The cooler weather. The leaves turning from green to yellow to orange to red. The smell of campfires, of cinnamon. Pies baking in the oven. Soups simmering on stove tops. Hot chocolate, charred marshmallows. Families coming together.
The produce section in your local grocer starts evolving. Pears, newly harvested apples, squash of different varieties. Orange, yellow, green. Cranberries can be found floating in grocery “bogs” ready to be scooped up. Pomegranates sit stacked, adding a pop of color to all the other fruit varieties sitting around them. Bins upon bins are stacked high with pumpkins and gourds. Some edible, some for decoration.
This year as soon as it got just a tad cooler (80 degrees here in the south) I started thinking of butternut squash and all of the different things I could do with that little guy. I scanned one of my favorite cookbooks (The Gourmet Cookbook with Ruth Reichl, 2004) and decided on the Butternut stuffed ravioli recipe on page 236. I made my usual adjustments to fit the bill of what I was craving and it came out amazing. So, here you are, Gourmet’s recipe (with minor adjustments) and many thanks to Ruth whose recipes are always on point and never disappoint. 🙂
Ravioli Stuffed with Butternut Squash & Goat Cheese in a Brown Butter Cream Sauce
This recipe makes about 40 filled wontons. You can easily get 8 servings.
1 2lb. butternut squash, cut in half lenthwise and seeded
1 tablespoon butter
1 medium sweet onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons thyme, removed from stems and chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
3 ounces creamy coat cheese
salt and pepper TT
For sauce and pasta:
2 packages wonton wrappers (about 60 total)
1 stick butter
1/3 cup roasted pumpkin seeds
2/3 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper TT
Roast squash in preheated 425° oven face down on baking sheet. Roast til fork tender, about 40 mins. When cool, peel off skin and mash with fork til smooth.
Melt butter in skillet over medium heat. Add onion and thyme and s & p TT. Cook until until translucent and starting to brown. Add garlic and cook one minute more. Remove from heat and cool slightly before adding to squash mixture along with goat cheese. Stir to combine.
I like to make these assembly line style and do 5 at a time. Lay 5 wontons out on a lightly floured surface. Grab a little baby cup of plain water and sit beside your pastas to work from. Use fingers (or pastry brush) to apply a small brush of water on the edges of the ravioli and place a rounded tablespoon of filling in each. Cover with a second wrapper and press around filling to remove air and seal edges with fingers. Use a fork to crimp edges all the way around pasta and place on baking sheet. Continue this until all filling and pasta is used.
Saucing it up:
Cook 1 stick of butter, chunked, in small saucepan on moderate heat until browned (will begin to foam and you can smell it starting to take on a nutty aroma). Remove from heat and let cool down. Pour about 1/3 cup cream in bowl and slowly drizzle in butter while whisking to make an emulsion of cream and butter. Add the other 1/3 cream and whisk to incorporate. This sauce will easily separate due to the high fat content so whisk to keep emulsified.
Cooking the Ravs:
Cooking no more than 10 at a time, place ravioli in boiling salted water and cook until the ravioli begin to float to the surface, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a dish with a slotted spoon and cover to keep warm. Cook remaining ravs and plate up using 4 to 6 per plate. Top with butter sauce and sprinkle with roasted pumpkin seeds.
This recipe is pretty large. If you’re like me and cooking for only a couple of people I’d suggest freezing the filled uncooked wontons you are not going to use on a sheet pan. Once frozen, put them in a ziploc bag, squeeze out the air and store in your freezer until you need them again. When that time arrives, take them straight from the freezer to the boiling water.
When cutting the butternut squash you actually don’t need an ax. 😉 Just a sharp chefs knife. Pierce the middle of the squash (lengthwise) with the tip of your knife and then bring the butt of your knife downwards cutting through one end. Turn it around and do the exact same thing with the other half.