Sunday, March 11, 2012

Butternut squash ravioli

The recipe for this butternut squash ravioli came from Kim Barnouin's vegan cookbook: Skinny Bitch: Ultimate Everyday Cookbook.  Check out some of her other recipes here. I should preface this entry with a few things:
  1. I had never had butternut squash ravioli before making this recipe.
  2. I had never made ravioli before making this recipe.
  3. I modified the recipe in order to use ingredients I already had, which eliminated its vegan-ness.
For those reasons, I took pictures of the process (almost) every step of the way.   The first step was to make dough for the ravioli.  This was a simple dough made of flour, salt, and water.  It look a LOT of kneading for the dough to become smooth.  I wasn't sure if this was because I got the flour-water ratio wrong, or not.  After far too long, the dough finally stayed together:


After letting the dough raise for twenty minutes, the next step was to roll the dough out very thin.  The goal was 1/16th inch thickness. Using my French rolling pin, I was able to achieve this. Do you know the difference between a French rolling pin and a traditional rolling pin? Comment below if you do!

After the dough was sufficiently thin, I cut it into 3 inch squares.   The picture below is of half of the dough.  I had to do two batches since one half of the dough took up my entire counter space...

 Next up is the filling.  The main in ingredient was (surprise, surprise) butternut squash.  I used frozen squash that came pre-cut.  This picture shows a mixture of two brands--one organic, and one conventional.  Can you tell the difference?


I couldn't.  They both appeared to be about the same color.  One variety was just cut into slightly larger chunks.  I let the squash thaw on the counter and then combined it with butter using a fork.  The recipe suggests using a food processor, and I would follow its advice. 

Once the squash and butter were combined, I added the remaining ingredients for the filling: Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and bread crumbs. 


Finally it was time to put everything together. On each piece of dough, I piled about a tablespoon of the filling. Then, using a trick my friend taught me while making dumplings, I dipped my finger in water and ran it around the edges of the dough.  (That's why the edges are shiny.) Next, I folded the raviolis into a variety of shapes, using the wet edges to seal the dough.

The traditional shape suggested by the recipe was a triangle.  To make a triangle, you simply fold the square wrapper in half diagonally.

It is also possible to get a little more creative, though, and come up with more interesting shapes.  Here are a few that I learned from making dumplings.  It is possible to make any shape that you wish, as long as the edges are sealed.  This prevents the filling from leaking out in the cooking process.

Speaking of the cooking process....the ravioli cook in a pot of boiling water for approximately 5 minutes.  Because there is no meat in these ravioli, there is no need to worry about under cooking the filling.  Once the dough is done, so is the filling. 

While the ravioli are cooking is a perfect time to prepare the sauce.  The recipe suggests a sage sauce.  I had never cooked with fresh sage before, but bought some from the grocery store:

The sauce was very easy to make.  I simply melted butter in a skillet. Note, this is only half of the recommended amount of butter.  I couldn't bring myself to use an entire stick of butter for sauce.

And then added chopped sage.

Once the sauce was nicely combined, I simply poured it over the ravioli.  Voila! You may have been able to guess by the amount of butter (or margarine if you are creating this recipe as a vegan) and cheese (or vegan cheese) in this dish that it is very rich.  Butternut squash itself has a creamy consistency.  Once you add butter and cheese, the combination melts in your mouth. These ravioli, while a little time consuming to make, were well worth it.


When I ate the ravioli as leftovers the next night, I opted for a tomato sauce in lieu of the rich sage sauce.  This worked equally well with the butternut squash filling. 

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