Friday, October 7, 2011

butternut squash ravioli

homemade ravioli with brown butter sage
Two days after we ran the medtronic twin cities marathon in Minneapolis, we were back in Thunder Bay and still hungry.  Homemade butternut squash ravioli with brown butter sage was so good that even though it took a lot of labour and time to make them, it was definitely worth the effort!  The salmon (caught in Lake Superior) was baked with lemon juice, dill, salt and pepper - simple and very fresh.

I've seen in other recipes that you need semolina flour to make fresh pasta - but we forgot to get some so we just used all purpose flour.  It tasted really good and worked out fine!

what you need:
*serves 2-3
  • 1 1/4 cup flour (or use half portion semolina flour and half all purpose flour)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 medium sized butternut squash
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • 6 fresh sage leaves
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • Parmesan cheese, 1/2 cup freshly grated
  • a little extra flour for work surface
what to do:
  1. Preheat oven to 450 F.  Cut up squash into small 1" cubes, toss lightly with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Spread cubes onto a baking sheet.  Cut a little bit off the top of the garlic bulb and drizzle a little olive oil on top and add a pinch of salt.  Wrap with tin foil and place on the baking sheet.  Bake for about 20-30 minutes, depending on your oven.  Check at half time to make sure they aren't burning and give them a toss for even browning - the squash is ready when it is fork tender and golden brown.  The garlic should easily squish (use oven mitts and gently squeeze to check).  Allow squash and garlic to cool to room temp.
  2. Remove skins from squash and place roasted squash into a bowl to mash.  Add 2 tbsp butter and squeeze the roasted garlic into the mixture - mash well.  Add a small pinch of salt and pepper.  You can also add grated Parmesan cheese (about 1/2 cup) and mix.
  3. On a clean counter top, make a mound with the flour and semolina flour.  Make a hole in the centre and crack one egg into it, mix with a fork until some of the flour incorporates with the egg. 
                                               eggs in the middle
    Add the other egg, and keep mixing until all the flour is incorporated.  Use your hands to knead the dough - if it seems too dry, you can add a little bit of water (1 tbsp at a time).  If it's too sticky/wet, add a little bit of flour.  Divide dough into four small even balls and roll them until 1/4" thick.  Fold in half and then in half again, then this time roll the dough out as thin as possible (this takes muscle!) - or you can use a pasta roller. 
    rolling the dough thin enough to see the black granite
     Try your best to make the sheets about the same size and shape - doesn't have to be perfect!
  4. Place 1 heaping teaspoon of the squash mixture onto the pasta sheet - each sheet should fit about 4 separate teaspoons.  Be sure to space them out to leave space to seal filling well.  Brush a little bit of melted butter around the squash mixture, then lay another sheet of pasta on top and cut into squares with a knife or ravioli square cutter.  You will have to use the back of a fork to press down around the edges of the filling to ensure a tight seal (or else it will fall apart when cooking!).  Any left over pasta can be re-kneaded and rolled to make another sheet.  Work quickly as the dough will dry out.
  5. Bring a pot of water to boil and add a few dashes of salt.  Gently place ravioli into pot and allow to cook, about 2-3 minutes. 
     They won't take too long, once they start
    floating to the top they are ready.
  6. In a small sauce pan on medium, heat up the 1/4 cup butter.  (add a tiny pinch of salt if it is unsalted)  Add the sage leaves, and watch, swirling occasionally - it will start to bubble/foam - and as soon as the butter begins to change colour watch carefully - take it off the heat once it browns.  
  7. Serve ravioli with about 1 tbsp brown butter drizzled on top, and garnish with the cooked sage leaves (they will be crispy, like a chip).  You can garnish with extra Parmesan shavings - enjoy!
little brown dots of goodness from the butter
we actually didn't have Parmesan cheese in our filling so
instead we topped each tsp of squash with a small slice of bocconcini.

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