Lidia’s Squash Ravioli

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KC Restaurant Week continues today as Chef de Cuisine  Cody Hogan and Sous Chef Daniel Walker of Lidia’s stopped by to make Squash Ravioli.

All you have to do is make a reservation at a participating restaurant this week and proceeds go to Harvesters.

Lidia’s Squash Ravioli Filling

For the filling:

  • 1 small butternut squash (about 2 pounds)
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese ½ cup finely diced mostarda di Cremona
  • 8 amaretti cookies, crushed to fine crumbs (about 2/3 cup) Freshly grated nutmeg Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 recipe Basic Egg Pasta Dough
  • 6 quarts salted water

Preheat the oven to 375F.  With a sturdy serrated knife, carefully cut the squash into quarters and scrape out the seeds.  Arrange the squash pieces cut side up in a baking dish and bake until it feels soft and is easily pierced with a knife, about 1 hour.  Allow to cool.

Peel off the skin from the squash.  Place the flesh in a food processor and process just until no longer chunky, a few seconds.  Transfer the squash to a sieve lined with cheese-cloth and set it over a bowl; allow to drain in a cool place overnight.

Meanwhile, prepare the pasta dough:

  • 4cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Warm water as needed

Place all but 1/3 cup of the flour in the work bowl of a large-capacity food processor fitted with the metal blade.  In a small bowl, beat the eggs and olive oil together until blended.  With the motor running, pour the egg mixture into the feed tube and mix until the mixture forms a stiff dough.  If necessary, drizzle a very small amount of warm water into the feed tube.  Remove the dough from the machine and knead, using the remaining flour, and more if necessary, until the dough is smooth and silky, 10 to 20 minutes.  Roll the dough into a smooth ball and wrap with plastic.  Let the dough rest for at least 1 hour at room temperature or up to 1 day in the refrigerator, before rolling and shaping the pasta.

After the squash has drained, transfer the squash to a large mixing bowl.  Beat in the grated cheese, mostarda, and crushed amaretti and season with nutmeg and pepper to taste.  Beat in the egg yolks until smooth and well blended.  Set the mixture in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Roll out the dough by hand or on a pasta machine until the dough is thin enough to barely see through.  Use a scant tablespoon of the squash filling for each raviolo.  Cut out the ravioli using a 2 ½-inch round cutter.  Press the edges of the ravioli firmly to seal them tightly.  Arrange them in a single layer on baking sheets lined with lightly floured kitchen towels and cover with additional towels.  The ravioli can be cooked immediately or frozen in a single layer.

When ready to cook, bring the salted water to a boil in a large pot.  Add the ravioli to the boiling water one at a time, stirring gently as you do.  Cook until they rise to the surface and the edges are tender but still firm to the bite, about 6 minutes after the water returns to a boil.

Meanwhile, make the sauce:

  • 5 to 7 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3-5 fresh sage leaves

¼ cup pasta cooking water or chicken stock Salt and freshly ground black pepper In a small saucepan, melt the butter with the sage.  Add the ¼ cup pasta cooking water and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Let simmer for 3 to 5 minutes.

Use a big skimmer or large flat slotted spoon to gently scoop out the ravioli, draining them well.  Set them on a warmed serving platter or in individual bowls.  Pour the butter sauce over the ravioli and sprinkle with the grated cheese.  Serve immediately.

Adapted from Lidia’s Italian Table by Lidia Mattichio Bastianich.  William Morrow & Company, Inc., New York, 1998.

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