RECIPES:
Oct 10, 2022

Butternut Squash Ravioli Recipe in Brown Butter

Prep Time: 1 hr
Cook Time: 30 mins
The combination of ravioli filled with pureed roasted butternut squash and simple ricotta cheese is served in a simple brown butter sauce and is a classic fall combination.

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I fill this homemade butternut squash ravioli recipe with a combination of roasted squash and ricotta and grated Parmesan cheese. You may see it on Italian restaurant menus as “zucca”, the Italian word for “squash”. I love making fresh pasta for ravioli, as there’s really nothing like the texture and taste! They’re cut into a simple square shape with ruffled edges (thanks to a handy pasta cutter). The warming flavors of the squash enhanced with just a touch of nutmeg is one of my favorite fall flavors. It’s made even better with nutty brown butter, crispy fried sage and crunchy pepitas.

Butternut Squash Ravioli Recipe in Brown Butter 

More About Brown Butter

Brown butter is not only a flavorful, nutty and slightly sweet sauce for pasta, it’s extremely easy to make and comes together quickly. Better yet? The sauce is only made with one ingredient. To create the brown butter or “beurre noisette” the water cooks out and the milk solids toast and turn golden brown. When making brown butter use a light-bottomed pan if possible. That way you can see the shade of brown the mixture is turning. As the butter cooks it will foam, crackle and pop. When it’s ready, remove it from the pan immediately to prevent burning. 

Key Ingredients in This Recipe 

  • Pasta dough – I use a basic pasta dough as the base of this butternut squash ravioli recipe made with a combination of 00 and semolina flours, egg, olive oil and salt to make the ravioli.
  • Butternut squash – Butternut squash is a dense squash with a sweet nutty taste similar to pumpkin. Available year round but technically in season from fall to winter, it’s great roasted as a side dish or pureed as a filling. In this recipe it’s roasted, then combined with ricotta cheese to create the filling for the ravioli. 
  • Ricotta – Ricotta is a mild, soft and creamy Italian cheese made from the leftover whey created when making mozzarella and other similar cheeses. The texture and look is similar to cottage cheese. I always choose whole milk ricotta over part-skim because the latter can be watery. I also recommend draining the ricotta before use. 
  • Pepitas –  While the pumpkin seeds you remove from the pumpkin are white and thin, pepitas are green and small. Both are pumpkin seeds, but pepitas don’t require shelling and only come from certain pumpkins. Rather than trying to make your own I recommend grabbing a bag from the nut section of the grocery store.
  • Unsalted butter – Because it is a one ingredient sauce, I prefer to use high-quality butter. I recommend using unsalted European butter (it has a higher fat content) so the salt content can be controlled easily. 
  • Sage – Frying the fresh sage leaves in the butter helps to flavor the sauce while giving the sage a crisp texture. 

How to Make Butternut Squash Ravioli

Step 1: Roast the squash.

Preheat the oven to 400ºF (200ºC). Toss the butternut squash in the olive oil and spread on a baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper and roast until the squash is very tender, about 20 minutes.

Step 2: Add ingredients to food processor. 

Let the squash cool completely then add the squash, ricotta and Parmesan, egg and nutmeg to the bowl of a food processor. Puree until smooth.

Step 3: Add the filling to a pastry bag. 

Add the filling to a pastry bag fitted with a ¼” (6mm) round tip (or use a large resealable plastic bag and cut a small opening in one corner). 

Step 4: Flatten the pasta. 

Cut the pasta dough into 4 equal pieces and cover with plastic wrap. Dust a clean surface with semolina flour (or cornmeal) and work one piece at a time. Flatten the dough into a 5” (12cm) by 4” (10cm) oval.

Step 5: Roll out the pasta dough into sheets. 

Roll the dough through a pasta roller at the widest setting. Fold the dough in thirds (like a letter) and run it through the machine again. Continue to roll the dough through the machine, reducing the setting to narrower settings each time until it is 1/16” (1.5mm)  thick. You should be able to see your hand through the dough.

Step 6: Pipe the filling for the ravioli. 

Cut the sheet in half crosswise. Starting 1” (2.5cm) from the short edge, spoon about 1 tablespoon (15g) of the butternut squash filling down the length of the dough, spacing them about 1” (1.5cm) apart. In a small bowl whisk together the egg with 1 tablespoon of water (15g).

Step 7: Fill the ravioli. 

Brush the filling with the egg wash and cover with the second piece of the dough, pressing around each round so no extra air remains. Use a serrated pasta wheel, sharp knife, or ravioli mold to cut the ravioli into 2” inch (5cm) squares. Cover with plastic wrap until ready to use. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.

Step 8: Melt the butter. 

To make the brown butter sauce, heat a large sauté pan over medium-low heat, add the butter and allow to melt.

Step 9: Fry the sage. 

