Monday, October 14, 2013

Butternut Squash Ravioli with Butter and Sage Sauce

The theme for this week is cheap meals, and this is a great way to save money but still cook a hoity-toity gourmet meal. I’m somewhat guestimating, but I think the recipe as written below costs about $5 to make, and that’s for 2 servings plus a bunch of leftover raviolis. I didn’t make enough dough, but I’ll write the recipe as if I actually knew what was doing and made enough pasta to go with the filling. Since butternut squashes are pretty hefty vegetables, you can’t really downsize, but you can have some great leftover. The sauce is enough for 2 servings, even though there’s extra ravioli.  Leftovers are dead simple when you already have the ravioli assembled and frozen – just add to boiling water (from frozen) and simmer for 4 minutes.

Pasta dough:
9 ounces all-purpose flour
3 large eggs (6 oz)
1 tbsp olive oil

1 butternut squash
3 cloves garlic, unpeeled
¼ cup parmesan cheese (plus more for garnish)
Salt and pepper

4 tbsp butter
1 shallot, diced
Sage leaves

Heat your oven to 375°F. Cut the top off the squash, and split it in half. Scoop out the seeds and gloopy bit (just like carving a pumpkin, but with 10x less). Place the squash cut side down on a baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour. You can either roast the garlic (in its husk) along with the squash (should take 10 minutes or so) or in a dry pan over medium heat, flipping as blackened spots form.

Meanwhile, make a well out of the flour and crack the eggs into the center. Add the olive oil on top of the eggs. Whisk the eggs, slowly incorporating the flour bit by bit until a dough forms.

Knead the dough for approximately 8 minutes on a floured surface, until the dough is silky smooth. Take a piece of plastic wrap and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Place the dough on the plastic, and give it a spray as well. Wrap the dough in the plastic and refrigerate for half an hour.

Is the squash done roasting? Great, scoop out the flesh and add to the bowl of a food processor. Dice the roasted garlic from earlier, and add to the food processor, along with salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese. Process to a puree.

Back to the pasta. Roll out the dough in 3 batches. Start on the lowest (widest) setting, and pass the dough through 4 times, folding like a letter each time. This helps knead the dough. Then, pass the dough through the machine, increasing the setting each time until you reach the thinnest setting. You may want/need to flour the dough lightly during this process. Repeat with remaining dough. Split into 6 equal sized sheets.

Place a spoonful of filling  for each ravioli, giving yourself enough space between each spoonful. Add filling to 3 of the pasta sheets. Get some water in a small bowl, and using a brush, ‘paint’ around the filling. This will make them easier to close. Place one of the pasta sheets that doesn’t have filling on it directly on top of one that does. Seal up each ravioli, pressing out any excess air. Use a biscuit cutter or similar to separate each ravioli from the dough. 

Place any raviolis you don’t plan on immediately cooking on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and place in the freezer until frozen. Transfer to a Ziploc bag.

For the raviolis you are cooking, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the raviolis, cooking for 1 minute, then removing with a spider/slotted spoon to the pan with the sauce.

Melt butter and add diced shallots, allowing them to get some caramelization. Add the sage and cook for about 1 minute. Add in the cooked pasta, and toss to coat. Serve with additional parmesan cheese.


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