This is an epic, all day endeavor for myself and my daughter; and filled with firsts.
The first time we ever roasted pumpkins;
The first time I have made ravioli by hand; and
The first time we tried making a colored pasta.
Our goal was to make purple ravioli, using the purple kale in this week’s CSA box. Wouldn’t purple ravioli with orange pumpkin filling look awesome?!
We knew there would be multiple, fairly involved stages, so we started Saturday morning.
Step 1: Roasting Pumpkins
I had run across a simple recipe for roasting pumpkin blog surfing last week – and I truly apologize for not giving a link to the source, but the recipe was so simple I didn’t mark its location. For some reason, I had never thought of roasting pumpkin. My mom taught me to scrape the flesh out and then cook the shredded pumpkin, but that is far too much work, so I rarely cook with pumpkin. Knowing I can roast it opens up a whole new world of pumpkin creations. 🙂
Cut the pumpkin in half, scooping out the seeds and guts.
When all the fibrous strings are removed, coat the flesh with oil and salt, then place face down on a rimmed baking sheet covered with tin foil. Roast at 400° for 45 minutes to an hour (until flesh is very tender), then remove from oven. The pumpkins threw off a lot of liquid, so I had to be very careful not to spill in the oven.
As the roast pumpkins cool, they start to settle and shrink a bit.
When cool enough to handle, turn over the roasted halves and scoop out the orange flesh. I scooped mine directly into the food processor, and pureed until smooth.
The pumpkin puree is still very, very wet. I strained through a fine sieve twice.
There was lots of puree. We used 6 cups for ravioli filling. To that we added:
- 1 T. minced garlic
- 1 t. sea salt
- 1/2 t. cinnamon
- 3/4 t. nutmeg
Step 2: Ravoili
Our goal was purple kale ravioli, not just purple kale ravioli. There is a difference. 🙂
Surfing the Internet, we saw a recipe that made spinach pasta by shredding the greens, then cooking them until fully wilted, and incorporating that into the noodles. We decided to try that.
- 3 1/3 c. all purpose flour
- 6oz. purple kale
- 3 eggs
- 2 T. olive oil
- < 1/3 c. water
- rice flour
- 1 egg beaten
We shredded all the kale in the food processor, then cooked over low heat it in a large sauce pan with a pinch of salt until it was all wilted.
We let the kale sit until cool enough to handle, then pressed it between paper towels to remove the remaining liquids. This was an emotionally satisfying step, very cozy; like pulling your favorite sweater out of the dryer while still warm and putting it on right away. Ahhh!
We combined all the remaining dry ingredients for the pasta in a large bowl, added the kale and eggs and combined. We mixed this by hand as a two person job.
One person mixed while the other slowly added first the oil, then enough water for the dough to form a ball.
At this point, we realized we were not seeing the purple dough we had hoped for. Next time, which is most likely to be in the FAR distant future because this was a lot of work, we might puree the kale to see if we can create a purple liquid that will better color our pasta. Or my daughter says, use food coloring….
I don’t have a pasta roller, so ravioli had to be rolled by hand. I have found pasta dough gets very stiff when you are working with it, so rolling and re-rolling was a lot of work. I was re-rolling dough, because my daughter wanted to make round ravioli so she could use a turnover crimper utensil that I had almost sent to the Goodwill last week. (Now I wish I had!)
I rolled 1/4 of the dough at a time on a counter very lightly coated with rice flour. I rolled the dough, turning frequently until the dough was less than 1/8′ thick. We used our biscuit cutter, but because of the kale leaves, we had shaggy looking ravioli skins.
My daughter filled each skin with 1 t. pumpkin filing and brushed the edges with egg prior to crimping. We used less than half the spiced pumpkin we made in filling the ravioli.
By the time we were done assembling ravioli, I was sweating and my arms were tired. Her fingers were pruning from being wet. 🙂
While she finished filling ravioli, I had put on a pot of water to boil. We cooked about 1/2 the ravioli . Fresh pasta floats to the top of the water when finished and doesn’t take very long to cook, I think we let it boil about 5 minutes.
By now, it was late evening and everyone was hungry, so we decided to keep the sauce simple.
Step 3: Simple Browned Butter Sauce
- 4 T. unsalted butter
- 1 t. minced garlic
- 1/2 t. rubbed sage
- bits of shredded kale and dough from countertop
In a small sauce pan, I melted the butter and cooked over medium heat until foaming had subsided and the butter was starting to brown. Then I added the minced garlic and sage. I noticed there were shreds of kale all over the counter where we had prepared the ravioli, so I wiped those up and tossed them in as well. Because there was dough on the kale, this crisped up when fried in the butter and added a little crunch on top of the ravioli.
The pasta had a nice firm “bite”, but not hard or under prepared. I wished there was a higher pumpkin to ravioli ratio, but we ate everything we cooked. This meal was a lot of work, tasted wonderful, and used our kale in a new way, so overall a success. But too labor intensive to do too often. OR maybe I just need to ask for a pasta roller for Christmas! 🙂
The extra ravioli were frozen separately on a cookie sheet before storing for future use.
The extra spiced pumpkin mixture we used in waffles for breakfast. This was surprisingly tasty and I will try to get that post up later this week.