With Labor Day come and gone and all the dreary weather lingering around the city, I’ve had rich, comforting, fall foods on the mind. With hopes of sinking into a warm, home-cooked meal, I grabbed a butternut squash from Plietez Produce to put together Butternut Squash Ravioli. This is one of my favorite fall recipes that I love not only for the flavor, but for the process of putting it all together. It’s methodical and peaceful and the end result is delectable. I interchange pumpkin (add a little brown sugar and cinnamon) and butternut squash for this recipe and sometimes swap out the alfredo for a brown butter sage sauce. The creaminess and subtlety of the ravioli filling lends itself to decadent, flavorful toppings.
Here’s where you start:
Carefully peel the butternut squash with a vegetable peeler. Carefully, slice lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and strands. Dice the butternut squash into large 1-2″ pieces. In an oven at 350°, roast the butternut squash chunks with a a little salt and pepper for about 15-20 minutes or until brown and slightly caramelized. Let it cool before combining with other ingredients for filling.
2 cups butternut squash
1/4-1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1 egg (lightly beaten)
1/4 cup Pancetta diced & sauteed until browned
Pinch of nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
Usually near the refrigerated soy products in your grocery store, you can find wonton wrappers that work perfectly as ravioli skins. On a clean surface, layout individual wonton wrappers in a row. Scoop a small amount (about 1/2 tsp to full tsp), onto the center of each wrapper (a small cookie dough scoop works really well for this step). Next, wet your pointer finger in a bit of water and trace you finger over the outer edge of the entire wrapper. Fold the wrapper over from corner to corner to form a triangle, the water will act as a glue. Push down slightly around the filling to try and remove as much air as possible and press the edges to form a seal. Finally, bring the bottom two corners together to form an envelop shaped ravioli. Transfer to a cookie sheet for holding.
Once all ravioli are stuffed (this recipe makes 48 ravioli with a little filling leftover), they can either be transferred to the freezer or cooked immediately in salted boiling water (ravioli will float when cooked through). If freezing, freeze in a single layer on the cookie sheet so that the ravioli do not touch. This will prevent them from sticking together. Once frozen, they can be transferred to a plastic ziploc for freezer storage.
In a medium sauce pan, melt butter over low to medium heat. Add cream and combine with whisk. Let simmer for about 3 minutes and add cheese, whisking to blend. Keep temperature on low and when ready to serve, add salt and pepper to taste and chopped parsley.
Spoon the cheese sauce over 4-5 ravioli and top with a little greenery and maybe just a smidgen more of freshly grated cheese and hit of fresh nutmeg.
And for the 3rd time in a row, my finished photo has gone to the trash folder…maybe the ravioli is camera shy? I’ll try again next go round and post the results. Or, if you make your own version, send the photo and I’ll add it here and give you credit!