While I’d originally planned to have a few guest bloggers while my kitchen was incapacitated (an idea that came FAR too late in the game, LOL!), consider me inspired – I’m going to try and make this guest bloggers thing a regular thing. As I find Wednesdays to be the BEST day of the week, I figured it’d be the most appropriate day to spread some awesome! 🙂
|I figure that I should start off this post with an introduction.
Hi, I’m Katrina. I usually post over at Kitchen Trials.
That should pretty much cut it right? We are all here for the food after all. I’m going to help out Marie with a little guest post while she gets her fabulous kitchen finished. Lucky Marie!
I’m sharing my recipe for Roasted Butternut Squash Ravioli. Take a look at this baby!
This is a really great recipe, and with Valentine’s Day just around the corner (how did that happen so quickly), it could just be the perfect meal to impress someone with. It’s takes a little (lot) of time, but I promise you, it is so worth it. Every bite you take, from the first to the last, will scream: this was worth it!
There are a couple of things that you can do ahead of time to make it a lot easier on you though, which I highly recommend. The day I decided to give it a go I was pretty much in the kitchen all day. I’m a quick learner though, so I soon figured out that the filling, pasta dough, and roma tomato sauce can all be made a day ahead and just stored in the fridge. I can’t stress enough that you should really consider doing this. I had this meal two days in a row (I made a lot of it), and there was absolutely no difference in taste. All I had to actually prepare the second day was the ravioli.
If you’re wondering where the inspiration came from for the dish, I can’t take any credit. There’s a restaurant here in Canada called Milestones that makes a butternut squash ravioli which I love. A second restaurant, East Side Mario’s, also made a version of it (which is now gone from their menu). I took all the things I loved from both and gave it a go. Don’t tell them, but I think this one wins (and I’m not biased at all).
Roasted Butternut Squash Ravioli
Total Time: 2 hours, Make 8 servings
3 tbsp butter
½ cup minced shallots
3 cups butternut squash puree (1 large squash)
½ cup + 1 tbsp heavy cream
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ tsp nutmeg
1 batch Fresh egg pasta*
1 egg, beaten
1 batch Roma tomato sauce
Candied pecans (directions below)
2 tbsp butter
chevre cheese for garnish, crumbled
toasted candied spiced pecans for garnish
fresh basil chiffonade for garnish
* When you make the egg pasta, use only all-purpose flour for ravioli. It makes a smoother dough when you need it to be very thin.
First off, we’ve got to make the filling.
Split a butternut squash right down the middle and get out all the seeds. Drizzle with some extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle with some kosher salt, then roast at 400ºF for 45 minutes to an hour. It depends on the size of the squash, so just keep your eye on it. You’re looking for it to be nice and soft all the way though, and just starting to brown on the top. Once it’s cooled, peel off the skin and throw the flesh in a bowl; give it a quick beat with your mixer until it’s nice and smooth.
Pre-roasted squash pictured, I forgot to take one when it came out of the oven. I forget a lot of things most days.
Now, put some butter in a large skillet and leave it until it just starts to brown (this will be just after it goes foamy). Add some shallots and cook for about a minute, until softened. Add the squash and cook for about 3 minutes until it starts to dry up a bit.
Dry squash, 3 minutes later:
Stir in the salt, pepper, and heavy cream. Cook for about two minutes.
Turn off the heat and stir in the parmesan cheese. Phew, the filling is done! Now, let it cool then put it in the fridge until tomorrow because you took my advice and you’re not making it all in one day!
Ok, now it’s time to make the ravioli. Here’s a link to the pasta dough that I make (it whips up in a food processor in mere seconds!a). I use 100% all-purpose flour for the ravioli though, so replace the semolina flour with all-purpose. The key to great ravioli is getting it paper thin (if you can see through it you’ve got something incredible happening), and semolina flour is just a bit to course for this.
Roll out the dough to the thinnest setting on your pasta roller. If you’re doing this with a rolling pin, please know that I’m admiring your forearms from here. Lay out your first nice, long, strip of pasta on your counter. Put your filling in a piping bag or zip-lock bag with the corner cut out, and pipe a tablespoon of filling every few inches. Also, ignore the mess on the island. I’ll lie and say is doesn’t always look like this to some degree.
Brush some beaten egg around the edge of the pasta, including between all of the filling. This is going to help it stick together. Then, fold the bottom of the pasta up over the filling. Use your fingers to press as much of the air out from around the filling as you can. This is a really important step because it stops the ravioli from exploding while boiling. Then, use a round cookie cutter to cut the individual raviolis out.
Give all the edges a good pinch to make sure they’re well sealed. Now, isn’t that a nice looking ravioli!
Add the ravioli to some boiling, lightly salted, water and cook for just a couple of minutes. When they float, they’re done.
In a large skillet, get some butter browned again, then throw in the cooked ravioli and lightly fry. You just want a kiss of colour added to them. This adds a nice hit of nuttiness and a bit more texture to the ravioli.
Here’s how I plate it: Put the pasta in a row down the center of a large plate. Top with a row of chunky roma tomato sauce. Sprinkle on some candied pecans, chèvre goat cheese chunks and fresh basil chiffonade. Unless you’ve got a nut allergy or something, I really wouldn’t leave anything out. It’s all the little pieces that come together to make this dish outstanding.
Throw a handful of pecan pieces in a small skillet over medium heat and toast until they smell nice and fragrant. Stir them fairly frequently to prevent them from burning. At the end, add a sprinkling of white sugar and a dash of cinnamon. Stir until the sugar has dissolved and just kind of melted into the nuts.