Antonia Lofaso's Go-To Thanksgiving Dish Gives Roasted Squash An Italian Twist

Turkey Day is quickly approaching, and some people have already begun their game plans for their menus and cooking techniques. With Thanksgiving just around the corner, the time to drum up creative side dishes is at hand. When Tasting Table spoke to Antonia Lofaso during the Sip and Savor event at the New York City Wine & Food Festival 2023, she shared the unique Thanksgiving side dish she loves to serve.

"One of my favorite things to do is actually squash ravioli. It's like a puréed squash, and I put the egg yolk in the center, and then I grate cheese over the top," explains Lofaso. "When it opens up, it's not the traditional ricotta — it's like a squash."

This savory dish uses seasonal produce to tie into the festive occasion and breaks the mold of what a traditional Thanksgiving side should be. Antonia Lofaso does not specify which squash she uses for this dish, but her restaurant Scopa Italian Roots has featured a kabocha squash ravioli in the past. You can choose which squash you prefer as long as it's more of a creamy, winter squash. Think squashes like butternut, acorn, sugar pumpkin, or kabocha. These are squashes with a slightly sweet flavor that hold up well to longer cooking times. When these squashes are puréed they become thick and creamy, perfect for stuffing pasta.

How to make the squash ravioli

Antonia Lofaso does not have a specific recipe for her squash ravioli, but Tasting Table has its own recipe for Butternut Squash Ravioli, a good starting point for making your own version inspired by Lofaso's. What makes Lofaso's take on the recipe unique is the inclusion of a runny egg yolk inside the ravioli. Tasting Table's Egg Yolk and Ricotta Ravioli can walk you through the steps of how to put an egg yolk into your pasta and cook it. If you plan on making this dish for Thanksgiving, you may want to do a few trial runs of your recipe so you can practice your technique and have it down for Thanksgiving Day.

When you put your egg yolk into the ravioli, you'll want to make a small crater in your squash filling to rest the egg yolk in. Then either using a ravioli maker or your hands, you'll seal the top layer of pasta to the bottom. The ravioli will only cook for 4-5 minutes before it's done. To ensure your egg yolk stays runny, it's important to make sure the squash filling is cooked to your preference before you boil the pasta. This dish is best enjoyed straight away. Lofaso keeps the rest of this dish simple by grating Parmesan cheese on top. The final result is a runny, decadent fall-themed pasta sure to impress you and your guests.