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Squash Ravioli with Sherried Onion Sauce, Walnuts & Cranberries

Martha Holmberg

Yield: Yields about 40 ravioli.

My sous chef Michelle Giroux developed this delicious dish as a vegetarian entrée for our menu, but it would also make an elegant Thanksgiving starter. We make our own pasta dough, but wonton wrappers (or “pasta wraps”), found in the grocery produce section, give excellent results and are quick and easy to work with.


For the filling:

  • 1 large or 2 small butternut squash or 1/2 cheese pumpkin (2-1/2 lb. total), to yield 2-1/2 cups cooked purée
  • 5 to 6 Tbs. unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup or 2 Tbs. brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup ricotta
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the sauce:

  • 2 large onions (14 to 16 oz. total), thinly sliced
  • 3 Tbs. unsalted butter; more if needed
  • 1/3 cup dry sherry
  • 1-1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1-1/2 cups homemade or low-salt chicken or vegetable broth (or a total of 3 cups broth if not using cream)
  • 2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh sage

To assemble the ravioli:

  • Cornmeal for dusting
  • 80 wonton wrappers (“pasta wraps”)
  • 2 eggs mixed with a dash of water

For the garnish:

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped toasted walnuts
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped dried cranberries
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh chives
  • 3 oz. Parmigiano-Reggiano, shaved with a vegetable peeler into shards

Nutritional Information

  • Nutritional Sample Size per ravioli
  • Calories (kcal) : 160
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 80
  • Fat (g): 9
  • Saturated Fat (g): 5
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 2
  • Cholesterol (mg): 35
  • Sodium (mg): 270
  • Carbohydrates (g): 17
  • Fiber (g): 1
  • Protein (g): 4


Make the filling

  • Follow the master method for roasting squash (see photos) using the amounts for the squash, butter, maple syrup, and orange juice above. After peeling the cooked squash, put the flesh and any juices from roasting into a large heavy-based sauté pan and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes, to further dry out the mixture and intensify the flavor. To smooth out the squash somewhat, break up lumps with a spatula, a potato masher, or the back of a wooden spoon. Put the squash in a bowl and set aside until cool. When cooled, mix in the ricotta and grated Parmigiano and season with salt and pepper. The mixture can be made a day ahead, covered, and refrigerated.

    Master method for roasting squash: Ris Lacoste puts seeded (unpeeled) squash halves on a rimmed baking sheet. She rubs the flesh with softened butter, seasons with salt and pepper, drizzles with orange juice and maple syrup, and flips them over.

Make the sauce

  • Sauté the onions in 3 Tbs. of the butter over medium heat until very soft and golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Add the sherry to deglaze, raise the heat to medium high, and cook until all the liquid is evaporated. Add the cream and broth (or all broth, if you prefer) and the chopped sage, and reduce by half or until the sauce is the consistency you like. You’ll have 2 to 2-1/2 cups sauce. Season with salt and pepper. If using broth only, whisk in 1 to 2 Tbs. butter at the end to give the sauce a bit of body. (If making the sauce ahead, reserve the butter until reheating. If using cream, reheat the sauce very gently.)

Assemble the ravioli

  • Lightly dust your work surface with cornmeal, lay out the wonton wrappers (10 to 12 at a time) and brush half of them with egg wash. Place 1 scant Tbs. of the squash filling in the center of each piece of egg-washed pasta and flatten slightly (a pastry bag works well here). Quickly and gently cover each with a second wrapper (without egg wash) and with the tips of your fingers, press tightly around each mound and out towards the edges of the pasta to create a tight seal. (Start pressing around the filling first to avoid creating air pockets). If you like, trim the ravioli with a cookie cutter or knife. (Alternatively, if using homemade pasta sheets, space the filling 3 inches apart on first sheet, cover, seal, and crimp as desired). Arrange the filled ravioli in a single layer on a sheet pan lightly dusted with cornmeal. Cover and refrigerate or freeze until ready to use.

Cook and serve the ravioli

  • Warm the sauce and have the garnishes ready. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add a touch of olive oil, and drop in 4 to 6 ravioli at a time. When they rise to the surface, boil for 4 minutes and then remove them with a slotted spoon and transfer them to a strainer (or a cooling rack set over a pan) to drain. Arrange 3 or 4 ravioli on a large plate for an appetizer (6 for a dinner portion), cover lightly with the sauce (about 1 Tbs. per ravioli), and sprinkle with the walnuts, cranberries, and chives. Add a few shards of Parmigiano and serve.


Rate or Review


  • Krispie | 11/17/2016

    This was delicious. Very classy and sophisicated. I would definately make this again but I have made a mental note - the sauce makes the recipe - I will be using it with other pastas.

  • user-548048 | 01/21/2016

    One of the most delicious things I've ever made. I've made this twice to rave reviews. The squash can be frozen too. This dish is a hit.

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