One can only imagine the amount of canned pumpkin sold during October and November. It’s a bit of a pumpkin craze when it comes to this time of year. And let’s not even get started on all things pumpkin spice. While pumpkin pie and pumpkin bread might take the lead in ways to use up that orange purée, pumpkin ravioli isn’t far behind. Most recipes feature sage, or thyme, and lots of brown butter for spooning over the warm pasta. But we’re going a different direction with ours. Smoked paprika, cumin and sharp cheddar compliment all those sweet earthy pumpkin flavors in the filling, and the freshly made ravioli gets an easy but delicious topping of crème fraîche and spicy chili oil.
Let’s first start off with the filling. Just a few ingredients, but all carefully chosen for maximum flavor. Begin by waking up those spices in some oil with a little fresh garlic:
Now we mix in with the pumpkin purée, and add the cheese. I am a firm believer in a strongly flavored cheese in pasta fillings. I have had enough bland cheese ravioli/tortellini/manicotti fillings to last me a lifetime. I went with a cheese that I knew would also melt in the short amount of time it takes to cook fresh pasta. Since there aren’t any eggs or other binding agents in the filling, once the ravioli is cut into, the pumpkin filling can blend with the crème fraîche and chili oil and make the most wonderful sauce.
Once your filling is stashed in the fridge, time to move onto the pasta. Homemade pasta can seem a little daunting, but it is actually not that complicated. Especially with the Ankarsrum mixer and pasta attachment.
We start off by putting our wet ingredients and salt in the mixer first, then slowly adding the flour. I prefer to use semolina flour when making pasta. Not only does it have a nice flavor, but the high gluten allows the dough to have that silky consistency good pasta is known for, and the ravioli dough to have the strength to hold the filling without bursting open. After testing several different semolina flours, this one is my favorite. Just the tiniest bit of coarseness to the grind, good flavor, nice yellow color, and consistent results when making pasta. When looking for semolina flour, make sure that it isn’t the coarsely ground kind used for dusting pizza pans. That will result in a very grainy/gritty pasta.
Next the flour gets slowly added in. This is where some patience is required. Move the arm and the scraper back and forth to help the flour incorporate in. It will eventually all mix in, I promise.
Next the dough needs to rest to let all that gluten relax before rolling out. Set up the mixer with the lasagna pasta roller. If you are considering a pasta attachment for your Ankarsrum, this is the first one I would start out with, as it is the most versatile. It can be used for lasagna obviously, but also for filled pasta like ravioli and tortellini. And the fresh sheets of pasta can also be cut into thinner noodles using a knife.
Once the dough has rested, divide into 8 portions and work with 1 at a time, keeping the others covered. Lightly sprinkle with extra semolina flour, slightly flatten, and run through the pasta roller on the widest setting. Fold in half and then run through same setting again. This will be done with each width setting until you’ve reached the desired thinness.
For filling the ravioli, it is best to have a station all set up with the essentials: 1) large cutting board or clean surface that can be cut on (lightly dusted with flour) 2) pasta cutter or sharp knife 3) water and a pastry brush for adhering the pasta sheets together once filled 4) extra semolina flour for dusting and preventing pasta from sticking together 5) filling and small disher for even portions 6) several half sheet pans or cookie pans dusted with semolina flour to place ravioli on.
Once the desired thinness is reached, each portion will be cut into two rectangle: one for the top, one for the bottom. Place small portions of pumpkin filling about 1 1/2 inches apart on one of the pasta sheets. Brush the open space between the filling with water and lightly stretch the other pasta sheet before placing over the other one. Use your hands to carefully press around the filling. The idea is to get rid of any air pockets while not squishing the filling to the sides. Cut into ravioli and then place on pan, dust with flour, cover and begin again with next portion of dough.
Two quick tips before moving on. First, if the pasta dough is beginning to take on a dimpled appearance when rolling through the pasta attachemnt, it usually needs to be dusted with flour. If it has the texture below, like something is trying to tear at it, that usually means that small little bits of dough are stuck underneath the roller. Turn machine off, use a small cleaning brush to scrub underneath and then resume rolling out dough.
Second tip: don’t throw away those dough scraps!! There will be a bit of leftover filling. Why? Because the regular size can of pumpkin purée didn’t make enough filling, and the large can made too much. But, cook up those scraps like you would fresh pasta (3-4 mintes in boiling salted water). Reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking liquid and add back to the pot with drained, cooked pasta scraps along with leftover filling. Cook a few minutes until sauce coats pasta. Add a little broth or cream if thinner sauce is desired. Top with some grated cheese or crème fraîche, chili oil if desired and you have 2-3 servings of inside out pumpkin ravioli. Waste not, want not.
