melissa i strong

rock climber, writer, photographer, working on life daily


Thanksgiving Dinner Deconstructed aka Ravioli Recipe


Sitting at home in Estes Park planning our escape to Hueco Tanks I remembered that a turkey would not fit in our camper’s oven.  This was the first year we would be there for Thanksgiving so I guess I never thought of it before.  We hadn’t seen some of our greatest friends in awhile and I was looking forward to being reunited with them over a yummy dinner that I was happy to cook.  I am not sure where the idea came from but all of a sudden it was there, ravioli! Thanksgiving ravioli.  So I cooked a turkey with stuffing, pureed butternut squash, and mashed sweet potatoes.

The plan was to stuff all of this into raviolis.

Some were turkey and stuffing, some were just squash or just sweet potatoes and others were squash and turkey, potatoes and turkey and to some of the just squash and potato ravioli I added chopped pecans.   I made and froze 127 ravioli.

Thanksgiving morning I took them out of the freezer sautéed shallots, olive oil, fresh sage and pecans.  I smothered the ravioli with this mixture, covered them and left them out to thaw while we went climbing.

The night before Thanksgiving, I chopped boiled and pureed more butternut squash to make a sage squash that went on top of the ravioli.  I also made turkey gravy that could go on top of the ravioli, at first I thought might be too much but was really good as well.



3 cups of flower

½ tsp. of salt

2 eggs

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 cup of water


Mix the flour and salt. Make a hill with the flower and hollow out the center.  Crack two eggs into the center and beat eggs into the flour attempting to maintain the hill.  Add oil and water, kneed the dough into a ball (Adding more water or flour if needed).  Wrap in plastic wrap and let sit for 30 min.  Cut in half and start rolling through a pasta maker.  (When I bought my pasta maker I thought I was going to get something similar to a bread maker--a machine that I plugged in, put the ingredients into and 20 minutes later--pasta!  It does not work that way.  A pasta maker basically just rolls the dough out to certain thinness as you crank.  It is a great tool and it feels better to be a part of the process.  One ravioli hint--don’t roll too thin!)  I usually run the pasta dough through settings one and two twice then once through settings three through six making it 1/6 of an inch thick.  Make sure you have a clean-floured surface to place the dough on.

Once you have a long sheet there are several options you have, I prefer placing the stuffing slightly off center of the strip and folding the strip in half cutting and sealing the edges.  You can stuff your ravioli with almost whatever you choose.

If you choose to boil the ravioli use a large saucepan filled ¾ of the way with water, bring to a boil and add ten ravioli at a time.  If the integrity of the ravioli is in question, you will see them disintegrated while boiling.

If baking place either sauce or olive oil on the bottom layer of the baking pan and layer the ravioli with the sauce or olive oil.  Bake for 20-30 minutes at 350.

These Thanksgiving raviolis were topped with sautéed shallots, olive oil, fresh sage and pecans.  I smothered the ravioli with this mixture and baked them at 350 for 30 minutes.  If you want them crispy you can put them under the broiler for a few minutes.

After baking I served it with butternut squash sauce.



Butternut Squash Sage Sauce

3 butternut squash cubed

6 cups of vegetable or chicken broth

2 leeks sliced and cleaned

10 fresh sage leaves

1 tbsp. thyme

salt and pepper


Saute onion in butter, add broth and leaks and quartered squash.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.  Let cool slightly, strain ingredients and puree in a food processor put processed mix back into broth. Add sage leaves and thyme, bring to a boil and simmer.  Add salt and pepper as desired.