01 October 2008

Butternut Squash

I was so good about getting my reading done this weekend that by the time Sunday afternoon rolled around I had finished nearly all of it and was mentally wiped out. I had been planning to make a butternut squash soup for dinner that night but then decided I needed a culinary challenge instead since it had been so long since I'd actually cooked anything besides pasta for dinner. I was thinking of things to do with butternut squash and my mind wandered in the pasta direction. I love getting butternut squash ravioli out in restaurants and the weather has turned decidedly fall-late, so I I decided to try making it at home. After searching around for some recipes on the internet, I decided to go with a Giada de Laurentiis recipe from the food network website, with a few minor modifications.

Though tempting, I decided not to try to do the dough by hand, mostly because we don't have a pasta roller and I didn't particularly want to cover the entire counter in gummy pasta reside. Instead, I opted for the wonton skins recommended by Giada. The recipe itself was quite simple- roast the squash, combine with ricotta cheese, onion and garlic and fill the ravioli. The hardest part was peeling and cubing the squash. My method is to cut the round part of the squash off first, leaving me two pieces with flat sides. Then I put each piece flat side down, and cut it in half again from top to bottom, than in half once again until I have eight pieces. I usually use a knife to cut off the skins, but this time decided to try using a vegetable peeler. It took a little while to do since I had to go over it a few times but I think I wasted less than with the knife method.

Once the squash was cubed I roasted in a a bit of olive oil and then combined it with the other ingredients. Then I called in the reinforcements to shape the ravioli. The recipe said it would make about 36 but we filled all 48 wonton skins with a lot of leftover filling. I cooked about 18 for us immediately and froze the rest for later. Giada suggested a brown butter sauce for the ravioli and I complied- using about half the recommended butter. We were out of cranberries so I substituted raisins and omitted the walnuts since Zach really doesn't like them.

Overall the ravioli were good but missing something. I'm not quite sure what, maybe our squash wasn't as sweet as others, or the texture of the wonton wrappers wasn't quite the same as pasta dough. Making ravioli once has made me want to try it again and hopefully the filling will turn out better next time. I'm not giving the recipe here- as I didn't really love this one but you can find Giada's recipe


kat said...

I love butternut squash ravioli, I'm sorry yours didn't turn out the way you had hoped.

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

I love butternut squash ravioli too! It is that season for sure!

Sue said...

I made Giada's Sweet Potato gnocchi last Thanksgiving. They're served with a sage, maple syrup and cinnamon butter concoction, which is FABULOUS. Maybe that's all the ravioli needed.

Jen said...

Sue-- that sauces sounds amazing.

Kat and Jenn- thanks for the comments as always.

Jen said...

Update-- I made the sauce that Sue suggested by browning some butter with sage, then adding some maple syrup and cinnamon after turning off the heat. It was fabulous and really added a lot of flavor to the dish-- I highly recommend it.

Sue said...

I'm so glad you liked it.