Fresh, homemade pasta is one of life’s little luxuries. We have all used dry pasta from the grocery store, and it can be fine. But, if you have the time to make fresh pasta, it’s so worth it. The use of egg gives it such a beautiful taste and texture, so light and luxurious that just can’t be found in commercially manufactured pastas that don’t use eggs. Okay, I have to admit, I’ve never made homemade pasta. Nope, that’s my husband’s job and he takes it seriously. I remember the year I got him a pasta maker and a cookbook for Christmas. He was so excited and dove right in. His pasta is so delicious and he loves making it for me on special occasions. How lucky am I?
With New Year’s Eve coming up, I thought I’d share one of our favorite pasta recipes. This homemade ravioli with sage cream sauce strikes the right balance of flavor with sage, nutmeg and buttered pecans. Rustic but special for any dinner. I don’t get completely off the hook with this dish. I make the ravioli filling as well as the sauce for this dish, while he prepares the pasta dough. Cooking and drinking wine together while we catch up at the end of the day is so precious to us and this gives us time in the kitchen together that we love. This would be a great recipe for you to tackle as a couple or as a family for a holiday meal. How much more romantic does it get than creating magic in the kitchen together?
Making pasta dough is really much easier than you may think – or at least that’s what I’m told. We use a pasta machine and I would suggest you use one as well. Of course you can roll out the dough by hand but I’m of the school of thought that if there is a device that makes something easier, then by all means, use it. We also use a ravioli cutter. Both are fairly inexpensive and can be found in any cooking supply store.
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 3 eggs
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon water
- Stir the flour onto the work surface in a mound and make a hollow in the center. Break the eggs into the hollow and add the olive oil and salt to the eggs. Mix the ingredients in the hollow then begging to fold in the flour from the edge with a fork.*
- Continue to add the flour to the center mixture. Once a paste is formed in the center, use your hands to fold in the remaining flour. If the mixture is wet, you can always add more flour.
- Work the water into your dough and press the dough into a ball making sure you pick up all the remaining flour. Begin kneading the dough until it's firm with an elastic consistence. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate / let rest for about an hour.
- *This is really the only part my husband had to get the hang of when making this dough. He had a couple of mishaps with the eggs running out of the flour mound. Make sure your hollow is deep and you take your time folding in the sides.
- 1 pound fresh ricotta drained if necessary
- Pinch of nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano
- 1 large egg plus 1 large egg beaten with 2 tablespoons water
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- In a large bowl, combine all ingredients with the exception of the egg beaten with water.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Boil ravioli a few at a time, for 2-3 minutes until just tender.
Next step is the sauce. I chose a sage cream sauce because it seems so decadent and warm which is wonderful this time of year. It is rustic but fancy enough for a special occasion.
- 1 1/2 tablespoon butter
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
- 1/3 cup finely chopped shallots
- 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
- 3/4 cup Champaign (or dry wine)
- 2/3 cup whipping cream
- Parmesan cheese to garnish
- Melt butter in heavy, medium skillet. Add pecans and cook until they begin to turn dark. Remove from pan. Add shallots and sage to skillet. Sauté about 30 seconds. Add Champaign or wine and cream. Boil until sauce is reduced to approximately 3/4 cup.
- Toss in ravioli, season with salt and pepper. Garnish with pecans and Parmesan cheese.
- *The measurements for this recipe are for 2 servings. If you are serving more, simply multiply the measurements accordingly.
This recipe turned out delicious. It was the right balance of fresh ingredients and creamy sauce. The flavor combinations of the sage, nutmeg and buttered pecans is so rich and delicious. This would make a lovely dinner for any special occasion. Please get your loved one involved and discover how much fun cooking together can be.