A favorite from chef Oscar Gnapi at Colletta, this autumnal pasta dish combines a nutty brown butter sauce, creamy pumpkin and spiced walnut.
As told to Addie Ladner
”This is a sweet and savory pasta. The pumpkin lends natural sweetness and the Parmigiano, sage and salt make it savory,” says Oscar Gnapi, chef of Fenton’s new Italian restaurant, Colletta. ”I love it as a main course with a glass of Italian white wine. The buttery sauce plays very well with a crisp white glass of wine.” Gnapi makes the pumpkin ravioli from scratch daily at Colletta, but below he shares how you can recreate it at home.
How to make Pumpkin Ravioli
Pumpkin Ravioli Ingredients
Pumpkin Filling Ingredients
If you want to make this from scratch, you can roast the pumpkin and mash it (butternut squash works well, too). But, says Gnapi, “the simpler version with canned pumpkin also works well, and tastes delicious.”
1 can pumpkin (Gnapi prefers Libby’s) or one medium sized pie pumpkin, roasted*
1 cup ricotta
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
Salt and pepper to taste
To make the filling: Combine and whisk all the ingredients until well combined and refrigerate. It is important that the filling is well chilled before you add it to the dough.
*To roast the pumpkin (optional): Scoop out seeds, score the inside, add salt, pepper, and olive oil and bake it covered with foil for 1 to 1.5 hours; it should be soft enough to whisk with other ingredients. Scoop out the flesh and refrigerate for a few hours before you mix with other ingredients.
Pasta Dough Ingredients
1 pound 00 Flour
12 egg yolks
2 whole eggs
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons whole milk
To make the pasta: Mix using the standard pasta technique, either mixing by hand on a counter by making a well in the flour and incorporating the liquid ingredients, or in a stand mixer/kitchen aid. Let rest, covered in plastic in the refrigerator until you are ready to roll. Be sure to have it a room temperature for about 30 minutes before you plan to roll the pasta. When ready, roll out with rolling pin until paper thin. You’ll want to roll many sheets so that you have enough to replicate this with a large rectangle several times. The trick is to be able to see writing on a paper underneath the dough, to know that you’ve rolled it out thin enough. Roll two sheets of pasta the same size. Use the 6 centimeter ring cutter, imprint your ravioli shape on the bottom sheet only so that you can use that shape as a guide to add your filling. Do not cut all the way through. Use it to stencil the ravioli shape. Use that as a guide to place your filling.
Use a 1-ounce ice cream scoop to add your chilled filling. Using a spray bottle, spray water over the sheet of pasta that has been dotted with the filling. (It’s important that the water covers all of the exposed pasta.) After the filling is on dotted on the sheet, place your second sheet of pasta over the bottom layer. Use your cutter to actually cut through the two layers of pasta with filling. Use your finger to press around each ravioli to ensure it adheres. Cook the pasta immediately, or refrigerate for up to 3 days, or freeze up to 1 month. If cooking immediately, cook for 4-5 minutes in boiling, salted water. The ravioli are cooked once they float for 30 seconds to 1 minute. While pasta is cooking, prepare the Brown Butter Sauce.
Brown Butter Sauce Ingredients
1/2 pound unsalted butter
1 tablespoon chopped sage
2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
8 ounces water
Parmigiano Reggiano to taste, for garnish
To make the sauce: Using room temperature butter, mix butter with sage, brown sugar and lemon in a bowl by hand. Add water and butter to large saute pan and bring to a boil. You are looking for the sauce to thicken, and not be too runny. If a wooden spoon scraped on the bottom of the pan makes a lasting streak, then you know your sauce is thick enough. (By adding water, it keeps the butter from burning and creates a thick sauce.) Remove your pasta using a stainless steel strainer and then toss into sauté pan to coat with the thickened sauce.
To Serve: Spoon ravioli directly from sauté pan into bowls and garnish with grated parmigiano Reggiano. At Colletta, Gnapi garnishes with spicy candied walnuts, which you can make or buy. Serves about 4 people.
This article originally appeared on waltermagazine.com in November 2022.