Marsala Cream Sauce is the fall comfort food you didn't know you needed. It's coming in hot with it's velvety, rich cream sauce, savory caramelized onions, sweet dried cranberries and fresh thyme ready to party with butternut squash stuffed ravioli.
Fall food life is a good life.
This one time, I auditioned for a reality cooking show. With this pasta. That I made in a hotel room. (Please, don't let that stop you from reading more.)
Spoiler alert: I didn't get cast. But don't let my poor performance of making myself interesting sell this Marsala Cream Sauce short.
IT IS SHOW WORTHY.
It deserves a show all by itself, but I'm think more like late night talk show where it interviews other fall comfort foods versus reality cooking show.
Top 3 reasons you should make this dish:
- It's butternut squash ravioli, therefore it involves a vegetable.
- Marsala cream sauce is everything you never knew you needed. Sweet, savory, rich, epic.
- The caramelized onions and dried cranberries might induce mind blowing. Taste with caution.
Ridiculously Delicious Marsala Cream Sauce
It's creamy, a little sweet, the right amount of savory and using a teeny bit of flour is going to make it the perfect thickness.
Marsala wine can easily be found in the grocery store. Cooking with it adds subtle sweetness from a natural caramelized flavor and rich, nuttiness.
Just to up the ante, you're going to make this sauce epic by adding caramelized onions and dried cranberries. Caramelized onions are the perfect salty and buttery goodness to balance the natural sweetness going on in here.
Toss that all up with butternut squash ravioli and you've got a winner on a plate.
If you're not up for making butternut ravioli from scratch - because hey, life is busy - it's pretty easy to find this pasta at in the frozen section of your grocery store. If they don't have it there, an Italian style market will definitely have it. And if that's not available, there's always your trusty Trader Joe's.
And if you can't find butternut ravioli?? Put this sauce on pretty much anything. Chicken. Your favorite pasta shape. Over asparagus. Dip bread into it (I won't judge). It's all going to be a win for your belly!
Marsala Cream Sauce with Butternut Ravioli
- 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (divided)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 vadalia or 2 small yellow onions (cut in half-moon sliced)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 clove garlic (minced)
- ¼ cup marsala wine
- 1 teaspoon all purpose flour
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons dried cranberries
- optional: 3 sage leaves (thinly cut)
- fresh ground black pepper (to taste)
- 8.8- ounce package butternut squash ravioli (we like the Trader Joe's brand)
- Make the onions: In a large skillet, melt the butter with 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions to the pan and sprinkle with salt. Reduce heat to low after 5 minutes. Cook 30-35 minutes, stirring occasionally. Onions should be a dark brown, amber color.
- Cook the pasta: Bring salted water to a boil in a large pot of water, cook for 3 to 4 minutes and drain.
- Build the sauce: Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat. Cook the garlic until fragrant and just slightly browned. Add the marsala wine and whisk in the flour. Once the sauce starts to thicken, about 1 minute, add heavy cream, dried cranberries and caramelized onion. Over low heat add the ravioli and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes until the sauce is thick and pasta is well coated.
- Make it pretty: Turn off heat and sauté with sage or plate the pasta and garnish with the sage for a vibrant pop of color.
- If serving this as an entree, this recipe will serve two. If serving it as a side dish, this recipe will yield 4 servings. Nutrition facts below are based on a 2 serving yield.
I made this last night. Didn't have marsala so substituted Tawny Port. It was delicious, will definitely make it again.
This was absolutely delicious! We didn't have marsala so substitute Tawny Port wine. I will definitely make this again.. Have to go to Trader Joe's before the pasta is gone.
I have had this recipes saved for quite some time now and finally made it for the family tonight. It was very easy and it was SO GOOD!! Everyone loved it!! This will be one our family fall favorites for sure. Oh, and it makes the house smell as incredible as it tastes!! 😉 Thank you!!
SO glad the family loved it Diane! Thank you for the feedback!
R Glaskin says
I have never reviewed a recipe before but I had to give this 5 stars. I made the recipe exactly with 2 very small changes. The first change was soaking the dried cranberries in a small amount of the Marsala wine before adding them to the sauce and the second was to top the dish with a few chopped candied pecans that I had recently made. Absolute Nirvana
I used t.j's butternut squash ravioli
Thank you so much! The chopped pecans sound like a wonderful addition!!
Can you make this sauce ahead?
You could, but it's definitely better made when ready to serve. It's much like alfredo sauce, so if you do make in advance, I would wait to toss it with the pasta and reheat over low heat with a little extra cream.
I made this a few nights ago and it was delicious! I made other food for my kids because they can don't usually like recipes that have wine. They LOVED this! Would not eat the pasta with butter I made for them. This is going into our cycle of dinners. We were practically licking the plates!
Also--my grocery store didn't have marsala wine so I used white cooking wine from my store. It was still delicious. Next time I can get marsala, I will try it that way.
SO glad you and the kiddos love it! We get that same issue here too and it's so nice when you only make ONE meal with no adjustments.
I made this recipe when COVID began & I started cooking again. Let me just say it really is MIND-BLOWING! Made it just as is the first time & couldn’t believe how good it is. Added sautéed chicken & Marsala-simmered mushrooms the second time & thought my husband would die over it! It’s some work, but WELL worth it. You can’t find any restaurant dish that’s better than this, & this is better than most all of those. Do not omit the cranberries or change a thing. This dish is a slice of heaven!
Lisa!!! I'm so happy you love this recipe, it's a true favorite of mine. Thank you for your kind words and review!
I was wondering if this recipe used dry or sweet Marsala wine?
you can use either, but I'd pick up dry for this recipe if you have to choose.