Pumpkin Ravioli with Brown Butter Sage Sauce (Recipe)
When you travel to Florida in November to see your bestie, who just so happens to be a food enthusiast just like you, and just so happens to share a love of all things “Friends” with you, there’s really only one thing you must do: Host a Friendsgiving. And that’s just what we did.
A few months before the established date, my bestie invited a few other couples to the event and started a Facebook group, where we all posted recipe ideas. A couple of weeks before the big day, we settled on a theme: Italian, but with a Fall/Thanksgiving twist. I immediately posted to the group, “Joe and I can make pumpkin ravioli!” A few blue thumbs up later, and we got to planning.
And then we started packing our suitcase. And we remembered the 50-lb weight limit. And we looked at our 10-lb pasta maker and said, “Oh shit.” I didn’t even think about trying to get the thing past TSA in my carry-on: “Ma’am, why are you bringing this miniature torture device onto the plane?”
Slowly, the image of the little squash-filled pillows on the Friendsgiving table started to fade. I’d already come up with a back-up recipe: the butternut squash lasagna from Seriously Delish. Essentially the same flavors, but casserole-style.
“So, I’m thinking we go get the lasagna ingredients…” I began.
“Wait, what?” said Joe. “I really want to make that ravioli.”
I reminded him we had no pasta maker. I could almost see his Italian bloodline rising up inside him, causing his muscles to tense underneath his shirt. “We have a rolling pin.”
Friendsgiving Day arrived, and sure enough (though it took a lot more muscle and we couldn’t get the pasta sheets quite as thin as we would’ve liked), before we knew it, we had 36 little pockets of pumpkin-y perfection ready to go.
Homemade pasta is always a production; compared to boxed pasta, it takes freakin’ forever. But then again, compared to boxed pasta, it’s so much better. You don’t know the meaning of the term al dente until you eat fresh pasta—it has a bite and texture to it that set it apart as a singular component of the meal, all on its own. Copious amounts of egg yolk gives it a rich taste and golden yellow color.
Our pumpkin ravioli featured a filling made from canned pumpkin (the one easy shortcut in this process), goat cheese, toasted pine nuts, and sautéed shallots with garlic and fresh sage. I’ll admit, Joe was the major orchestrator of this dish—I just assisted here and there (especially when it came time to fill and cut the ravioli—that was a three-person job) and watched him work his magic. I will take credit for one thing—I added in way more goat cheese than he’d originally planned. Because if there’s one thing I’ve learned in my 35 years on this planet, it’s that it’s nearly impossible to add too much goat cheese.
You’ll notice that this recipe doesn’t include instructions for the actual pasta, nor the brown butter. There are a million-and-one pasta recipes out there; as for us, we used this one. And no one knows brown butter like Jessica from How Sweet Eats, so head over to there to learn how to do that part.
A word of caution: You may, as I did on Friendsgiving Day, find yourself manning the boiling pasta while simultaneously being yelled at by two overly-excited, slightly inebriated Italians. Whatever you do, trust your instincts about when the pasta is done cooking, not the insistent exclamations they keep throwing your way. Pasta doesn’t cook that much more after you take it out of the pot.
And when in doubt, make extra for tasting purposes. #HoCoFood