Welcome to the first installment of our Marinated special: The Pumpkin Series. As we've mentioned quite a few times before, we are very, very excited that it's Autumn and we are ready to take full advantage of the flavors of the season. 

We just had so many ideas about what we could possibly do with pumpkin that we couldn't just end it after one or two recipes. So we decided to make a series of pumpkin themed dishes, all of which we are so excited about. 

We're trying to experiment with using pumpkin in a savory way. One night, while perusing Trader Joe's (which is totally bombed by pumpkin food right now) I came across pumpkin ravioli. My first thought? I could totally do that... and make it even better. I have never made a pasta before, nor have I watched it being made. I'm used to just pouring boxes of dried out pasta into boiling water. This was going to be an entirely new experience.

I didn't prepare myself appropriately for how much time this was going to take. Holy. Crap. I give this recipe to you with a fair warning that you have to have no less than ten tons of patience in order to do this without jumping out of a window. I was practically shaking at the end of putting all the ravioli together. Three hours man. Three hours.

But I'll also say that it is well worth it. Everyone will scarf this dish down in a sixteenth of the amount of time it took you to make. Probably even less. So now that I've got your spirits up, let's get started!

Pumpkin Ravioli in a Sage Cream Sauce

Ingredients:

Pasta

3 cups flour

2 eggs

1/2 cup pumpkin pureé

Filling

1/4 cup mascarpone

1/2 cup ricotta

3 Tbs parmesan 

1/2 Tbs ground sage 

S & P to taste

Sauce

1 stick butter 

4 Tbs flour 

1/2 cup light cream

1/4 cup dry white wine 

1/2-1 cup pasta water 

1 Tbs ground sage 

S & P to taste 

Instructions:

Start by making the pasta dough. Put all the flour at the center of a very large cutting board. Make a fairly deep well in the middle of the heap. Crack both eggs into the well, using a fork to break them. Put the pumpkin into the well. Using your hands, combine the flour with the eggs and pumpkin, working fairly quickly. I did all of this in slow motion, with a smaller cutting board and a well that wasn't deep enough, and ended up with egg whites on my kitchen floor. Have you ever cleaned up egg off the floor? It is not fun. At all. 

So in order to avoid all of that, quickly combine all of the ingredients on your cutting board until you have a unified orange dough. Start kneading it by continuously folding it over itself, flipping it over periodically. You want to do this until you no longer have any chunks in your dough. Keep adding flour on top of the dough and the cutting board to avoid sticking. Once it becomes a solid, smooth dough, let it rest on the cutting board with a dish towel on top of it while you make the filling. 

In a small bowl, add all of the cheeses, sage, salt & pepper. Mix until smooth. We're going to keep that in the fridge while we roll out the dough and form our cute little ravioli!

Because I don't have a rolling pin and could not find one at the grocery store (crazy, I know) I had to use a wine bottle to roll out the dough. Definitely not the quickest way to roll out pasta dough. If you have one of those automatic pasta-sheet-maker things, by all means use it. But if you want to put a little blood and sweat into your pasta, roll it out with a wine bottle.

Split the wad of dough into two smaller wads. Yes, you'll have to do this twice. Roll the dough out to about an eighth of an inch thickness. You basically want it as thin as you can get it without ripping or breaking it. Be careful not to mess with it too much as it will become too tough later down the line. Beware! I only know because I did this :(

Roll it in a square shape, cutting off the ends to make a perfect rectangle. Using a pizza cutter, cut one inch by one inch squares into the dough.

I couldn't roll my dough out thin enough, so I had to return to every. single. square. and use my dainty fingers to stretch each piece of pasta. It was an incredibly arduous process where I became very close to jumping out of a window.

So repeat the process with both of your dough wads. Once you have about 40-45 squares of dough, get the cheese filling from the fridge. With all of the patience and carefulness that you have, take a single square and put a small scoop of the filling right in the middle of it. Don't put too much or else it will squirt out.

Take another square and lay it on top of the square with the cheese in the middle, and lightly press down the edges. Using a fork, cinch all of the edges to close them and keep the cheese locked in there. Bring back that pizza cutter and even out all of the edges so you can some beautifully uniform ravioli.

Yes, this is going to take you a lot of time. But let me tell you, it can get pretty therapeutic at times. Like maybe the first ten minutes. It's a downward spiral from there. 

So you finally finished making your ravioli. CONGRATULATIONS. Put them in a container and keep them in the fridge overnight to set. 

Now for the sauce. We're going to begin by making a roux. If you remember, it is simply butter and flour. In a large saucepan over medium heat, allow the stick of butter to melt before adding the flour. Use a whisk to combine it so you can guarantee that there won't be any chunks in your sauce. Once it's thickened, gradually add the cream.

When it comes all together, add the wine. Reduce the heat to a low simmer when the sauce becomes cohesive. Add all the sage, salt, & pepper. Do not let your eye wander too far off the sauce. You want to keep whisking it with relative frequency to avoid burning and avoid making it too thick.

In a large pot of boiling water, CAREFULLY place your pumpkin ravioli pillow of love inside. Once the water starts boiling again, it will take only about 3-5 minutes until they are ready to be removed from the water. You know your ravioli are ready when they float to the top of the pot.

Add the pasta water to the sauce, letting it thin out. Finish cooking the ravioli by carefully putting them in the sauce and folding them into the cream. 

You're all done! Plate and serve with some freshly cracked black pepper on top and a couple sprigs of fresh sage if you can find some. I couldn't, so I used dry rosemary because it looked pretty. It was, however, awfully crunchy. Do not follow my lead on that one.

Now how do you like them... pumpkins?