In the Christmas movie The Family Man, Jack, played by Nicholas Cage, gets a glimpse of the life he rejected. On Christmas Eve, he is transported from his investment banking, Ferrari-driving, single malt Scotch drinking life in New York City to his college girlfriend, the family he never had, and a broken minivan in suburban New Jersey.
New Jersey, Kate.
Every time I watch the movie, I'm know I'm supposed to think about how rich the simple life is with dirty diapers and barking dogs and friends who wear bowling shirts.
I imagine life in a high rise, attending the opera, wearing black dresses that aren't made of jersey knit, and drinking wine that isn't sold by the glass. I am a bad person.
During his glimpse at what his life could have looked like, Jack takes his wife, played by Tea Leoni, to dinner in the city. As he brings a bite of food to his lips, he closes his eyes and says, "God, I miss that taste!"
That is how I feel about this pasta, especially these roasted butternut squash ravioli with sage, toasted hazelnuts, and nutty brown butter. After five years of being gluten free I have missed the taste of fresh pasta. Last month, I developed a recipe for homemade gluten-free, paleo pasta that fulfills all of my pasta lusts. It is tender, chewy, and perfectly delicate.
But once I take that first bite, I realize it is worth every ounce of effort. Hence, I've made the recipe at least once a week in the month since developing it. Tonight, I'm using this pasta dough to make celeraic and chevre fennel agnolotti with brown butter parsley pesto and shiitakes from Local Milk Blog.
Butternut Squash Ravioli with Sage and HazelnutsServes 4
1 butternut squash, halved lengthwise and seeds and strings removed
1 teaspoon roasted garlic
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Freshly ground pepper
3/4 cup tapioca starch (100 grams), plus more for dusting
3/4 cup almond flour (90 grams)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon guar gum
3 large eggs, divided
3 tablespoons ghee
1 sprig fresh sage, minced
1/4 cup toasted hazelnuts
1. To make the filling, preheat the oven to 400F. Place the butternut squash in a roasting dish. Roast uncovered for 1 hour, or until the flesh is tender.
2. When it is cool enough to handle, scoop the butternut squash flesh into a small mixing bowl. You should have about 2 cups.
3. Stir in the roasted garlic and cinnamon and season with salt and pepper. Set the filling aside. You can complete this step a day ahead of time if you wish.
1. To make the pasta dough, Mix the tapioca starch, almond flour, sea salt, and guar gum in a small mixing bowl.
2. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add 2 eggs. Use a spatula to stir it around, slowly incorporating the flours until the dough comes together into a ball. Place the dough onto a sheet of parchment paper and dust lightly with tapioca starch.
3. Divide the dough into four to six pieces and cover all but one with a towel or plastic so that they do not dry out. Knead one of the dough pieces with your hand and flatten until it is about 1/4-inch thick.
4. Set the pasta maker to the first setting, #1, which is the widest. Run the dough through the machine twice. If it tears, fold it back onto itself and run it through again. If it sticks, dust lightly with tapioca starch.
5. Set the pasta maker to the next setting, #2, and run the pasta dough through it twice. Reduce the setting again to #3 and run the dough through twice. You can stop at this setting for a slightly thicker noodle, or drop the setting to #4 and run it through twice more.
6. Make two pieces of dough into sheets and lay them side by side on the parchment paper.
7. Scoop the filling onto the dough by the tablespoon, spacing apart by about 1 1/2 inches between each bit of filling.
8. Whisk the remaining egg. Brush the egg lightly along the sheet of pasta with the filling. Carefully place the top sheet of pasta over the filling and press gently in between each lump of filling, then press along all other sides trying to prevent any air bubbles from remaining in each ravioli.
9. Use a sharp knife, pasta cutter, or ravioli stamp to cut each ravioli. Add the scraps to the remaining dough.
10. Repeat with the remaining filling and dough.
To Cook and Serve
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the ravioli for 7 to 9 minutes.
2. During the last 2 minutes of the ravioli cooking time, heat the ghee in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sage and hazelnuts and cook until fragrant.
3. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked ravioli to the skillet and brown gently in the ghee. Season with salt and pepper.