In honor of National Pasta Month and National Pasta Day today (October 17), we went behind the scenes at Giovanni Rana Pastificio & Cucina to get a step-by-step guide on how to make their delicious butternut squash ravioli, part of their fall menu. Follow the tutorial by Rana's own daughter-in-law, Antonella Rana.
Giovanni Rana is the premier pasta purveyor, with restaurants across the globe and products sold in supermarkets across Italy. We visited the brand's Chelsea Market outpost to learn how to make their delicious butternut squash ravioli. Our teacher? Rana's daughter in law, Antonella Rana.
1. Make a “fontana” of flour (literally, a fountain) by cracking 2 fresh eggs into the well. Make sure the eggs are at room temperature. Then, mix until the dough has no bumps. “Don’t listen to those who tell you that you need to add salt and oil,” says Rana.
2. Wrap the dough in plastic so that the oxygen doesn’t change the texture. Leave in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
3. Time to work on the squash filling. Trick: when adding color to your food, use dehydrated, naturally colored vegetables. In this case, the dehydrated pumpkin will turn the pasta into our desired color without altering the flavor.
4. For the filling, clean a pumpkin and slice it into small, thin pieces. In order to preserve the nutrients, taste, and texture, always use raw vegetables for fillings.
5. Put it all in a bowl, add thyme, parmigiano Reggiano, fresh ricotta, and white pepper ("Using black pepper with pumpkin is a bit overwhelming," says Rana). Put the filling in the fridge until the dough is ready.
6. Take dough out of the fridge. Put flour on top, bottom, and on the rolling pin. Start rolling the dough with “olio di gomito” (literally: oil of the elbow… an Italian saying for get to work!). Keep flipping the dough and rolling in every direction.
7. Time to shape the pasta. Rana suggests two different techniques:
A. Place filling on the dough with your hands. Leave one inch of space in every direction. With a brush, use water as the glue between the fillings. Cover the filling with the rest of the dough. You don’t want air in there, so wrap it with your fingers. Use a cookie cutter to cut off the pasta.
B. Using the pasta cutter, cut the pasta. Place filling in the middle of the cut pasta. With your fingertips, use water as glue, and then wrap the filling by closing the pasta around it with your hands.
8. Time to cook the pasta. Heat up brown butter in a small pot and throw the pasta in boiling water. Cook the pasta for no more than 2 minutes.
9. Drain the pasta and sauté with brown butter for 20 seconds.
10. Plate one raviolo at a time. Add thyme and some crushed Amaretti cookies and… buon appetito!
Measurements (for two)
150 grams of flour (1/2 cup, 2 Tablespoons)
10 grams of dehydrated butternut squash (2 teaspoons)
pinch of salt
50 grams of ricotta (3 Tablespoons, 1 teaspoon)
50 grams of butternut squash puree (3 Tablespoons, 1 teaspoon)
14 grams of parmigiano Reggiano (2 1/2 teaspoons)
4 spring of thyme leaves
Quarter pound of butter, browned (4 ounces)
3 crushed amaretti biscotti
Giovanni Rana Pastificio & Cucina is located at 75 Ninth Ave., 212-370-0975 within Chelsea Market.
photography by seth olenick