A few weeks ago, while waiting at the dentist office, a recipe in a magazine caught my eye. It sounded really good, so I filed it away in my brain. Things have been known to get lost in that filing cabinet, but I managed to remember this one. The recipe was for butternut squash ravioli. My husband stopped by the store for me with a short grocery list and purchased the largest butternut squash I have ever seen. I finally got around to making something with it. Last night I washed it (since my kids had been playing with it like it was a baby doll for a week or so) cut it lenghtwise and then again, making 4 slices. Then I scooped out the seeds and rubbed it with some butter, put it in a glass casserole pan with about an inch of water, and roasted it at 350 degrees for an hour- until it was tender. This was all in preparation for a special fall lunch. It was so tasty I decided to share the recipe.
Butternut Squash Ravioli with butternut squash and basil cream sauce:
"Here's a fun recipe that begins as an afternoon cooking project and ends as a wholesome dinnertime treat. In the kitchen, kids can take turns cutting, filling, and crimping each squash- and cheese-filled pouch. At the table, they'll be introduced to the delicious appeal of freshly made pasta. It's a simple, hands-on lesson that proves good things come in small packages.
FOR THE FILLING:
2 cups cooked butternut squash
1 tablespoon milk
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/4 cup mozzarella
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
salt and pepper
FOR THE PASTA:
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
FOR THE SAUCE:
remaining squash filling
1/4 c. milk
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
1/2 cup water
fresh basil leaves
Blend the squash with the milk, cheese, nutmeg, and salt & pepper until it has a smooth, mashed potato–like consistency. Note: The squash can be prepared a day in advance and refrigerated in an airtight container.
Make the pasta. On a clean work surface, mound the flour and make a well in the center. In a small bowl, use a fork to lightly beat together the salt and the eggs. Carefully pour the egg mixture into the well. Using the fork, gently incorporate the flour into the egg mixture, a small amount at a time. With your hands and a spatula or dough scraper, work the dough until it pulls together into a smooth, pliable ball.
Halve the dough, then form each piece into a 1/2-inch-thick disk. Cover the disks with plastic wrap and set them aside to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Lightly flour your work surface and halve each dough disk. Roll out one of the dough portions as thinly as you can (to about the thickness of a dime), then use a 2½-inch-diameter drinking glass, biscuit cutter, or cookie cutter to cut rounds from the dough. Arrange them in pairs. Repeat with the remaining dough. Each half disk should yield about 7 pairs of dough rounds.
Further thin the dough rounds by pinching them between your thumb and forefinger. Each round should increase in diameter by about 1/4 inch.
Use a pair of dough rounds to make each ravioli. With a pastry brush or your fingertips dipped in water, paint a 1/2-inch perimeter around one of the dough rounds. Spoon 1/2 tablespoon of the squash filling into the center.
After filling the ravioli, press the other round of dough on top of it along the moistened edges. Use the tines of a fork to seal the edges.
Bring two large pots of water to a boil (using two pots allows all the pasta to be cooked at once).
Meanwhile, make the sauce. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat with any remaining squash filling. Add milk and stir. Then add water and blend. Add the basil and continue to cook the sauce until it's light brown and has a nutty aroma, about 4 minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat. Remove basil leaves from the sauce.
Line a large plate with paper towels. Add half the ravioli to each pot of boiling water. The pasta will float to the top after 2 or 3 minutes, but continue cooking it until tender, about 15 minutes more (take one out and test its tenderness before draining an entire batch). When the ravioli are done, use a slotted spoon or spatula to scoop them out and transfer them to the paper towels to drain. To serve, place the ravioli on individual plates and drizzle them with sauce. Sprinkle on more Parmesan, if you like. Makes about 30 ravioli."
This recipe got 4 stars in our kitchen. It lost a star cause it's not fast to make, but the kids plates were all but licked clean. This is very tasty!