I have been wanting to attempt to make fresh gluten-free pasta for a while, but I didn’t even know where to begin. What types of flours to use, what type of pasta should I make, could I make it without a pasta machine or attachment, etc. After I got my copy of the book “Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef: A Love Story with 100 Tempting Recipes“, one of the first recipes that caught my eye was for fresh gluten-free pasta. Their directions include how to cut the pasta by hand and even how to make ravioli. The recipe had relatively few ingredients and the instructions seemed easy enough, so I decided making fresh ravioli would be my first attempt at making pasta. I also had a beautiful butternut squash that I wanted to make some type of filling out of so I went a variation of a recipe that I had saved from Gourmet Magazine from many years ago.
I cannot even begin to describe how amazing it was to eat fresh pasta, that I made myself, by hand. It was tender and the texture was exactly as it should be. Being that I have never made fresh pasta, I had this fear I would spend the time making it, stuffing and sealing each ravioli and then it would fall apart the minute it hit the boiling water. This didn’t happen. They went in, cooked through beautifully, rose to the top of the water and when I took them out to drain, I knew immediately that they would be delicious. They looked like little clouds.
The butternut squash goat cheese filling was so incredible that I couldn’t help but eat some as I was filling the ravioli. The fresh sage with the roasted squash is truly what Autumn tastes like and the creaminess from the goat cheese was rich but not too heavy. Lucky for me, the squash I used was rather large and there was a decent amount of the filling leftover. It was great on its own for lunch the following day. The hazelnut brown-butter sauce is decadent and had a lovely sweetness to it. I hadn’t had brown butter in a long time, I forgot what a great nutty flavor it has. Though it doesn’t look like much on a large dinner plate, you really can only eat about 4 of these ravioli and with a small salad to start the meal, it is a perfectly filling meal. Certainly if you are not gluten-intolerant and don’t wish to make fresh pasta, you could use store-bought won ton wrappers and make a quick ravioli the same way.
It should be noted, that since I have a scale in my kitchen I decided to weigh my flours as opposed to measuring. This is something I rarely do, but I decided I should really start doing it more. I have read that it is important when baking and cooking with flours and probably even more so with gluten-free cooking as the ratio of flours is so important to the final outcome. I most definitely plan on making ravioli often this fall and winter and experimenting with lots different fillings. Now I can’t wait to get the pasta attachment for my KitchenAid mixer so I can make other shapes with this pasta recipe, too.
Butternut Squash, Sage and Goat Cheese Ravioli with Hazelnut Brown-Butter Sauce
Fresh Gluten-Free Pasta
via Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef
2/3 cup (70g) corn flour
1/2 cup (70g) quinoa flour
1/2 cup (60g) potato starch
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 teaspoon guar gum
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 large eggs (I prefer to use fresh brown eggs from Painted Meadows Farms)
4 egg yolks from large eggs
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon of milk, half and half or cream
Butternut Squash, Goat Cheese filling
a 2-pound butternut squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped finely
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 garlic clove, minced
4 ounces crumbled goat cheese, grated
1/2 cup Parmesan Reggiano cheese, grated
Hazelnut Brown-Butter Sauce
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1/3 cup hazelnuts,toasted lightly and skinned and chopped coarse
1 teaspoon fresh sage, finely chopped
Make the filling. Put squash halves, flesh sides down, a baking sheet and roast in middle of oven 30 minutes, or until flesh is very tender. When squash is cool enough to handle, scoop out flesh into a bowl and discard skin. Mash squash with a fork until smooth.
While squash is roasting, in a skillet cook onion and sage in butter with salt and pepper to taste over moderate heat, stirring, 5 minutes, or until onion is golden brown. Stir in garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute.
Cool onion mixture slightly and add to squash. Add goat cheese and parmesan reggiano and stir to combine well. Set aside while you make your pasta.
Make the sauce. In skillet cook butter with hazelnuts over moderate heat until butter begins to brown, about 3 minutes, and immediately remove from heat (nuts will continue to cook), add fresh sage. Season hazelnut butter with salt and pepper and keep warm, covered.
In a 6-quart kettle bring 5 quarts salted water to a gentle boil for ravioli.
Make the pasta. Sift the corn flour, quinoa flour, and potato starch into a large bowl. Add the xanthan gum, guar gum and salt, stir. Sift the entire mixture into the bowl of your stand mixer.
Put the eggs and egg yolks into the bowl of dry ingredients. Run the stand mixer on medium speed with a paddle attachment until the dough feels fully formed, about 3 minutes. The final dough should feel firm, yet still pliable, a bit like playdough.
If you are using a pasta machine, cut the ball of dough into quarters and roll each piece of dough to about 1/2 inch thickness. You can flour your surface and rolling-pin with potato starch to keep it from sticking. Run your dough through the machine, increasing the setting each time, until the dough is paper-thin and long. If the sheet start to break, it is thin enough.
If you are making your dough by hand, as I did, I cut the large ball into 8 pieces. Roll out each piece of dough as thin as you can. I didn’t have a very large work space and I was struggling a bit with my dough sticking, so next time I am going to work with even smaller pieces of dough.
Filling the ravioli. Cut the rolled out pasta into 2-inch square pieces. Dollop the filling in the middle of a square of pasta. Brush the edges with your egg wash. Place another pasta square on top and press down, crimping the edges with a fork.
Cook your ravioli. Add the ravioli in batches of about 5 at time, so as not to crowd them. Cook until the ravioli feels soft and pliable, about 4 to 5 minutes. Take one out of the water and test the edge with a fork, if it yields to the fork easily, it is ready to eat. Drain the ravioli.
Plate the ravioli on each plate and top with the warm hazelnut brown-butter sauce and a sprinkle of fresh Parmesan Reggiano cheese.