Sunday, November 12, 2006

Butternut Squash Ravioli

Eating Fall...that is what this dish is like. I really can't think of anything else that tastes more like fall than these squash ravioli. The flavors of the squash, sage, cinnamon, and nutmeg all combine to make up the taste of autumn.
We really enjoyed these... although I'd like to cut the sweetness of the filling the next time I make these. Maybe a little more balsamic and little or no molasses.

Butternut Squash Ravioli with a Brown Butter Sage Sauce

1 small to medium butternut squash (about 2 1/2 pounds)
2 tablespoons dark molasses
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Ravioli dough or purchased wonton wrappers
Flour, for dusting board (if using fresh dough)
2 tablespoons sweet butter
8 fresh sage leaves
2 ounces Parmesan, for grating

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Cut squash in 1/2 and scrape out seeds. Spread 1 tablespoon molasses on each cut side. Season with salt and pepper. Place cut side down on a roasting pan. Cook in the oven until very soft, about 1 hour. Let cool to room temperature and scoop out flesh into a food processor.
Puree squash until smooth, then spread on a baking sheet and return to the 375 degree oven to dry, about 10 minutes. The consistency will be like mashed potatoes.
Heat the butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat until it begins to brown. Immediately remove from heat and add remaining 1 tablespoon molasses and all the vinegar. Add to squash with mascarpone, Parmesan, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper and mix well.
To fill the raviolis: Lay out a sheet of pasta dough or wonton wrappers on a lightly floured board. Put 1 tablespoon squash filling in the center of dough using a small spoon. Moisten borders with water and top with another piece of dough. Press all the air out and seal firmly by pressing all around with fingertips. Lay raviolis out to dry on a lightly floured board or baking sheet and lightly flour the tops. Repeat until you run out of dough and/or filling. To cook, boil in lightly salted water until tender, about 3 minutes.
For the Sage Brown Butter: While raviolis are cooking, in a large saute pan, melt the butter with the sage and a pinch of salt and pepper until it foams and becomes light brown. Add ravioli and gently saute for about 30 seconds and then transfer to a serving platter or dishes. Finish with a generous grating of Parmesan

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