Pumpkin Ricotta Ravioli
Mastery is defined as possession or display of great skill or technique.
And mastery allegedly takes around 10,000 hours to achieve.
So at 20 hours a week,
Of doing that thing I love,
And at 52 weeks in a year,
That’s one thousand hours a year….
Or around 10 years to achieve mastery,
In my field.
Many of us Melbournian’s have been dealt challenges,
But we’ve also had the upside of many,
Many more hours…
To allocate to achieving mastery in our chosen fields.
Some of us are just starting out,
Whilst others are accelerating their progress.
And cooking seems to be one of the hot skills,
That many of us are looking to gain mastery in.
I’m no Masterchef,
But I’ve spent countless hours in the kitchen,
Staring as a young boy,
Closely observing my mum and two grannies cook,
Then as a bachelor,
Putting together very basic meals,
The first of which was pasta…
Sauce made by my mum and stored for later use in the freezer,
With my role being boiling loads of water and cooking the pasta,
To which I would add the reheated sauce,
So my dates would be none the wiser to my lack of culinary skills.
Some 20 years later,
Together with one of those first dates,
Who has been my loving and beautiful wife ever since,
Made our first ever pasta from scratch!
Pumpkin & ricotta ravioli was the dish,
Dressed in a simple,
Yet flavour filled garlic, basil and olive oil sauce,
Was the dish.
Easier than we thought,
Although we did have two goes at the dough because the first lot didn’t work out.
It wasn’t perfect,
But it definitely was memorable,
And our first step to what we think is our new passion,
Making pasta from scratch!
If you haven’t done it before,
Lockdown may just be the time to start.
All that’s left to say now is…
– – – – – – – – – –
Ingredients for the Pasta
3 cups “00” flour (extra for dusting)
1 tbsp olive oil
Pinch of salt
Ingredients for the Filling
¼ Jap pumpkin cut into small pieces
2 cloves of garlic, skin on, squashed
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 red onion chopped
4 tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup ricotta
1 tbsp breadcrumbs
½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
½ bunch basil chopped
Salt & pepper
Pre-heat your oven to 200°C.
In an oven dish add the pumpkin, red onion, garlic, 2 tbsp olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Mix together well using your hands and cook in the oven for around 35-45 minutes or until the pumpkin is tender and has some colour.
Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
Sift the flour into a large bowl, add the salt and mix together. Make a well in the middle.
Beat the eggs and pour them in the well along with the olive oil.
Using a fork stir everything together until it is combined, then use your hands to knead it into a dough.
Make into a ball and cover with glad wrap, then set aside to rest for 30 minutes.
In a blender or food processor, add the pumpkin and onion (not the garlic) with the ricotta and blitz until combined.
Pour mixture in a bowl and add the breadcrumbs and stir to combine. Taste the mixture for seasoning and season if required then set aside.
It is now time to roll out the pasta.
Cut the ball of pasta dough into 8 equal pieces. Dust your work bench with some flour so the dough does not stick when you roll it out. I have used a rolling pin, but you can use a pasta machine if you prefer.
Roll out the pasta dough into thin sheets (if you do not have much workspace, do them two at a time). Drop a spoon of the mixture on the pasta sheet, in a row around 5 cms apart.
Dab some water around each bit of the filling so that the top pasta sheet will stick. Cover the first sheet with the second pasta sheet and press down around the filling. Cut into individual ravioli pieces, I used a pizza cutter.
Use a fork to press down on the edges for decoration and to ensure the edges are sealed.
Keep doing this with the other pasta dough and until the mixture is finished. Depending on the size of your ravioli, will depend how many it makes. Mine were large and made 16 pieces.
Set aside on a plate or board.
Fill a large pot with salted water and bring to the boil.
Drop the ravioli in and as soon as they have risen to the top, remove with a slotted spoon.
Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a pan, add the crushed garlic and basil and sauté for 1 minute. Add the pasta and stir to cover with the oil, garlic and basil. Add some extra olive oil if it is required. Serve hot with grated Parmesan and a fresh leafy salad.