Add the sage then continue to cook the butter, swirling it around the pan occasionally, until the butter is a toasty-brown color and has a nutty aroma, about 5 minutes. Once this happens, immediately remove the brown butter to a small bowl. Set the sage aside on a plate.

Step 10: Cook the ravioli.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the ravioli and cook until the ravioli rise to the top and are al dente, about 3 minutes.

Step 11: Assemble and serve. 

Use a slotted spoon to remove the ravioli to serving bowls. Drizzle with the brown butter then top with the sage, pepitas and additional shaved Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

Tips and Tricks for This Recipe 

How to choose butternut squash 

Look for a butternut squash that is firm to the touch with an intact full stem. A full stem will help the squash to keep longer in case you don’t get around to using it as quickly as originally planned. The squash should be uniformly tan in color, indicating it’s ripeness. 

Swaps and Substitutions 
  • If you don’t have a pasta maker to roll out the dough, you can use a package of 40 square wonton wrappers.
  • If you don’t have a food processor, use a blender or stand mixer to make the filling.
  • Butternut squash can be swapped for sweet potatoes or pumpkin in this recipe based on availability and preference. 
  • All-purpose flour can be substituted for 00 and semolina flours if needed. 
Tips for Making Ravioli 
  • If making your own pasta dough, make sure it rests at room temperature for 30 minutes to allow the gluten to relax before rolling it.
  • Make sure the ravioli are sealed without trapped air, this keeps them from breaking apart as they are cooked. 
  • Slightly over-season the filling. This will bring out the best flavor as the pasta cooks. 
  • Ensure the dough is thin enough. This allows the ravioli to cook evenly with the best texture. 
How to Store Uncooked Ravioli
  • Uncooked ravioli can be dusted with semolina or cornmeal and frozen until ready to use. Freeze on a baking sheet for an hour, then transfer to a resealable plastic bag for up to 2 months. 
  • I don’t recommend refrigerating fresh ravioli as they can become mushy and fall apart when cooked. 
  • The butternut squash filling can be made ahead of time and frozen until ready to assemble the ravioli. It can be stored for up to 1 month. 

Other Recipes to Try

If you enjoy this butternut squash ravioli recipe, I recommend giving these a try: 

Butternut Squash Ravioli Recipe in Brown Butter

homemade butternut squash and ricotta ravioli with brown butter sage and pepitas in black bowl
Print Pin
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 30 mins
Serves 4

Equipment:

Ingredients:

For the filling:

  • 4 cups cubed butternut squash (cut into ½” cubes)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt, as needed
  • Freshly ground black pepper, as needed
  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese, drained
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

For assembly and the sage brown butter:

  • 1 pound pasta dough, either homemade or store bought
  • 1 large egg
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 10 medium fresh sage leaves
  • Freshly ground black pepper, as needed
  • ¼ cup pepitas

Instructions:

For the filling:

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF (200ºC). Toss the butternut squash in the olive oil and spread on a baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper and roast until the squash is very tender, about 20 minutes.
  • Let the squash cool completely then add the squash, ricotta and Parmesan, egg and nutmeg to the bowl of a food processor. Puree until smooth.
  • Add the filling to a pastry bag fitted with a ¼” (6mm) round tip (or use a large resealable plastic bag and cut a small opening in one corner).

For the assembly and the sage brown butter:

  • Cut the pasta dough into 4 equal pieces and cover with plastic wrap. Dust a clean surface with semolina flour (or cornmeal) and work one piece at a time. Flatten the dough into a 5” (12cm) by 4” (10cm) oval.
  • Roll the dough through a pasta roller at the widest setting. Fold the dough in thirds (like a letter) and run it through the machine again. Continue to roll the dough through the machine, reducing the setting to narrower settings each time until it is 1/16” (1.5mm) thick. You should be able to see your hand through the dough.
  • Cut the sheet in half crosswise. Starting 1” (2.5cm) from the short edge, spoon about 1 tablespoon (15g) of the butternut squash filling down the length of the dough, spacing them about 1” (1.5cm) apart. In a small bowl whisk together the egg with 1 tablespoon of water (15g).
  • Brush the filling with the egg wash and cover with the second piece of the dough, pressing around each round so no extra air remains. Use a serrated pasta wheel, sharp knife, or ravioli mold to cut the ravioli into 2” inch (5cm) squares.
  • Cover with plastic wrap until ready to use. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.
  • To make the brown butter sauce, heat a large sauté pan over medium-low heat, add the butter and allow to melt.
  • Add the sage then continue to cook the butter, swirling it around the pan occasionally, until the butter is a toasty-brown color and has a nutty aroma, about 5 minutes. Once this happens, immediately remove the brown butter to a small bowl. Set the sage aside on a plate.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the ravioli and cook until the ravioli rise to the top and are al dente, about 3 minutes.
  • Use a slotted spoon to remove the ravioli to serving bowls.
  • Drizzle with the brown butter then top with the sage and pepitas. Serve immediately.

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