When the days get shorter and the air starts to carry a chill, food should get cozier and more filling.
Italians know a thing or two about comfort food, and Eataly is passionate about sharing Italian tradition with hungry customers around the world. Both a restaurant, marketplace and an educational center, the company was founded in Italy and has since brought the nation's flavors to locations all across the globe. You can find Eataly in New York, Chicago, Las Vegas, Tokyo, Sweden and, of course, all across the Italian country.
See also: 19 of the Best Italian Restaurants Across America
To further prove its passion for sharing these traditions, Eataly’s executive chef of North America, Fitz Tallon, shares the company’s fan-favorite recipe for squash ravioli with brown butter and sage sauce (aka Ravioli di Zucca con Burro & Salvia) with you!
“We love Ravioli Di Zucca, because it is the true announcement that fall is here,” Tallon says. “Any hearty squash can be used as a substitute, including my personal favorite—red kuri—which is excellent roasted or stewed thanks to its delicate and mellow chestnut-like flavors. Though of course, butternut squash is the easiest to find, and its nutty-sweet taste is ideal for this dish. If you don't want your filling to be overly sweet, you can leave out the amaretti cookies and sprinkle them on top of the finished dish for whoever craves it!”
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Tallon recommends pairing this rich dish with a salad of winter chicories such as endives, treviso or a leafy member of the radicchio family. Top that with olive oil, sea salt and your favorite vinegar to toss the perfect side salad.
Oh, he also says “don’t forget the wine!”
“There is no better match than Gavi di Gavi from Fontanafredda to sip alongside the Ravioli Di Zucca dish,” says Matthew Orawski, senior beverage manager for Eataly North America. “Made from Cortese grapes grown in the Piemonte region of Italy, this wine carries notes of white flowers, vanilla and green apples, which accentuate the savory herbs of the dish; while the full-bodied texture matches that of the butter and squash.”
This recipe requires a few steps, but it’s worth the extra effort to make your own ravioli dough. Fresh is the traditional way, after all. Do not skip the step of letting your dough rest. That takes 30 minutes on its own, so make this dish when a celebration is in order—or when you’ve got some extra time.
The fresh dough recipe yields six servings, and the recipe for the ravioli filling and sauce will feed four to satisfaction.
Ravioli di Zucca con Burro & Salvia (Squash Ravioli with Brown Butter & Sage Sauce)
Fresh Egg Pasta Dough
- 3 cups (400 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour; or type 00 flour
- 4 large eggs
- Basic egg pasta dough
- 1¼ lb butternut squash (or pumpkin, if desired)
- 4 oz amaretti cookies, crumbled
- 1¼ cups Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
- 1 tbsp lemon zest, grated
- Salt, to taste
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
- 8 sage leaves
- 1 cup Grana Padano, grated
- Salt, to taste
Fresh Egg Pasta Dough
- Form a ball: On a marble or wooden work surface, pile the flour into a mound. Make a well in the center of the mound. In a small bowl, beat the eggs with a fork until blended, and then pour them in the well. Continue beating the egg mixture with the fork, gradually drawing in flour from the sides of the well until the egg has been absorbed by the flour. If needed, wet your hands under the faucet and continue to work the dough. Once the dough has formed, clean your hands and the work surface.
- Knead and knead; Clean off your work surface, first by scraping with a bench scraper, then by wiping down with a damp cloth or sponge. Lightly flour the work surface again. Knead the dough by pressing the heel of one hand deep into the ball, keeping your fingers high, then press down on the dough while pushing it firmly away from you. The dough will stretch and roll under your hand like a large shell. Turn the dough over, then press into the dough, first the knuckles of one hand, then with the other; do this about 10 times with the knuckles of each hand. Then repeat the stretching and knuckling process, using more flour if needed to prevent sticking, until the dough is smooth and silky, for about 10 to 20 minutes.
- Nota bene: the weather, age of your flour, size of your eggs, and numerous other factors can influence the dough's texture. If the dough is dry and crumbly, sprinkle it with a bit of lukewarm water until it becomes pliable. If too wet, add flour at about a tablespoon at a time, until you can handle it well. Roll the dough into a smooth ball.
- Rest. Place the dough in a small bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rest for at least 30 minutes at room temperature or up to overnight in the fridge. This is an extremely important step, so don't skip it!
- Preheat an oven to 400˚F. Cut the squash into large slices, remove the seeds and pulp, and bake until it is soft, about 30 minutes. Remove the squash from the oven and let it cool. Once it is cool, scrape the flesh of the squash off the rind and wrap it in a kitchen towel, place it in a colander and let it drain for 10 minutes.
- Combine the amaretti cookies, Parmigiano Reggiano and lemon zest. Add the drained squash and a pinch of salt, and stir until the filling is smooth and fully combined.
- Roll out the egg pasta dough to form a thin sheet. On this, arrange small amounts of the filling, about the size of an egg yolk, then fold the sheet over and cut rectangles out of it around the mounds of filling. Be certain to seal the edges of the pasta.
- Cook the ravioli in about 6 quarts of well-salted boiling water (think: as salty as the sea) for 2 to 4 minutes, or until the pasta is al dente.
- Heat the butter in a medium-sized saucepan, lay the sage leaves in the pan, and heat until the butter is sizzling gently. Toast the leaves for about a minute.
- Add 1 cup of boiling water to the butter and sage. Stirring, allow it to simmer for about 2 minutes, reducing the liquid by half. Keep the sauce hot over very low heat, and return it to a simmer.
- Remove the ravioli from the water, and place them directly into the pan with the melted butter and sage. Adding hot water to loosen the sauce if necessary, toss until a homogeneous sauce is formed.
- Cook the pasta for a minute until it is thoroughly coated with sauce, remove the sage leaves, add the grated cheese and serve in warmed bowls.
- Buon appetito!
Be sure to visit Eataly at one of its many locations across the U.S. and the world, and check Eataly online for more delicious recipes and information.