Friday, March 4, 2011

Friday Foto: Butternut Squash Ravioli

Mother Nature's been a little fickle in our neck of the woods lately. We've had a few warm days here and there that have hinted at the coming spring. But we've also had a return to bitterly cold winter temperatures. (It was 16 degrees when I went for my run early this morning...) One thing is for sure, though. At least according to the calendar, winter is still officially with us for two more full weeks. In keeping with our theme of seasonal, hearty winter dishes, today we bring you butternut squash ravioli.

It uses the from-scratch pasta dough recipe you'll find in our first cookbook, Artisanal Gluten-Free Cooking, and pairs it with a butternut squash filling. The sweetness of the squash, paired with garlic, shallots and nutmeg, makes for a rich, flavorful combo. Meanwhile, a sage sauce pulls the entire dish together.

If you have any misgivings about making from-scratch pasta dough, and then using it to make from-scratch ravioli, it can be a little labor intensive, but isn't nearly as difficult as you might think. Check out these two previous blog posts on the topic for step-by-step photos:

1. Making gluten-free pasta dough
2. Making gluten-free ravioli

A couple of notes modifying the instructions in those posts:

1. We like to use our Artisan Gluten-Free Flour Blend to make the pasta dough, supplemented with a touch of xanthan gum and salt. Most all-purpose GF flour mixes should also do the trick.
2. For the butternut squash ravioli recipe below, making the pasta dough using a ratio of 3 cups flour to 4 whole eggs should yield enough pasta to make a full batch of 36 ravioli.

Butternut Squash Ravioli
Makes 4 servings (about 36 ravioli)

For the filling:
2 cups roasted butternut squash (approx 1/2 a medium to large squash)
1 tbsp butter
1 garlic clove, minced
2 shallots, minced
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
Salt and pepper

1 batch gluten-free pasta dough

For the sauce:
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tbsp butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
30 sage leaves (about 1/2 ounce), chiffonade
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp vegetable stock

To roast the squash:
1. Preheat your oven to 400 deg F. Slice the squash in half lengthwise, and roast face-down in an olive oiled pan for 45 min. Scoop out the flesh and mash.

To make the filling:
2. Melt the butter in a pan and sautee the garlic and shallots until the garlic is fragrant and the shallots are soft and translucent.
3. Combine with the squash, add the nutmeg, season to taste with salt and pepper, and stir to mix well.

To make the ravioli:
4. Roll out the pasta dough into a very thin sheet, and cut into equal-size squares as large as you like your ravioli. (We usually shoot for 2 to 2.5 inches square. A long straight edge and pizza cutter works great for making consistent cuts.)
5. Place a dollop of filling onto one square, use a finger moistened with water or egg wash (egg white mixed with some water) to wet the edges of the square. Place a matching square over the top, press around the edges with your fingers to seal, and if desired, use the tines of a fork to further press the edges together and create a nice visual effect for your ravioli.
6. Boil the ravioli in batches in a pot of boiling salted water, boiling the ravioli for 3 to 4 minutes once they have floated back to the surface of the water.

To make the sauce:
7. Heat the olive oil in a pan, add the butter to melt, and sautee the garlic and sage until fragrant.
8. Add the vegetable stock and reduce slightly to intensify the flavor and thicken the sauce.

To plate:
9. Toss the ravioli in the sauce and serve, spooning additional sauce over the ravioli once plated.


This recipe is: gluten-free, peanut-free, tree-nut-free, fish-free, shellfish-free, refined-sugar-free, vegetarian

Finally, one additional note about preparing this dish: This recipe is great when you can tag-team with a partner in the kitchen. When Kelli and I last made it, she roasted the squash and made the filling while I made the pasta dough and rolled out and cut the ravioli. We both filled the ravioli. Then I boiled the ravioli while she made the sauce.

However, if you're flying solo in the kitchen, I'd recommend the following order of operations: 1) Roast the squash. 2) While the squash is roasting, make the pasta dough, then wrap in plastic to keep fresh. 3) Make the filling. 4) Roll out the pasta dough, cut the ravioli squares, and fill. While this is happening, bring your pot of water to a boil. 5) Boil the ravioli in batches. Meanwhile, prepare the sauce.

- Pete

P.S. In the interest of bloggerly love, we've also posted this recipe over at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free's Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays post.

10 comments: said...

Wow! Wish I was ambitious enough to make ravioli! It looks wonderful.

gfe--gluten free easily said...

Looks fantastic, Pete! I know firsthand how easy your pasta is to make. Haven't made the ravioli yet, but this recipe is more incentive than other to do so! :-)

Our weather has been the same. Somehow those current cold temps seem even harsher after a few warm days. :-(

Have a great weekend!

Eileen said...

This looks wonderful. I love ravioli, and I look forward to being able to make it gluten free now!

peterbronski said...

Hi BeyondRiceAndTofu... Find that ambition! The ravioli are delicious...

Hi Shirley... I'm with you! Temps all feel relative, and after a few warm days, a cold snap feels just a wee bit colder. =)

Hi Eileen... Enjoy your gluten-free ravioli!

Cheers, Pete

withoutadornment said...

Wow! I am so impressed with everything that you guys make - this looks absolutely amazing! It makes me want to try making pasta myself...

peterbronski said...

Hi WithoutAdornment... Go for it! Making pasta, while not as simply as boiling water, is easier than you think, and worth the effort!

Cheers, Pete

gmbyphotographer said...

agh! I'm a beginner cook, and this was too difficult for me.. ended up being too thick (gf is hard to get thin without ripping!) and broke a ton.

besides the crazy noodle dough mess though, the rest tastes really good!

peterbronski said...

Hi Gmbyphotographer... Sorry to hear the noodle dough gave you trouble! Practice definitely makes it easier to work with. Perhaps I'll post a follow up with photos and tips for working with GF noodle to get it thin, how to prevent ripping, etc.

Cheers, Pete

Asha said...

Wow - tried this on Saturday. Absolutely amazing - I've never made pasta before so next time I'd try to roll a little thiner, but the recipe had rave reviews AND was waaaay easier than I thought. Your cookbook is next on my list :)

peterbronski said...

Hi Asha... So glad you enjoyed the recipe and discovered how easy from scratch pasta can be!

Cheers, Pete