For the squash filling
900 grams (2 pounds) sweet winter squash like honeynut or butternut
15 ml (1 tablespoon) extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
55 grams (¼ cup) unsalted butter
55 grams (2 ounces) finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
For the pasta
350 grams (approx. 2¼ cups) ‘00’ pasta flour or all-purpose flour
50 grams (approx. 5 tablespoons) semola rimacinata or semolina flour*
225 grams eggs (approx. 4 large eggs plus 1 to 2 large yolks)
For the sauce
½ cup (1 stick; 115 grams) unsalted butter
16 fresh sage leaves
*Using semolina in egg pasta dough isn’t traditional, but I like it because it yields pasta with more bite and helps the dough hold its shape. If you don’t have it or prefer a very tender dough, replace it with 50 grams of ‘00’ or all-purpose flour.
Make the filling:
Heat the oven to 400°F.
- If using smaller honeynut squashes, trim the stems, cut them in half lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds; if using butternut, cut it in half crosswise (where the neck meets the base), then peel, deseed, and cut it into 1-inch-thick slices. Coat the squash in olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Arrange the pieces on a parchment-lined sheet pan and roast until very tender and easily pierced with a knife, about 45 minutes.
- While the squash roasts, add the butter to a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the milk solids separate, froth, and turn golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and continue to stir for 1 to 2 minutes until the butter deepens to an amber color. Transfer to a bowl.
- When the squash is cool, pat the flesh with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture. Discard any skins and add the squash to a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Drizzle in the brown butter and pulse until very smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Add the Parmigiano-Reggiano and season to taste with salt, pepper, and freshly grated nutmeg. Pulse again to combine.
- Transfer to a bowl or piping bag and refrigerate until chilled, at least 30 minutes, or until ready to use. The filling can be made up to 3 days ahead.
Make the pasta dough:
- Make the dough by hand or in a food processor (click here for full instructions), then wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and let it rest at room temperature for 30 minutes (or up to 2 hours). If storing overnight, refrigerate the wrapped dough and bring it to room temperature before use.
Roll the pasta sheets:
- Cut off a quarter of the dough and re-wrap the remainder.
- On a work surface (preferably wooden, like a large cutting board—it will prevent the pasta from sticking), flatten the section of dough with the heel of your palm into an oval-shaped pancake that’s about ¼-inch thick. Press the dough between your fingers as needed.
- Set your pasta roller to its widest setting. Position one tapered end of the oval in the center and roll it through once—you should be left with a longer, thinner oval.
- Position the dough lengthwise on your work surface. Then fold the two tapered ends into the center like an envelope so the length is the same or similar to the slot of the pasta roller (about 6 inches; it doesn’t matter if the tapered ends overlap or if there’s space between them). Flatten the dough again with your palm/fingers so it’ll go through the machine easily.
- Line up the bottom edge of the pasta envelope with the edge of the machine and roll the dough through the machine on the same (widest setting) a second time—you should be left with a rectangular-ish piece of dough (it’s okay if the ends are a little wonky!).
- Continue rolling the dough through the machine one time on each progressive setting until you have a thin sheet—I finish on setting 6 twice using my Marcato Atlas and KitchenAid machines. If the dough feels sticky or tacky as you roll, dust both sides with some ‘00’ or all-purpose flour.
Assemble the ravioli:
- Line a sheet pan with a clean, tightly woven dishcloth/tea towel or parchment paper.
- Lay the pasta lengthwise on your work surface and trim the ends of any uneven areas (if you don’t have a wooden surface/cutting board, dust some flour on the bottom of the pasta sheet and your countertop). Ball up any scraps and re-wrap them in plastic to rehydrate. You can roll them through the machine a second time after using up all the fresh dough.
- Fold the pasta sheet in half crosswise (like a book) and make a crease to mark the midpoint, then unfold it again. Cut down the line of the crease so you have two even pieces. Cover one piece with a lightly damp dishcloth to prevent it from drying out.
- For round ravioli: Use a 2- or 2½-inch cookie cutter to lightly mark the outlines of the ravioli across the uncovered pasta sheet—make sure not to cut through the dough, and leave about ½ inch of space between each circle and the edges of the sheet. This will be your guide for where to place the filling.
- Spoon or pipe a generous dollop of filling in the center of each circle, leaving some space between the dollop and the outline of the cookie cutter. It’ll take a little trial and error to figure out how much filling you can comfortably fit, but it’s better to be conservative at the beginning and build as you go.
- If the dough feels dry, trace a small amount of water with your finger around the filling pockets.
- Uncover the other pasta sheet and carefully lay it on top, making sure all the filling is completely covered (you can stretch the dough a bit if needed).
- Before cutting, gently trace your fingers around the dough overlaying each dollop of filling to remove any air, pressing it out toward the nearest exit (this will help prevent the ravioli from bursting when cooked). To make the ravioli look more uniform, you can press the blunt side of a smaller cookie cutter or shot glass around the filling to concentrate it in the center.
- Lift the pasta briefly to make sure it’s not sticking to your work surface. Then cut out the ravioli by twisting the cookie cutter around the filling pockets. Pinch firmly around edges to seal well.
- For square ravioli: If you don’t have cookie cutters, or if you prefer square ravioli, arrange generous dollops of filling about 1-inch apart across the pasta sheet (in 2 parallel rows, if you have the space). Then lay the other pasta sheet on top, remove the air pockets, and use a fluted pasta cutter or sharp knife to cut between the filling mounds. Trim the edges and press firmly to seal (if you want, press the tines of a fork along the edges for a decorative effect).
- Arrange the ravioli in a single layer on the prepared sheet pan. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Finish the dish:
- Bring a large pot of water to a gentle boil, then season it generously with salt.
- In a large saute pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the sage leaves and cook, shaking the pan every so often, until the sage starts to darken and crisp, about 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and season to taste with salt. If you prefer crispy sage, transfer the leaves to a paper towel-lined plate.
- Carefully drop the ravioli into the boiling water and cook until tender, about 2½ minutes. When they’re almost ready, return the butter to medium heat. Use a spider sieve or slotted spoon to transfer the pasta (and a little residual cooking water) directly to the sauce and toss gently, swirling the pan until everything is well-coated.
- Divide the pasta among bowls and serve, topped with the sage and plenty of Parmigiano-Reggiano.