This weekend, Dan and I had some friends over for dinner. It’s not something we do often, but when we do, I want to impress! When trying to come up with the menu, I knew I wanted to do something cozy and comforting. After all, the temperatures are finally starting to drop around here.
I wanted to do a first course of pasta. Something decadent without being so heavy that we couldn’t eat the next course. Then, I remembered these ravioli. I made them last year and we DEVOURED them. I can’t even take how good they are.
They are incredibly easy to make, thanks to the use of wonton wrappers. I have tried my hand at fresh pasta a few times, and while I love it, I definitely think that wonton wrappers are easier to work with for stuffed pastas like ravioli or tortellini. The best part: these can be stuffed and assembled completely ahead. I make them, line them up on a sheet tray, and freeze them. Once frozen, I transfer them to a plastic freezer bag for use whenever! You cook them off and douse them in the amazing butter sauce before serving. OK, maybe “douse” isn’t the right word. DROWN them in the butter sauce, people. I mean, it’s brown butter. I don’t think I can ever get enough of the stuff – clearly, considering that my handful of posts already feature it twice. It’s just so dang good. If you haven’t tried it yet, you absolutely should. It’s good on and in so many things. Especially when tinged with fresh sage and served over SQUASH-FILLED PASTA. To die for.
Hopefully I’m not sounding redundant with all my “yay fall flavors” stuff on the blog so far, but really, that’s just where I am right now. This is the food that I want to eat during this time of year. Sage. Squash. Butter.
OK, so maybe I want to eat those things all the time…but right now is the most acceptable time to do so.
The dinner went off without a hitch, and I think these ravioli may have been the star of the show. Give ‘em a try and you’ll understand why.
Butternut Squash Ravioli with Brown Butter Sauce, Cranberries, & Walnuts
(makes 6 servings)
For the Squash Ravioli:
1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
Olive oil, for roasting
Salt and pepper
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon butter
2 large shallots, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 (15-oz) container of whole milk ricotta cheese
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 package wonton wrappers
Egg wash, for sealing the ravioli
For the Brown Butter Sauce:
1 stick of unsalted butter
6-8 sage leaves, left whole
½ cup toasted walnuts, chopped
½ cup dried cranberries
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste
Grated Parmesan cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. On a foil-lined baking sheet toss together the butternut squash and olive oil. Season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Roast in the oven until soft and golden, about 25 minutes. Allow to cool slightly.
2. While squash is roasting in oven, heat butter in a small pan over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook until soft and fragrant, about 3 minutes.
3. In a food processor, combine the butternut squash, shallot mixture, and ricotta cheese and pulse a few times to blend. Add the spices and season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Pulse until smooth.
4. To make the ravioli, lay out a few wonton wrappers at a time. Place 1 tablespoon of the squash mixture in the middle of each wrapper. Dip a pastry brush in a little egg wash and wet the edges. Seal the edges and fold over the corners to make more decorative (if desired). Place the formed ravioli on a baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap until ready to use (or place in freezer and package up in plastic bags once firm).
5. To serve: bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the sage, walnuts and cranberries and let cook until the butter starts to brown, about 3 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar and allow it to cook for another minute. Turn off the heat and season with salt and pepper.
6. Gently place the ravioli in the boiling water. Cook until they float to the top, about 3 minutes. Gently spoon the ravioli onto serving dishes and top with the brown butter sauce. Grate fresh Parmesan cheese over the top and serve immediately.
Recipe adapted from here.