Monday, February 8, 2010

Butternut Squash Ravioli


When I need to get my mind off of something, I tend to retreat to the kitchen. The more involved and complicated the recipe, the better. Which means when I'm stressed out or sad, my place is a great spot for time intensive dishes that I don't usually make or have never tried before. (Come by, bring Tupperware.)
This weekend I bought my very first mandolin down at Soko (plus some plates, and bowls, and spoons, and some slippers over at Ichiban Kan, and maybe a couple of other random things because it's Japantown and THA CUTE and who can help themselves, yes?). I was all excited to make a tian and was feeling ready to cook my cares away with some nice, comforting, roasted veggies. As I wandered around Nijiya Market waiting for something to tickle my fancy (once I realized they wouldn't have any of the veggies I was wanting for my tian), my eyes fell on the wonton and gyoza wrappers.
Another hoof over the bridge to Safeway, a 20 minute search for a shopping cart (seriously? I ended up with one from Ikea that I found hidden in a corner of the parking lot; please note that the nearest Ikea is like 12 miles away, over the Bay Bridge), and I got down to business. Spinach and ricotta? Butternut squash? Something mushroomy? I went with the squash thinking that since I was being so healthy with my tian, a little brown butter sage sauce wouldn't hurt anyone.
I got my inspiration here, was immediately side tracked by this,* bookmarked for a later date * and then got down to business.

Butternut Squash Ravioli
1 butternut squash - I'm guessing it was about 2 pounds
4 tbsp room temperature butter
2-3 tbsp honey
salt & pepper
a pinch of pumpkin pie spice - maybe 1/4 tsp (or to taste)
1 pkg dumpling wrappers
4 tbsp butter
1 tbsp of chopped sage

Heat the oven to 400 and cut the squash in half lengthwise. Scrape out the pumpkiny seeds and strings and throw those away. Smear the halves with 2 tbsp of the butter (1 tbsp for each half) and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake until fork tender; I think this took me about 45 minutes - you know I don't pay attention to that stuff.
Let the squash cool a bit and then scrape out the flesh into the bowl of your food processor. Add the remaining 2 tbsp of butter, the pumpkin pie spice and the honey, and puree until smooth. Give it a taste and decide what you think it needs - more salt, honey, butter, whatever. I was happy with this blend, but you might like it sweeter or richer. The original recipe I looked at for butternut squash ravioli called for you to add heavy cream which you could also do.

Get yourself a little "finger bowl" of water for sealing the ravioli. Dollop about 1 tbsp of filling onto each pastry square and wet two of the sides with the water. Press closed, and then seal by pressing firmly with a fork (but not so hard that you tear the dough). The goal here is to get a nice plump ravioli, but without having the filling smoosh out when you try to close it (which makes it tough to seal, and they're more likely to bust open when you cook them). I fold mine in half like triangles, but you could go a step further and bring the ends around to make them look more like tortellini.

They don't take much to get cooked - a couple of minutes in boiling, salted water and they're done. Be careful though - they're super delicate.

While mine were in the water I put 4 tbsp of butter into a pan and once it was melted down I added the sage. I let that cook until it was brown, then carefully drained each ravioli and put it into the butter to coat. A little sprinkling of some parmesan cheese, some crushed, toasted walnuts; maybe some biscotti or something, and voila. Nom.

I served mine with the veggie tian I love making, and a mixed greens salad with roasted onion vinaigrette with goat cheese and tomatoes.


Quinn said...

Wow, those look amazing. Can't wait for you to feed me some... still waiting... where are you... I thought they would have arrived by now... getting hungry... about to give up but still wanting to give you a little more time to prove yourself...

Rogue Designs said...

Another reason why you might want to check fb - I offered up two portions of extras this weekend and struggled to get any takers. :o(