Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009: Butternut Squash Ravioli with Crispy Sage Brown Butter

Here's my absolute favorite from Thanksgiving this year -- butternut squash ravioli from Emeril Lagassee. Man he is on it for Thanksgiving; the turkey brine I've been using for years is his too. This pasta is simply delicious.

It's funny because this was made after Thanksgiving; we made it Friday night. I had leftover filling and it was so good, I made it again this weekend (the above pic). I'm still working on shaping the ravioli. I also need to get it in my head that I need a lot of pasta and space for this. Yes, I'm a student of Alton Brown. I remember the episiode when he made ravioli on an ironing board. Mine isn't that clean!

So, it all starts with butternut squash puree. This was simple, I roasted the squash and sweet potatoes for my pie together. Y'all know I'm anti-boiling whenever possible. The oven really intensifies flavors whereas boiling washes them away. After roasting, just store the squash flesh in a plastic bag.

This recipe is really easy. Add the squash and mascarpone cheese to the bowl of your stand mixer. Yep, Old Faithful is doing it big for another Thanksgiving. Season with salt (kosher please) and pepper (freshly ground).

Emeril and I rarely disagree, but here's where I had to improvise. The filling was a bit bland. I ended up doubling the amount of cheese and adding nutmeg.

Let's turn to the pasta, shall we? I've made pasta before. This time I was sharing the magic of it with a seven-year old, Livvy. After I pulled the dough together, it was time for her to rock and roll. By this time, she was right at home in the kitchen.

Here's the beautiful dough. Doesn't that just beg for hot salted water and a drizzle of olive oil?

Let the transformation begin!

This is the only pic I have of Livvy making the pasta, but trust me -- she was all in the mix. After she rolled the sheets, we got busy applying the filling.

Once we got the ravioli filled and cut, We (I) headed to hot salted boiling water. I'm still loving my All-Clad pasta pentola. (Alas, I don't think Santa is brining me any All-Clad this year since I'm not spending my free time selling stuff at Williams-Sonoma this holiday season. I miss that discount!) You know the rules; when pasta floats, it's done.

Drizzle the pasta with a little olive oil and let it hang out while you tackle the brown butter.

Told you I need to work on cutting the ravioli. Livvy did a wonderful job crimping the edges, only one piece wasn't sealed properly. It just kind of hung out at the bottom of the pot.

I didn't read the instructions for the brown butter, but I knew it had butter and sage! The solids are just starting to darken in this shot.

Once it was plated, add roasted pecans. I added rosemary too. 'Twas tasty!

Tools of the trade

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