Friday, November 13, 2009

Featuring Fall Flavors: Butternut Squash Ravioli

Squash is everywhere. From the kabocha and spaghetti squash in our CSA share to the ubiquitous pumpkin. I think of my dad's Russian friend who upon experiencing Halloween for the first time remarked "what's with all the funny looking squash?"

I wanted to make something special that would highlight the flavors of fall. I found a blue cheese and dried cranberry mix at Trader Joes and I immediately thought ravioli. With the mustard greens from my CSA, I decided that some toasted walnuts would round out the meal nicely. Now this isn't exactly quick and easy, nor is it foolproof. I guess I didn't learn my lesson the first time around that wonton wrappers are tempermental. After much tweaking and many many burst raviolis I finally figured it out. And as a bonus my large squash produced enough filling that I froze the rest with the plan to make a risotto later.

Ingredients

1 medium to large butternutsquash
1 small container blue cheese
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
Handful greens (spinach, mustard greens, kale etc)
1 package wonton wrappers
1 egg
Olive oil
Butter

Cut the butternut squash in half, lengthwise. Lay on some foil and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast in a 350 degree oven until soft, should take about 45 minutes depending on the size.

Let cool slightly, scoop out the insides and mix in a bowl with the blue cheese and cranberries. In a small dish, beat the egg. Make an assembly line with the filling, egg, and wonton wrappers. Also set a large pot of water on to boil. Use one square wonton wrapper as the bottom. Spoon a small amount of filling the middle. Use your fingers to spread some egg around the edge of the wrapper and place another wrapper on top. Smooth out all the air bubbles and pinch the edges together until it seems secure. It will take some practice to find the exact right amount of filling and the best method for smoothing out the air bubbles.

When you have a pile of ravioli, carefully drop them with a slotted spoon, one at a time, into the boiling water. While they are cooking prepare a large sautee pan by melting some butter over medium low heat. When the ravioli have cooked for about 5-7 minutes, carefully remove them with a slotted spoon and drop them immediately into the buttered pan. Add a handful of greens to the pan. After a few minutes and when the greens have wilted, carefully slide everything onto a plate and top immediately with the toasted walnuts. Congratulations if you can get them onto the plate in one piece. If you have any secret ravioli making techniques please do let me know.

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