I worked very hard to make this recipe extra special and it is as fine as any bistro offering. Make as many ravioli as you want and then freeze them and pop them in simmering water when you want a special meal or a unique Thanksgiving offering. You can use fresh pasta sheets to make the ravioli (and cut with a paring knife into small squares or a round or square ravioli cutter) or handier still, won ton wrappers. Won ton wrappers are easier to work with unless you you’re your own fresh pasta or really supple, soft, fresh pasta from a gourmet shop. Store-bought fresh pasta (in our testing) was too tough to work with. Canned pumpkin is a noble shortcut but make sure you purchase plain pumpkin (not spiced pumpkin puree). For your own pumpkin filling, roast (not boil) the pumpkin.
This is easy if you make the filling ahead (it keeps for two days in the fridge) and assemble what you need for a meal and freeze the rest. Bakers tip: parchment paper to lay the ravioli out on, a pastry brush for the egg wash and make sure your pasta is very thin (whether it is store-bought or homemade) for a very tender ravioli.
1 ½ cup pumpkin puree or well-mashed pumpkin
3/4 cup ricotta cheese (well-drained)
1/3 cup chevre cheese
1/2 cup grated fresh parmesan cheese
1/4 cup whipping cream
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
Salt, pepper to taste
1/8 teaspoon hot pepper (red pepper, ground)
Fresh Pasta (1 pound ) or wonton wrappers, as required
Shitake Mushroom Bechamel
1 cup shitake mushrooms, very finely diced
1 cup white button mushrooms, very finely diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 small garlic clove, finely minced
1 cup milk
Sage Butter Sauce
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 diced sage leaves
4 large whole sage leaves, for garnish
Minced parsley, sage
For the Pumpkin Filling, combine pumpkin, ricotta, chevre, parmesan, whipping cream, egg, vinegar, nutmeg, salt and pepper and sage. Taste and season with more salt or pepper. Refrigerate.
For the Shitake Mushroom Sauce, in a small saucepan, heat the oil in a medium non-stick skillet and add in the mushrooms. Slowly cook the mushrooms until they are reduced to one-third and very dark in colour. Set aside. (Sauce will be continued later)
To assemble: If using wonton wrappers, place them on a sheet of parchment paper.
On each, deposit a small spoonful (about half a tablespoon) of pumpkin filling)
Alternatively deposit rows of pumpkin filling mounds on the fresh pasta, leaving a border of ½ inch all round each mound.
Using a small pastry brush, moisten all of the edges with a little beaten egg and cover with another wonton wrapper. Press edges to seal. Repeat until you run out of wrappers or filling.
For the pasta dough approach, using a pastry brush dipped in egg wash, similarly brush the outer edge of mounds of filling. Place another sheet of pasta dough on top and press lightly over mounds. Cut with a paring knife into squares or using a ravioli cutter (even a cookie cutter is fine, especially if you have a fluted edge one).(You can freeze these uncooked raviolis, in a single layer, for 1-2 months)
To cook, bring 3 quarts of water to a gentle boil. Cook a few raviolis at a time for 2-3 minutes. Drain and place on a platter.
For the Shitake Mushroom Béchamel, heat the butter and oil a minute and then add the flour and stir a few minutes to cook the flour. Add in the garlic and then slowly add in the milk, salt, and pepper and cook to thicken slightly, about 2-3 minutes. Fold in cooked mushrooms.
For the Sage Butter, melt the remaining butter with the sage and a pinch of salt until it foams and begins to brown. Remove whole sage leaves and drain on a paper towel (they will be a crispy, pretty garnish). Continue to swirl the butter sauce until it turns a rich chestnut brown.
To serve, on each plate, arrange a few ravioli, drizzle on Sage Butter and a few tablespoons of Shitake Mushroom Béchamel. Dust with parsley and grated parmesan cheese.
Serves 6 (or more or less, as required)
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