The Perfect Post-Race Pasta

If your goal race has come and gone, you may find yourself lost, without purpose, with hours of time to fill on the weekends. Your body might not be recovered enough to run much, but you may be bursting with energy. Channel it into this recipe.

Preparing this ravioli is an all-day project, but these pillows of pasta and cheese taste worlds better than the ones you might buy. Maybe the added flavour comes from the fresh ingredients – or maybe it’s just from all the hard work. You’ll stir! You’ll knead! You’ll crank the dough through a pasta machine over and over! And once you finally sit down to eat, you’ll feel victorious and rewarded.

The basic ravioli recipe is directly below, but if you want to add a twist – and a few extra steps – you can add pumpkin to the filling, and top the entire dish with sage browned butter.



What you’ll need:
Pasta machine
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 large egg
1 large egg, yolk and white separated
1/2 cup water
salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
2 1/2 cups ricotta cheese (less if you’re adding pumpkin – see below)

How to make the pasta dough:
1. Pile the flour onto a large wooden cutting board, and make a large crater in the centre.
2. Crack the eggs into a bowl and separate the yolk (save the white in the fridge for later). Beat lightly.
3. Add the water to the beaten eggs, beat again, and pour into the crater.
4. Add the salt to the egg mixture, then use a fork to stir it. Work steadily, grazing the sides and bottom as you stir to very slowly incorporate the flour into the egg.
5. Once you’ve formed a blob of dough (takes about 10 minutes), drop the fork and knead for eight minutes. Work in the remaining flour.
6. Form the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least an hour (or up to 24).

How to make the basic filling:
Mix ricotta and sage. Add salt and pepper to taste. (Scroll down to see instructions on pumpkin filling.)

How to make the ravioli:
1. Chop the ball of dough into three pieces. Lay a wet towel over two pieces to keep them from drying out.
2. With your hands, form the pieces into a rectangle just wide and thick enough to fit through the rollers of the pasta machine.
3. Clamp the pasta machine through the table and run the rectangle through it on the widest setting. Fold it over end to end and run it through again. Repeat until it has gone through five or six times. Then, you can dust lightly with flour before rolling through again, on a narrower setting. You want the final pasta sheet to have a nice sheen, and to be about 1.5mm thick.
4. Lay the sheet on a cutting board and cut the pasta into 5cm squares. Take a square and place a tablespoon of the filling in the centre. Use your finger to trace the edges with egg white, then place another square on top and clamp the edges together. Transfer to plate. Repeat. (Important: Do not stack ravioli on top of each other! They’ll stick.) Once plate is full, cover with a wet towel until ready to cook.
5. Repeat all steps with the rest of the dough.
6. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop in six to eight ravioli at one time and cook for two to three minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and plate.



What you’ll need:
125g unsalted butter
2 tablespoons fresh sage

How to make it:
1. Slice butter into four (or more) chunks and melt over medium heat.
2. Once the butter is melted, add two tablespoons whole fresh sage and whisk. Watch carefully – when it begins to turn brown and has a nutty aroma, remove from heat and spoon over ravioli.



What you’ll need:
1 cup fresh pumpkin, chopped into 2.5cm squares
1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
olive oil
salt and black pepper

How to make it:
1. Preheat oven to 190°C.
2. In a medium bowl, toss the pumpkin chunks with olive oil, to coat, and season with salt and pepper. Arrange the pumpkin onto baking sheet. Place the sheet in the oven and bake until you can pierce the thickest pieces easily with a fork, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool.
3. Peel skin off pumpkin. Mash pumpkin and ricotta together in bowl. Add chopped sage. Add salt and pepper to taste.


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