Friday, April 1, 2011

Roasted Butternut Squash Ravioli

I'm sure most of you are over recipes involving squash, pumpkin, or any of the other delicious autumn/winter flavors. But now that it's not 100 degrees every day, I am so excited and actually want to use these things. So if you have room for one more butternut squash recipe before summer rolls around, give this a try.

I wasn't even going to make these ravioli until early today, when a batch of butternut squash/feta muffins turned out being a total bust, leaving me with 3/4 of the squash untouched. I wasn't in the mood for a soup, nor am I a skilled risotto maker, so these ravioli were perfect. To save some time, you can roast the butternut squash a day ahead and just puree it when needed.

I have to admit that I cheated and used wonton wrappers instead of making fresh pasta. But that cheat saves tons of time and seeing as how I have never owned a pasta machine, it's the next best bet. This ravioli has a really rich, and creamy filling that you have to love! I loaded up on the Parmesan (why wouldn't I) and added a little bit more butternut squash than in the original recipe, but aside from that, everything else was perfect.

I'm sitting here in a food coma, wondering why I decided to have half of this recipe for lunch. Seriously, I think you could feed 3 hungry, or 4 moderately hungry people with this recipe. But it was so delicious and heavenly that I couldn't stop. It is time consuming, and if you're anything like me, you nibble as you work. So if you're ready to indulge in some sinful ravioli, here you go...

Adapted from Emeril Lagasse
Serves 3 to 4
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: about 2 minutes per ravioli

1 pack wonton wrappers
5 tablespoons butter
1 shallot, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 of a butternut squash (about 4 1/2 cups), in 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoon heavy cream
5 to 6 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated (you can add however much you want and taste the puree to see if you want more or not)
pinch of nutmeg
8 sage leaves
finely chopped parsley for garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 F. On a baking sheet, toss butternut squash with olive oil (if you want, add some salt and pepper). Bake for about 20 minutes, until the cooked through. When it's not too hot to handle, place in a hand mixer, food processor or blender and puree.

In a large saute pan, over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. Add the shallots and saute for 1 minute. Add the squash puree and cook until the mixture is slightly dry, about 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the cream and continue to cook for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese and nutmeg, to taste. Season with salt and pepper. Cool completely.

Remove wonton wrappers from packaging. Using your finger, gently apply some water to the outer edges of the wonton wrapper of 2 connected sides (the other half will get folded over to join these)*. Place 1 tablespoon of the filling in each unfolded wrapper. Bring 1 corner of the square with 2 dry sides over to the other, forming a triangle. Seal the pasta completely using a fork (see photos below if this seems confusing). If they are not fully sealed, the won-ton wrappers will separate while cooing. Add the pasta to pot of boiling salted water. Cook until the ravioli float to the surface, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the pasta from the water and drain well.

In a large saute pan, melt the remaining butter. Add the sage to the butter and continue to cook until the butter starts to brown and the sage leaves have just become crispy. Remove from the heat.

  Place some of the pasta in the center of each serving plate. Spoon the butter sauce over the pasta. Garnish with parsley and crispy sage leaves.

*If you're having a hard time getting your edges of the wonton to stick together, you can also try applying an egg wash (1 egg whisked with 1 tablespoon of water) instead of just water. Use this method as well if you want to skip the "fork pressing" step.

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