Butternut Squash Ravioli Sauce with Pancetta and Sage perfectly complements homemade butternut squash ravioli. It is light, and creamy, and adds a bit of savory saltiness to the sweet and earthy flavors in the roasted butternut squash pasta filling. Best of all you can make this sauce while the pasta is cooking for an easy restaurant-worthy dish!
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Butternut squash ravioli deserves a sauce that lets the sweetness of the creamy filling shine through! Well, this sauce does just that. The browned pancetta adds a bit of saltiness and crunch, while the fresh thyme and sage bring herbal notes to every bite. Grated cheese finishes off the dish with an additional layer of salty nutty flavor.
This is one of the best sauces and it’s a little different than the normal brown butter sauces that typically accompany butternut squash ravioli. As much as I love a sage brown butter sauce, this simple recipe is a nice change of pace. Like my Carbonara Ravioli Sauce, a few simple ingredients create a creamy sauce in just a few minutes to make.
My family really loves this sauce and so do I! I’ve served it with my 4 Cheese Ravioli, which is also delicious. But another great option for a quick no no-fuss pasta dish is to serve it with plain angel hair pasta or spaghetti. This is a great recipe for busy weeknights.
Ingredients You Will Need for this Easy Recipe
Butternut Squash Ravioli: You can follow my recipe for butternut squash ravioli or you can use ready-made ravioli from the grocery store.
Garlic: Fresh garlic cloves, minced
Butter: I like to use unsalted butter so I better control the amount of salt in the sauce.
Pancetta: Diced into small cubes. If you don’t have pancetta, feel free to substitute bacon or even prosciutto.
Fresh Sage and Thyme: Chopped
Parmesan/Romano Cheese: You can use a blend of both Parmigiano Reggiano and Pecorino Romano or whichever one you prefer. Parmesan cheese will have a nuttier flavor and it is a little milder than the Pecorino. I find that when selecting just one for this sauce, parmesan cheese works well with the sweet butternut squash filling.
Nutmeg: This is optional, but a pinch of fresh nutmeg adds a cozy fall essence to the sauce.
How to Make the Sauce
Start the sauce while the water boils for the ravioli.
- Add olive oil to a large sauté pan set over medium heat. Lightly brown the pancetta.
- Lower the heat and add the garlic, sage, and thyme to the skillet. Cook until the garlic is just tender then remove it from the heat.
- Add the cooked ravioli to the skillet along with the butter. Toss the pasta until the butter has melted and the sauce becomes creamy. Sprinkle the grated cheese on the pasta as you continue to stir it. If the sauce is too thick you can loosen it with a little pasta water.
- Transfer the ravioli to serving plates and serve with additional grated cheese.
- Cook the ravioli in a large pot of water so it has room to move around and float to the top. This will also keep fresh ravioli from sticking together.
- Use a large skillet to make the sauce. It needs to be big enough to hold all of the cooked ravioli.
- Fresh pasta cooks quickly and it only takes about 2-3 minutes for ravioli to float once they are dropped into the boiling water, so start your sauce before you add the ravioli to the water.
- Watch the garlic closely while it is cooking as it can turn brown or burn quickly.
- The best way to drain the ravioli is to transfer it to the skillet using a slotted spoon. This naturally adds a little bit of starchy pasta water to the sauce.
- This dish is best enjoyed when served immediately.
Butternut Squash Ravioli Sauce FAQ’s
Butternut squash ravioli with pancetta and herbs can be served as a “primo”, first course, or as a main course. As creamy as this sauce is, it is fairly light so this dish will pair with many recipes. If you want this to be your opening dish, serve smaller portions and follow it up with a roast beef or a marinated pork tenderloin. When you want this butternut squash ravioli recipe to be the star of the show, add a crispy salad, green beans, or Brussels sprouts, and focaccia or freshly baked bread and you have a complete meal.
Properly stored in an airtight container and refrigerated, your leftover ravioli will last 2-3 days.
This sauce is best made just before serving the ravioli. The pasta water and the hot ravioli are key to creating the creamy buttery sauce.
Other Pasta Recipes
I know that it seems like making homemade pasta dough is a time-consuming endeavor, but it can be fun. If you want to try making your own pasta, this Gnocchetti Sardi recipe is easy and delicious. They look like gnocchi but they are actually little pastas.
I love to get your feedback so if you tried this Butternut Squash Ravioli Sauce or any other recipes on this website, please leave me a comment below. I hope you enjoy our recipes and look forward to hearing from you!
Pancetta and Sage Butternut Squash Ravioli Sauce
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 4 oz Pancetta Diced
- 3 cloves Garlic Chopped
- 1 tsp Thyme Fresh, chopped
- 1 tsp Sage Fresh, Chopped
- 4 tbsp Butter Unsalted, cut into 4 pieces
- 3 tbsp Parmesan Or a Parmesan Romano blend. Grated, plus more for serving
- Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan, add the pancetta and cook until it starts to get brown.
- Add the garlic and herbs and saute until the garlic is tender.
- Add the drained ravioli and remove the pan from the heat.
- Stir in the butter and cheese. Add a little pasta water if the sauce is too thick. Serve with more cheese for topping.