I have ALWAYS been intimated by fresh pasta. The process looks so tedious, lengthy, and messy! I have seen many Instagram friends make it, and I have always been in awe of their beautifully done pasta. My husband gifted me a pasta maker for Christmas, cause ofcourse I need to have every gadget in the kitchen ever possible ;). It was sitting in the garage for the longest time. Every time I would bring it in, to make pasta, I would put it back in a few hours. I could not get myself to make it!
Finally, on Thanksgiving day, I decided to get that thing in, fight my stupid fear and make fresh pasta! Thanksgiving is such a beautiful tradition, and we usually spend it with my inlaws, but they are out of town this year. I am grateful to spend it with my family and my kitty cats and share a lovely meal with all of them! My daughter wanted me to make ravioli, so I made a winter squash filling with butternut squash and acorn squash, that I had roasted with smoked paprika, salt, pepper and olive oil in the oven for about 30 minutes at 400 degrees. After it cools, I mashed it up with a potato masher, or simply with a fork, added in parmesan cheese, one egg, a dash of olive oil, nutmeg, pine nuts, and mixed it all up.
I was referred to an amazing Pasta Book called Mastering Pasta by Marc Vetri , by Rebecca from displacedhousewife.com. I have to say, the techniques mentioned in the book, the art of making different pastas is so beautifully written in the book, its a great read. And the pictures are beautiful! I used the base dough recipe from the book. I did not have durum flour or semolina flour, so I simply used bread flour, cause it has the elasticity that pasta dough requires. The dough literally took me 15 minutes to make it including kneading time, I am not kidding! You let the dough rest for 30 minutes afterwards before you roll out the pasta.
I used the pasta maker to roll out the pasta really thin, on a setting of almost 4 or 5. You can get a decent priced pasta maker on Amazon.com. You do require the pasta maker, to roll out the pasta evenly, and make some good looking pasta. The maker is so easy to work, and you get beautiful sheets of rolled pasta within minutes. It is very therapeutic! I used the NorPro Ravioli Press to make the perfect little squares of filled pasta, let them rest on a baking sheet, lined with a kitchen towel and extra flour on it, as you cut out ALL of the squares with the filling. Once it is all ready, the ravioli takes literally 4-5 minutes to cook!
A wild mushroom based cream sauce was great with the raviolis, and they paired so well with the warm winter squash ravioli! This was our main meal for Thanksgiving, very unconventional, but a truly delicious one! I paired it with the Meadowcroft 2015 Anderson Valley Pinot Noir , which was generously sent by Meadowcroft for us to try!
We are really lucky to live so close to wine country! It is gorgeous, rustic, peaceful and romantic up in Napa/Sonoma Valley! Meadowcroft has a Tasting Room located in Cornerstone Sonoma, which is a quaint little area, with pop-up shops, furniture galleries, and a couple other tasting rooms! They had invited me to go wine tasting in their beautiful tasting room. It was a wonderful experience, tasting all the different wines! My favorite was the Riesling, which I had to buy, and they were generous for me to try their signature Port Wine as well, which was absolutely delicious! I can’t wait to make a dessert that would go with the port wine! Perhaps a pastry or a delicate chocolate cookie?
Here is the pasta recipe, and I hope you’ll will not be intimated by it. Get that fear out of the window, and try to make fresh pasta! The experience is wonderful and there is just an absolute different taste to fresh pasta, that you cannot get from the store bought pasta. The process needs a little bit of planning. I had extra dough, and I even made tagliatelle and spaghetti that my kids enjoyed a couple of days later, with a simple marinara sauce, and parmesan cheese! Their verdict : Mommy, this is the best pasta ever! Please make fresh pasta all the time! 😉
If you do try this recipe, please do not forget to tag #thejamlab on Instagram and/or leave a comment below on the blog post!
Happy Pasta Making!
- For the Pasta Dough(Egg Yolk Dough) :
- Adapted from Mastering Pasta by Marc Vetri
- 2 1/2 cups bread flour
- 8 egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2-3 tablespoons of water or more if required
- For the Winter squash filling:
- 1 acorn squash, skin peeled, seeds and hair removed from inside
- 1/2 butternut squash, skin peeled, seeds and hair removed from inside
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 cup of olive oil + 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- salt and pepper to taste
- Wild Mushroom Sauce:
- 2 cups wild mushrooms cut into small to medium sized pieces(I prefer small)
- 1 shallot finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 sprigs of thyme
- 1/2 cup cream
- 3/4 cup vegetable broth
- salt and pepper to taste
- chopped parsley
- freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Make the winter squash filling: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the peeled and de-seeded acorn and butternut squash into small pieces. Place them on a medium baking tray, coat it with 1/4 cup of olive oil, smoked paprika, salt and pepper. Toss it till well coated. Place in the oven for 30 minutes until squash is soft and done. Let it cool.
- 2. Mash it in a medium bowl. Add in the egg, parmesan cheese, nutmeg, salt and pepper, nutmeg, pine nuts and mix it all up. Cover and keep it refrigerated.
- Make the pasta dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or on a work surface, drop the flour and make a well in the center. On medium speed, or using your fingers, mix in the egg yolks, oil and water, adding them one ingredient at a time and mixing just until the dough comes together, 2 to 3 minutes. If the dough seems dry, add another tablespoon of water.
- 2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and using the palms of your hands, knead the dough until it feels silky and smooth, about 8 minutes.The dough is ready when it gently pulls back into place when it is slightly stretched.
- 3. Shape the dough into a ball and then flatten the ball into a disk. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes or chill in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- 4. To roll out the dough, cut it into 4 equal pieces. Let the pieces sit, covered, at room temperature for 10 minutes if chilled.
- 5. Shape each piece into an oval wide enough to fit the width of your pasta roller. Lightly flour your work surface and set the pasta roller to its widest setting. Lightly flour 1 piece of dough, pass it through the roller and then lightly dust the rolled dough with flour, brushing off the excess with your hands. Pass the dough through the widest setting again. Lower the setting by 1 notch and continue to pass the dough through until you've reached the desired thickness. I used setting 5 for the raviolis. Make the sheet long enough to put on the Ravioli tray maker and fold it, to top it.
- 6. Use the Ravioli cutter per instructions. Add flour on the ravioli cutter, for the pasta to NOT stick. Add half the pasta sheet on top, make the indentation with the top part. Put about 1 teaspoon of filling into each cavity. Top with the other half of the pasta sheet. Roll it out to cut out little squares.
- 7. Place the raviolis on a baking sheet, lined with a kitchen towel or parchment paper that has been dusted with flour, to prevent the ravioli from sticking. Dust the raviolis on top with flour as well. Continue the process until all the raviolis are done.
- For the Wild Mushroom Sauce:
- 1. In a medium saucepan, on medium heat, add in the olive oil and butter. Add in the shallots, grated garlic cloves, and saute for 2 minutes. Add in the mushrooms, salt and pepper, and saute till golden brown about 7 minutes. Add in the broth, cream, and thyme and saute on low heat till it forms a beautiful rich sauce, about 5 minutes. Your sauce is done. If it gets thick after shutting off the gas, add in a little broth and warm it for 2 minutes.
- 1) Boil water with salt, in a large saucepan. Once boiling, start putting in about 5 raviolis at a time, for about 4-5 minutes to cook. Remove and let it rest on a plate. Continue the process until all are cooked.
- 2) Plate the ravioli - about 5-6 on a plate, dress it with the mushroom sauce, and drizzle chopped parsley on the top with some freshly grated parmesan cheese!