Monday, October 25, 2010

Made it! Ravioli

I absolutely love homemade ravioli. I was so excited when Lisa made her goat cheese and sausage ravioli because it inspired me to take a few hours off in the afternoon and devote myself to making these delectable dumplings. Unfortunately, tomato season in Victoria has come to an end, so I decided to change Lisa's recipe to make sure I was cooking with products that were in season and local. The version I made was butternut squash ravioli in a browned butter sage sauce topped with roasted hazelnuts and I must say, this was the best ravioli I ever tasted!

Butternut Squash Filling:

  • 1 medium to large size butternut squash (cut in half)
  • 1 shallot (diced)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons cream
  • salt and pepper to taste

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Place squash on a cookie sheet, flesh side up. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with some salt and pepper. Roast for 45 minutes or until the squash is soft. I pierce the flesh with a knife to check for to see when it's done (the knife will go in smoothly). Remove the squash when it's completely soft and cool.

In the meantime, use a medium size pan with tall sides to saute the diced shallot in a little bit of olive oil on a low/medium heat until the shallots caramelize, or turn a deep, rich brown color. When the butternut squash is cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh (be sure to scrape out the seeds first). Place the squash flesh in the pan with the shallots and add the cream. Stir on a medium heat until the cream, shallots, and squash are nicely incorporated. The mixture should not be too moist. It, however, will be fairly lumpy. Use an immersion blender to remove all the lumps. The final mixture should be velvety smooth. Transfer to a small bowl for easy handling when making the ravioli.

Making the Ravioli:

  • Pasta dough
  • Egg wash (1 beaten egg with a dash of cold water)
  • Pastry brush or fingers
  • Ravioli crimper and cutter

Follow Lisa's recipe for pasta dough. Using a pasta maker/roller, roll out one big sheet of pasta dough. Place on a well-floured surface (large cutting board or clean counter top both work). Place dollops of squash filling (about 1 teaspoon) 1 inch apart. Using a pastry brush or your finger tips, apply a thin film of egg wash on the dough, making sure to go around each "ravioli".
Roll out another sheet of dough and place on top of the first sheet of dough with the squash filling. I like to work from one side to the other. This is the hardest step. Ravioli is very forgiving, so if you make a mistake, don't worry...just try again! Use your fingers to press the dough together, making sure to get as close to the filling as possible while not creating air bubbles. Again, I find that working from one side to the other is the best strategy.

Take your crimper/cutter and cut between the ravioli. Transfer to a baking sheet. I like to freeze my ravioli before cooking them. I find it sets them a bit so they are easier to pick up and drop in boiling water. I also like to freeze them so any leftovers can be placed in a ziploc baggie and saved for another meal.

The Browned Butter Sage Sauce

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • Fresh sage (julienned or cut into thin strips)
  • Roughly chopped, roasted hazelnuts

While a large pot of salted water is coming to a boil, heat a frying pan and place the butter in to melt. Add a pinch or two of salt. I add half of the sage and hazelnuts now to infuse the butter with their flavors. When the water comes to a vigorous boil, drop in the ravioli, one by one. The butter will be beginning to brown, but make sure it doesn't burn. The ravioli only takes a minute or two to cook. When cooked, remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to the butter sage sauce. Coat each ravioli with the sauce. If you like, you can leave them in for a few minutes to crisp on one side.

Serve in a bowl and sprinkle with remaining sage and hazelnuts. Shave some parmesan cheese over the top and eat while hot.

1 comment:

  1. This looks beautiful Sash. I like the addition of hazelnuts - very interesting and it brings in a nice crunch.