The topping for the ravioli doesn’t require any effort, other than a little drizzling action of 2 ingredients. I chose crème fraiche for its creamy tangy qualities, but sour cream could also be used. Chili oil adds a spicy note, and a little goes a long way, so use accordingly!
Please let us know if you have any questions or comments. Hope you enjoy this different take on pumpkin ravioli. Happy cooking!
Spiced Pumpkin Ravioli with Crème Fraiche and Chili Oil
Prep Time: 1 1/2 hours
Cook Time: 4 minutes
Inactive Time: 30 minutes
41 g. (3 Tbsp.) olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 g. (1 1/2 tsp.) smoked paprika
3 g. (1 1/2 tsp.) ground cumin
4 g. (1 tsp.) kosher salt
228 g. (8 oz.) finely grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 large can (29 oz. / 822 g.) pumpkin purée
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 large egg yolks, room temperature
150 g. (1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp.) water, room temperature
2 g. (1/2 tsp.) kosher salt
555 g. (3 cups) semolina pasta flour
extra semolina flour, for dusting
452 g. (16 oz.) crème fraîche
For the filling:
Heat the oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, paprika and cumin and cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Once cooled, mix together in a medium bowl with salt, sharp cheddar and pumpkin purée. Cover and place in the refrigerator until needed. Can be made up to 2 days in advance.
For the pasta dough:
Set up the Ankarsrum mixer with the stainless steel bowl and the roller/scraper. Add the eggs, egg yolks, water and salt and mix on medium-high speed (4 o’clock) until thoroughly blended.
Reduce speed to lowest setting (12 o’clock) and slowly add in the flour. Mix until flour is absorbed, moving the roller and scraper towards the center as necessary to help incorporate ingredients. Once flour is absorbed, set timer for 2 minutes. Do not lock arm in place. Dough is stiff and needs to move around. After two minutes, shape dough into a ball and cover and let rest for 30 minutes.
Turn the Ankarsrum mixer base on its side and attach the lasagna roller. Set on largest thickness setting (number 0). Place extra semolina flour in a small bowl and have ready for dusting pasta dough. Fill another small bowl with water and ready a pastry brush (or fingertips can be used). Generously flour 3 half sheet or cookie pans.
Once dough has rested, divide into 8 equal portions. Work with one at a time, and keep the rest covered so they don’t dry out. Slightly flatten portion with hands and dust both sides with flour. Turn mixer on lowest speed (12 o’clock) and feed dough through pasta attachment. Fold in half and feed through same setting again.
Adjust thickness setting to next notch (number 1). Feed pasta sheet through setting, fold in half and feed through again, dusting with flour as needed to prevent sticking. Continue this process until setting number 5 has been reached.
Place pasta sheet on a large floured cutting board or work surface. Cut into two rectangles, leaving one slightly longer than the other. The longer one will be the top part. The other will have the filling placed on it.
Use a small disher or spoon to place approximately 2 teaspoons worth of filling onto one sheet, placing approximately 1 1/2 inches apart. Make sure to leave enough room around the edges so ravioli can be sealed. With a pastry brush or fingertips, lightly brush dough around the filling with water. Gently stretch the other dough portion and place on top. Using your hands, begin carefully pressing down and around filling to get rid of air pockets and seal dough. Make sure to not squeeze filling out of place. Use a pasta cutter or sharp knife to trim edges. Place pasta on generously floured half sheet or cookie pan. Dust top with flour and cover with a kitchen towel. Repeat process with remaining pasta dough portions.
Cook ravioli in a large pot of boiling salted water, 3-4 minutes, until al dente. Cook in batches to not overcrowd the pot.
Top with crème fraîche and chili oil. Serve immediately.
Alternately, shaped uncooked ravioli can be heavily dusted with flour and stored in a covered container in the refrigertor for up to 3 days. Or generously dusted with flour, placed on a sheet or cookie pan and frozen. Once frozen, move to a freezer safe covered container and freeze for up to 1 month. Add an extra minute or 2 to cooking time for frozen pasta.
Yield: 48 large ravioli
WHOLE WHEAT RAVIOLI
-Use equal amounts of whole grain durum or kamut flour in place of the semolina flour. If milling at home, use durum or kamut wheat.
-Follow recipe above.