Ravioli filled with butternut squash, apples, and ricotta cheese, topped with pears sautéed in browned butter, and drizzled with balsamic reduction.

Butternut-Ricotta Filled Ravioli with Brown Butter Pears and Balsamic Drizzle : The Wimpy Vegetarian


Our first winter storm is on the way, forecasted to start tonight and drop over a foot of snow by Tuesday morning, and I am SO excited. Each day has gotten progressively cooler, aspens all aflutter with their shimmering golden leaves being blown about by the winds of change. In my imagination, they’re all chattering with one another: “Can you feel it? Winter is coming!”. As I write this, I’m watching dead pine needles falling to the ground, carried by the wind from high up, where flexible, knobby branches are buffeted about. Chipmunks and squirrels scurry, searching for food in between the needles. Their senses must be so much more heightened than ours for changes in the air, key to their very survival. They must know snow is on the way, but we’ve put out some extra bird seed just in case.

As for us, we’ve packed up the deck furniture and moved it under the eaves, hoping that will be good enough, and checked our food stocks. We can walk to the grocery store if needed tomorrow, but would rather sink into a good book by the fire with a hot bowl of soup. Or better yet, some of the pasta I made earlier this week and froze, starting with these ravioli.

One night at the hotel that was our base in Chiavari, a not-so-small town in the Cinque Terre area of Liguria, an interesting cheese ravioli topped with pears and balsamic vinegar popped up on the menu. I honestly couldn’t image the combination, but my curiosity was peaked, and urged by our teacher/group leader I ordered it. It turns out to be a traditional Italian pasta dish, and it was so good I wondered that I hadn’t noticed it earlier. I had to make it.

As I tossed ideas around in my head for this dish, as a bow to autumn, I roasted some butternut squash and puréed it with some ricotta and parmesan cheese and made the pasta per the step-by-step homemade pasta instruction I posted yesterday. I sautéed the pears in browned butter and drizzled the dish at the end with reduced balsamic vinegar. Divine.

As a note, this ravioli freezes beautifully, and can be an easy dish to whip together if you’ve got some stashed in the freezer. It can be served as an entrée for your family, or as the first course for a more formal dinner with just a few ravioli scattered artfully on a plate with the pears and balsamic. Either way, I hope you give it a try.

Butternut-Ricotta Filled Ravioli with Brown Butter Pears and Balsamic Drizzle

     by Susan Pridmore


Butternut-Ricotta Ravioli

  • Sheets of pasta per my Step-by-Step Homemade Pasta instructions
  • 6 ounces butternut squash
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 ounces apples, peeled (a couple of slices)
  • 1 – 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
  • 6 1/2 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 1 1/2 ounce chevre, soft goat cheese
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
  • healthy pinch of kosher salt

Brown Butter Pears and Balsamic Drizzle

  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter
  • 3 Barlett pears, peeled and cored
  • Balsamic Reduction
  • Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Fresh thyme


Making the Pasta and Filling

Follow the Step-by-Step Homemade Pasta instructions for making the pasta, filling and forming the ravioli.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Slice off the neck portion of butternut squash that weighs about half a pound. Peel. There shouldn’t be any seeds in this portion, but if there are, remove them. Chop up the squash into 1″ pieces, place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, toss in a little olive oil, and roast until soft and slightly caramelized.

Sauté the apple in a little butter over medium heat until soft.

Combine the squash, apple, cheeses and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade, and purée.

Making the Brown Butter Pears and Balsamic Drizzle

Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat. Do not use a coated or dark pan, as it will be difficult to track the changing color of the butter as it browns. This frequently translates into burned butter. The butter will melt and start to bubble. Soon, the bubbling activity will dissipate and the butter will start to brown. I brown mine to a deep golden color for this dish.

Add the pears and sauté in the browned butter until just soft.

Follow the directions here to make the balsamic reduction.

Spoon the pears and browned butter over the pasta.

Drizzle 1 – 2 teaspoons of balsamic reduction over each serving (or more, to taste).

Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese and fresh thyme over the top. Serve warm.

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13 Responses to “Butternut Filled Ravioli & Brown Butter Pears” Subscribe

  1. TasteFood October 21, 2012 at 2:06 pm #

    Yum! I’m not sure if I’m more excited by this recipe – or by the snow!
    TasteFood recently posted..Salame, Figs, Fennel and a Sandwich ShowdownMy Profile

  2. apuginthekitchen October 21, 2012 at 3:39 pm #

    Snow already, we are still close to 70 degree’s here. Sounds just wonderful cozying up with a bowl of that delicious pasta. I just love everything about it and if I have time this week going to dust off the old pasta machine.
    apuginthekitchen recently posted..Thank you Everyone!!My Profile

  3. Choc Chip Uru October 21, 2012 at 10:06 pm #

    This ravioli looks exquisite :)

    Choc Chip Uru
    Choc Chip Uru recently posted..Baking & BugsMy Profile

  4. mjskit October 22, 2012 at 8:15 pm #

    OH I’m ready for cooler weather, but I’m certainly not ready for snow; however, we sure could use the moisture. It wouldn’t have to be cold for me to want a plate of this ravioli! The filling and the brown butter pear sauce sound awesome! Gimmie gimmie!
    mjskit recently posted..Andouille and Black Bean SoupMy Profile

  5. Trish October 23, 2012 at 6:45 am #

    Seriously yum! I saw the title and I just had to check this out. Totally decadent
    Trish recently posted..Vegetarian kids and the rest of the worldMy Profile

  6. Viviane Bauquet Farre October 23, 2012 at 1:39 pm #

    Just like Trish, I too was immediately lured in by the title. An amazingly alluring dish, especially with the elegant addition of pears. Phenomenal bistro-style dish and presentation!
    Viviane Bauquet Farre recently posted..Sautéed broccoli with yellow and red bell peppersMy Profile

  7. Tora Estep October 25, 2012 at 8:57 am #

    Wow, this sounds lovely and delicious! I wish we’d get some snow, but we haven’t even gotten a proper chill yet. Have a warm, cuddly day.
    Tora Estep recently posted..Pink lemon cupcakes: The trouble with color (and a heartbreaking baby story)My Profile

  8. Terra October 25, 2012 at 6:46 pm #

    What a seriously gorgeous mix of flavors, and looks amazing! It is funny, I never thought to mix pears with pumpkin, but I love it:-) Brown butter is a weakness of mine, so I am in love!!! Looks fantastic, Hugs, Terra

  9. foodwanderings October 25, 2012 at 7:19 pm #

    Oh wow a winter storm…the weather her is still Fal-lish though on the warmer side. Love this dish it is a gourmet quality very refined dish! Love it!
    foodwanderings recently posted..Potatoes, Cauliflower & Celeriac Soup With Crispy ShallotsMy Profile

  10. Stephanie, The Recipe Renovator November 18, 2012 at 7:11 pm #

    Oh, how lovely. I have been getting up the courage to try making gluten-free pasta… this might push me over the edge.

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian November 18, 2012 at 10:46 pm #

      Gluten-free pasta is definitely on my list to make too. It will be a lot of trial and error I’m thinking, but what fun along the way.

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