but you might not like such strong flavours). It’s time to add some salt and pepper too.
- The mixture should be quite smooth by now, but mash any remaining lumps and bumps with the back of a wooden spoon or with a potato masher.
Making The Ravioli
- Grab your dough and your pasta machine. Each sheet needs to be quite thin, so work your way up from one to six on the dial, folding the dough each time you feed it through your machine.
- I have a special cut tray for ravioli, which I lay the pasta on top of, but it’s just as easy to use a floured bench and a cookie cutter or a sharp knife.
- Once you have your sheet laid out, spoon the mixture at regular intervals, leaving a 3cm gap between each.
- With a brush – or your finger – brush a little water around each filling pile.
- Roll out a second sheet of dough and lay over the top.
- Press around each pile with your fingers, letting as much air escape as you can.
- And cut!
- Keep the dumplings on a floured surface until you’re ready to cook.
Cooling The Ravioli
- Boil up a pot of salted water.
- Pop in the ravioli.
- They’ll sink to the bottom at first, but when they’ve risen to the top after a few minutes they’re ready.
There are lots of fancy sauces you can add, but I like to keep it simple with melted butter and sage (as seen below) or just a good dousing of quality olive oil.
And to my gyoza-loving pals, those are up next. Promise.