I warned you I would go a bit crazy on the pumpkin/squash side of life, so here we go. I made this recipe last year in fall, because I had never made pasta in my life before myself and I wanted to try. This recipe I found on Chickpea Vegan Magazine seemed like a great idea, since the flavours are so different. And, it had squash in it! I adapted the recipe a bit, since I didn’t have semolina at hand, which I subbed with flour (I used more than the original recipe since I found the dough to be quite sticky). Also, I didn’t have maple syrup, so I used a bit of agave nectar.
The making itself was quite an experience. You need some patience, which I don’t really have. Maybe that is why I haven’t made those yummy raviolis again (yet). The actual process of cutting and filling it takes its time. It is not a meal that you will throw together in a few minutes. It took me about an hour to make and cook them (cooking them is the fast part). It came out to be something between 15 to 20 raviolis. But it is absolutely worth it if you can take the time to make them. The combination of the sweetness of squash paired with cinnamon and the spicy cayenne pepper (which is no actual pepper, but ground chili) gives you a fantastic sensation your mouth. I wouldn’t recommend another sauce with it, as the butter is enough and let’s you experience the different flavour of the ravioli without any of them overpowering.
Here is the recipe (adapted from Chickpea Mag Fall Issue 2012):
For the filling:
3 cups diced butternut squash
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (depends how hot you like it)
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon brown sugar
Cook the squash in some water until very tender and easy to mash with a potato masher. This takes about 15 to 20 minutes. Once done, you mash the squash with some of the cooking water and add the spices. The original recipe calls for adding the spices to the cooking water, but I think it is a waste, because the filling should not be liquid, rather like a thick mash, and therefore you will get rid of quite some cooking liquid. Set aside and let cool a bit.
While the squash is cooking, prepare the pasta dough. You need:
2+ cups all purpose flour (or 1 cup flour, on cup semolina)
dash of salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoon water
Mix the pasta ingredients together with your hands until they form a ball. Knead the dough for about a minute. It will be quite hard as the dough is a bit stiff. Then roll it into a ball and put it on a non sticky surface (I recommend parchment paper or a silicone matt; if you don’t have that, put lots of flour on the surface as you don’t want your dough to stick to it). Start rolling the dough out until it is quite thin, I would say about 1 to 1.5 mm thick. You don’t want it to be too thin so the filling will come out, but also not too thick so it gets too doughy. This requires a bit of work for our upper arms. While rolling, try to keep the shape rectangular so you can cut it better later. Then with a big sharp knife or a pizza cutter, cut vertical and horizontal lines that are about 5 cm apart from each other, so you end up with squares of about cm each side.
Now it is time to assemble those little pockets of yum! Add to each centre of the squares about 1/2 teaspoon of the filling. With a finger dipped in water, run your finger around two adjacent edges of a square. The water is your glue to make the dough stick together. Then fold the other corner over the watered one and gently press together. You should now have a little triangle. Use a fork and (again, gently) push the just folded edges together. Be careful that there are no holes in the dough and that no filling comes out the sides. If there is filling coming out, use less on the remaining squares. Repeat with the remaining squares. Bring a pot with water to boil and carefully add some ravioli to the just boiling water. You don’t want the ravioli to stick together, to a few at the time are enough. Once they float on the top, let them in the water for about another minute, then take them out.
In a separate pan, heat up about 1/2 cup of vegan butter (like Earth Balance or Alsan) together with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of agave nectar. Your heat it up until melted and stir until creamy.
Then serve the ravioli on a plate and pour some of the buttery sauce over them and enjoy your hard work!
If you want to store the ravioli (cooked or uncooked), I suggest to do so in a container with layers of parchment paper between the raviolis, so they won’t stick together.