You may never have tried making pasta yourself, thinking it’s all too hard.  Or you may have taken the leap and realized it’s super easy and super messy and fun for kids! You’ll need a pasta maker and they are well worth the investment if you enjoy food and cooking.

We have some lovely butternut pumpkins that we’ve grown here at Malumla so decided to make pumpkin ravioli with burnt sage and butter – one of my favourites.

The pasta recipe is based on the recipe that came with our pasta machine.  It is a ‘Past-a-fast’ Noodle Making Machine by Imperia.  We’ve always had to add some luke warm water to get the consistency right.

I based this filling on the Pumpkin, sage and pecorino recipe from Sarah Raven’s Garden Cookbook.  Sarah Raven is a gardener and the cook, so her recipes and insights are wonderful.  I first discovered this book through Mickey Robertson during one of her kitchen gardening workshops at Glenmore House.

PASTA Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups 00 flour*
  • Luke warm water, if needed

I’ve always cooked pasta with 00 flour.  Recently I thought I’d try with semolina.  It worked, but is a little coarser.   Mostly now, you can get 00 flour at your local supermarket, but if it isn’t available, look for semolina.  If it’s not with the flours, it will be in the health food section.

FILLING Ingredients

  • 1 pumpkin
  • 150g pecorino or parmesan cheese
  • 100g butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped sage leaves, plus a bunch of sage leaves to serve

Method

Preheat a hot oven (200º C).

You can either knead the pasta by hand or throw it all into a food processor. If you go with the food process, once you start seeing the pasta coming together in a ball, you know you’ve got the right consistency.

If you’ve made play dough before, it’s a similar approach.  If it crumbles, add a little luke warm water.  If it sticks to your fingers, add a little flour.   Once you have it to the right consistency, cover it in the bowl or food processor you’ve used with a lid, plate or glad wrap so that it doesn’t dry out.  If you can, let the pasta rest for half an hour.

Peel the pumpkin, scoop the seeds out and cut it into small chunks.  Place the pumpkin pieces in a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil, season and well.  Cover with foil and roast in the preheated oven for half an hour, until tender.  Set the pumpkin aside to cool.

Follow the instructions on your pasta maker.  Basically you’ll flatten out a piece of dough in narrower settings as you go, until you have a thin, flat piece of dough.  It is a good idea to lay same damp tea towels down on the area you’re working on and then you can lay the pieces of pasta on those so that they don’t dry out while you’re flattening the rest of the pasta.

Mix the slightly cooled pumpkin with chopped sage and pecorino.  If you use pecorino, you may not need as much salt as it is quite a salty cheese.  Mash or mix in a food processor.

Spoon teaspoon mounds of filling at intervals and brush with water between mounds.  Cover with another sheet of dough and press the top piece down gently.

Press gently between each mound.  You can use the side of your hand.  Start at one end and work to the other ensuring that all the air is released.

Poach the ravioli a few at a time in a wide shallow plan in salted, gently boiling water for 8-10 minutes or until al dente (just cooked, but a little firm).  Then drain and dry on a clean tea towel.

Serve the pasta with melted butter and ground pepper.  Sprinkle grated pecorino and scatter with save leaves that have been fried quickly in a little olive oil.  If you don’t have the right sized grater, just peel pieces of cheese off with a vegetable grater.

Tips

  • Don’t try to wash the pasta maker pieces.  It just seems to glue the pasta in tighter.  I used a brush that came with a food processor and brush the pasta crumbs out when we’ve finished and then if you need to, brush again once it’s dried later on.
  • We never seem to have this problem because pasta is so popular in our family, but if you do have any leftover, you roll it into a ball, wrap it in glad wrap and freeze it.
  • The ravioli shapes aren’t quite as perfect as they could be. However, look at Sophie Hansen’s Local is Lovely Ravioli recipe to see how you could cut them out to look a little more professional.  It takes a bit of trial and error.  A ravioli cutter is definitely on our Christmas wish list.
  • If you have dogs that are ‘inside dogs’, shut them outside before you start making the pasta.  Once, Darcy and I made fettuccine and hung it on the back of a kitchen chair before we added it to the boiling water.  It turned out to be hanging at just the right height for Daisy, our black Labrador to help herself.  So we had to start all over again.