Monday, September 26, 2011

Roasted Butternut Squash Ravioli with Sage, Hazelnut and Brown Butter Sauce

It's officially Fall.  Southern Fall is not exactly like the Midwest Fall of my childhood.  Even though the calendar says it's officially Fall, what I consider to be temperatures, turning leaves and boots.....doesn't happen in Alabama until November sometime!

That doesn't mean that I have to wait until November for Fall foods!  Like squash.  I love me some roasted butternut squash and I happened to have some staring at me on the counter this weekend.  I considered making soup, but we've had a ton of soup here in the last few weeks, plus I wanted to try something different.  I've never made ravioli and I have tons of sage in the garden, so this sounded perfect.

I guess I didn't technically "make ravioli".  I cheated and used wonton wrappers, but feel free to make your own pasta dough if you're a lot more ambitious than I am!  

This is relatively easy to pull together if you're a cheater like me.  Roast the squash and then mash it up.  I used a food mill, but a potato ricer would work great also.  You could probably even puree it in the food processor.  Then throw it in a pot over low heat to remove all the moisture.  Stir in the seasonings and you're ready to "make ravioli"!

Since wonton wrappers a a little larger, I used a small ice cream scoop for the filling.....a little more than a tablespoon.

Brush the bottom wrapper edges with an egg wash.

Place the top wrapper over the filling, flattening the filling and pressing out any air bubbles.  Seal the edges really don't want any gaps for the filling to seep out when you boil it.  That would be messy!  I sealed my edges with a fork to be on the safe side.  Sometimes I'm overly cautious.

Bring some generously salted water to a boil and toss in a few raviolis (don't crowd them).  When they rise to the surface of the water, they're done.  Remove them and toss them with the sauce (recipe below).

This is a perfect Fall dish.  The ravioli can be made ahead of time and frozen and then tossed direct from the freezer into the boiling water.  And this sauce comes together in five minutes.  Totally doable for an elegant weeknight dinner.  This would also make a great first course for your next dinner party.

Here's the recipe:

Roasted Butternut Squash Ravioli with Sage, Hazelnut and Brown Butter Sauce
Bobby Flay


2 butternut squash, halved and seeded
Pinch cinnamon
Pinch nutmeg
1 tablespoon finely chopped orange zest
2 teaspoons chipotle puree
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 sheets pasta dough, 12 to 14 inches long by 4 inches wide
2 eggs mixed with 2 tablespoons water
Chopped chives


Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Place squash on a baking sheet and roast until soft 30 to 40 minutes. Scoop out flesh and run though a food mill. Place the puree into a medium saucepan and cook over low heat until almost dry. Add the remaining ingredients and season with salt and pepper to taste. Lay a sheet of pasta dough on a lightly floured work surface and distribute a heaping teaspoon-sized portion of the filling at least 2 inches apart. Use your fingertip or a brush to moisten the edges of the pasta sheet with the egg wash. Carefully place a second sheet of the pasta dough on top of the first and press with your fingertips to separate the rows of filling. Repeat with the remaining dough. With a ravioli cutter or pastry wheel, cut along straight lines on the vertical and horizontal to form each ravioli square. Press the edges closed with your fingertips to seal well. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Carefully drop in the ravioli and cook for about 5 minutes. Drain, plate and spoon butter sauce over and garnish with finely chopped chives.

Brown Butter Sauce:

2 sticks unsalted butter
1/4 cup coarsely ground hazelnuts
1/4 cup heavy cream
8 sage leaves, chiffonade
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Melt butter in a medium saute pan over medium high heat. Add hazelnuts and cook until the hazelnuts are golden brown. Add the heavy cream and cook for 1 minute. Add the sage and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

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