Over the summer, one of my good friends from Italy came to visit me, and we made pasta together, from scratch. I let her do a lot of the kneading and especially the shaping of the pasta, and it seemed to be manageable. I didn’t try it on my own.
A few weeks after that, I visited Italy and taught a workshop, and one of the activities was photographing pasta making. Again, it seemed to be quite straightforward – similar to making Chinese noodles from scratch, actually – but when I returned to the US, my kitchen remained homemade pasta-free. A few months passed, and we’re now deep into autumn, with squashes abundant in the markets and beckoning to me. As I stood in the grocery aisle choosing between dried pasta, I had a sudden wave of determination: I’m going to make homemade pasta.
I’d been using squash in pasta dishes already, but there was one recipe I wanted to try that would almost certainly require making my own pasta: squash ravioli. I’ve had this comforting recipe swirling in my head for a while; a rustic, warm, full of umami dish that is perfect for a cold snowy day. Squash is puréed with a touch of miso and ricotta, stuffed into egg pasta dough, and then plated with herbs.
The finishing touch is a hot, steamy umami-packed mushroom broth, delicious enough to drink on its own, poured over the ravioli so that they are swimming in a light sea of broth. It’s not fancy, but it’s delicious and full of complex flavors.
What’s even better is that a lot of these ingredients can be prepped ahead of time. I made this for a group of friends, and I made the mushroom broth the day before. I roasted the squash the day before and puréed it, so that all I had to do was prepare the pasta dough and shape the ravioli the day of.
I use delicata squash because it’s my current favorite – its tender, sweet, and nutty flavor seemed like a good complement to the savory, umami miso I put in. It was also a great contrast to the strong mushroom broth, but you can also use kabocha or butternut squash.
Before starting the dough, prepare the mushroom broth and squash filling. For the mushroom broth, simply sauté shallots until translucent, then add in the mushrooms and cook until they’re soft. Add in 6 cups of water and bring to a boil. Add in thyme. Turn heat to low and simmer for 1-2 hours. Season with salt and pepper. For the squash, preheat the oven to 400° F. Brush squash halves with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes, until tender and easily pierced with a fork. Let cool.
Sift the dry ingredients onto a workable surface and form a well with your hands. Crack the eggs into it and add oil.
Using a fork or your fingers, start whisking the eggs and breaking it apart. Start to incorporate the flour from the edges of the well, until a dough forms.
Knead for 10 minutes to allow the gluten to develop, until the dough is elastic. It may seem a bit stiff, but after resting, the dough will be very compliant. Form a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Let the dough sit on the countertop for 30 minutes to an hour.
In the meantime, prepare the squash filling. Scoop out the squash and purée with ricotta, parmigiano reggiano, miso, zest, egg, and nutmeg. Set aside.
Attach the Pasta Roller of the KitchenAid® 3-Piece Pasta Roller & Cutter Set to the power hub of your KitchenAid® Artisan® Mini Stand Mixer, with the width set to “1”, the thickest setting. Divide the dough into quarters and flatten with your hand. Feed the dough through on speed 3-4.
Repeat 2 more times. Then, turn setting to “2”, and feed through twice. Each time the dough will be longer and thinner. Turn setting to “4” and feed it through once. Turn it to “6” and feed it through once. This is a good thickness for ravioli dough. Set aside on a lightly-floured surface, and cover with a sheet of plastic wrap.
Repeat until all the dough is used up. Lay one sheet on a working surface. Put about 1 tablespoon filling 1.5” apart on the bottom half of the dough. Use water to create “U” shapes around each filling. Gently fold top edge down. Use two fingers to press gently between each filling to seal. Press along the bottom edge to seal. Cut the ravioli and cook using the recipe instructions below.
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Miso Squash Ravioli
Makes 4-6 servings
For the dough
150 grams flour
150 grams semolina flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
For the filling
1 pound delicata squash, cut in half and seeds removed
1 tablespoon miso
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
1/4 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Salt and pepper, for seasoning
For the broth
1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms
1/2 pound button mushrooms
3 dried porcini
3 shallots, diced
6 cups water
For the dough
On a working surface, sift dry the flour and semolina flour. Make a well in the middle. Add in eggs and oil. Use fingers to mix eggs and gently start to mix in the flour, until the dough is combined. Knead for 10 minutes. It should be slightly elastic. Cover with plastic wrap and rest for 30 minutes, up to an hour. Knead for another 5 minutes.
Take a quarter of the dough and shape it into a flat disc. Run through the Pasta Roller twice. Switch the setting to “2” and run through twice again. Gradually increase the settings on the Pasta Roller until you run through on setting “6”, the optimal thickness for ravioli.
Gently place about 1 tablespoon filling 1.5” apart on the bottom half of the dough. Use water to create “U” shapes around each filling. Gently fold top edge down. Use your fingers to press gently between each filling to seal. Press along the bottom edge to seal. Cut ravioli.
For the filling
Preheat oven to 400° F. Brush the delicata squash halves with olive oil then season with salt and pepper. Place the cut side up on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, until tender and easily pierced with a fork. Let cool.
Remove peel. Blend with remaining ingredients. Set aside.
For the broth
Sautée shallots until translucent, then add mushrooms and cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Add 6 cups of water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 2 hours. Strain broth and reserve mushrooms for another use.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add half of the ravioli and cover (make sure the pot is not too crowded). When water is boiling again, uncover and cook for 3-5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon. Repeat with the remaining half.
Divide into bowls. Pour mushroom broth gently over the ravioli. Garnish with herbs and top with freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano. Serve immediately.
*The Contributor of this post has been compensated by KitchenAid for this post, but this post represents the Contributor’s own opinion.*