When you want to celebrate fall without that nasty pumpkin pie spice everyone likes to throw around this time of year, we suggest you try this recipe. The combination of sage and brown butter is classic (we could eat it with a spoon), but we also slipped Mortadella into the ravioli filling. Yes, we know, pretty brilliant. Our pumpkin ravioli with sage brown butter would even put a smile on Charlie Brown’s face.
For the pumpkin filling
Put butter and shallots in a small saucepan over medium-low heat and sprinkle salt over all. Cook, stirring frequently, until butter has melted and shallots are very soft, about 7 minutes. Stir in breadcrumbs and sage. Cook for 1 minute, then add pumpkin and Mortadella. Stir just until heated through, about 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat. Add cheese and grated lemon zest, stirring until completely mixed. Transfer filling to a bowl, cover loosely, and set aside to cool.
For the pasta dough
Put the flour in a mound on a clean work surface and make a well in the middle, large enough to hold the eggs. Break the eggs into the well and beat them lightly with a fork. Use the fork to draw the flour into the egg mixture slowly, moving in a circle around the inside rim of the well. Use your other hand to support the flour wall and keep the eggs from running out onto the surface. When enough flour has been mixed into the eggs so they are no longer runny, put down the fork and use your hands to gather everything into one mass. Knead gently until a soft dough is formed, adding just enough flour (if necessary) to hold it together. Lightly flour the dough and set it aside.
Use a pastry scraper to clean the bits of dough and caked flour off the work surface and discard the residue. Wash and dry your hands. Flour the clean work surface. Knead the dough, gradually adding more flour if needed, until it is smooth and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes. Flatten the dough into a disk and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Let rest for 30 minutes to hydrate.
Meanwhile, line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or clean kitchen towels and sprinkle with flour.
Unwrap the dough and divide into 4 pieces. Work with one piece at a time, rolling and filling it before moving on to the next piece. Lightly flour the remaining pieces and keep them wrapped in plastic wrap until needed.
To roll the dough, set the pasta machine rollers at the widest opening and feed the piece through. Fold the dough, flatten it with your fingers, and feed it through the same opening again. Do this 6 or 8 times, flouring the dough if it becomes too sticky. This process will knead the dough and get it ready for stretching it thinly.
Move the rollers to the next setting and feed the dough through, without folding, one time only. Continue to feed the dough through the rollers, moving one notch at a time, until the last setting has been reached and the dough is as thin as possible.
Place the long sheet of dough on a lightly floured work surface in front of you. Trim the top edge (the one farthest away from you) so that it is straight. Arrange teaspoonfuls of the filling in a single row along the pasta, about 2 ½ inches from the top edge. Leave about 1 ½ inches between each mound. Lightly dab water along the bottom edge of the dough, then fold the top edge down over the filling, enclosing it. Press the edges together firmly. Using a pastry cutter or knife, trim the long bottom edge to be even, then cut between each mound of filling to form individual ravioli. Use your fingers to press the edges of each ravioli together, easing any air out as you do so. Set the ravioli on the baking sheet as finished.
Repeat the rolling and filling until you run out of pasta or filling. (Leftover pasta can be cut and used for soup, and leftover filling can be stirred into risotto.) Finished ravioli can be left out for several hours, turning them from time to time on the baking sheets, or frozen in a single layer and transferred to freezer bags for longer storage.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
While water heats, melt butter over medium heat in a small saucepan. Add sage and continue to cook, swirling the pan occasionally, until the butter smells nutty and is golden-brown. Pour the sage butter into a heat-proof bowl and stir in the salt.
When the water is boiling, drop in the ravioli, working in batches if necessary. Stir gently until the water returns to a boil. Cook until the ravioli are all floating and the edges are cooked al dente, 5 to 8 minutes. (The best way to check this is to taste one!) Drain the ravioli and transfer them to a large non-stick skillet.
Set the skillet over low heat and pour the sage butter over the ravioli, swirling them in the pan to coat. Transfer the ravioli to four plates, drizzling any extra sage butter over. Serve immediately with additional grated cheese.
For the pumpkin filling
For the pasta dough