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Chris Hennes

Butternut Squash Ravioli

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Does anyone have a recipe for the filling for butternut squash ravioli? I've been craving it recently, and squash is now in season here. I'll probably go with a sage and brown butter sauce in keeping with the way it's usually served in these parts, but I'm open to other suggestions as well.


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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I've had a lovely squash ravioli that was topped with crushed amaretti cookies, and another one with toasted hazelnuts.

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Hi, I love butternut squash ravioli! Here there are various "schools of thought", so to speak - they even have national competions for the best one :rolleyes::laugh:

The main three that I can think of are tortelli mantovani (I have Nadia Santini's recipe from Dal Pescatore's book, but you're gonna have to wait until tomorrow, 'cause it's still at my mother's house), that have squash, mostarda mantovana, amaretti cookies and spices in them, tortelli (or ravioli) from Modena/Reggio Emilia, that have squash, amaretti cookies and loads of parmigiano reggiano and ravioli ferraresi, that only have squash and parmigiano reggiano. My favorite kind is the Modena/Reggio kind.

I'll tell you how I prepare it. Sorry, but I don't have precise measurements, because it's one of those things that I was taught to do "by the eye", when I was a little girl. So, I cut the squash into pieces, scrape the seeds and bake it until it's fully cooked (sometimes I even do it in the microwave and it works just as well). I scrape the pulp into a bowl and "mash" well it with a fork, I add about 10 crushed amaretti cookies and a ton of good Parmigiano Reggiano (which is easy to get here). I wrap the bowl with cling film and stick it in the fridge ovenight (for some reason, this is important). The next day I fill the ravioli, throw them in boiling water and as they rise to the surface, I drain them (only the ones that have risen!) and throw them in a pan with slightly browned butter and sage. I serve with more Parmigiano.

I hope that helps.

By the way, is ravioli plural or singular in English? :blink::huh:


Edited by Alessia (log)

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Chris,

Here is a version that I particularly like.

Filling:

1 2# butternut squash, halved lengthwise-Bake at 425 until tender. Cool and scoop out flesh.

Saute 1 medium chopped onion in butter until tender. Add 1 1/2 T fresh chopped sage and 1 clove minced garlic. Remove from heat and add squash. Cool, and add 3 oz crumble goat cheese. Season w/ s&p.

Fill and cook ravioli.

Melt 4 oz butter and 1/3 c chopped skinned hazelnuts in a skillet and cook over low heat until butter is browned and nuts are toasty. Serve ravioli with hazelnut butter. I like parm over the top as well.

Now I may have to make this soon :biggrin:

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I remember reading in some chef's book that American butternut squash was not as flavorful as Italian squash/pumpkin and the secret was to mix in some pureed sweet potato.

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The other thing I'll sometimes do when I'm not planning to eat the squash just as a vegetable is drain the cooked squash puree in a sieve, to get rid of some of the liquid.

MelissaH


MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

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I am coming into the forum late and your yen for squash ravioli has probably come and gone. My recipe came from the Veneto region of Italy and is also used as a filling for the large tortelli that they make there. It makes enough filling for 2 eggs pasta. 2 cups butternut squash, roasted and pureed, 6 amaretti cookies, crushed, 1/2 cup paremsan cheese, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, pinch salt, plain breadcrumbs.

Mix squash, crushed cookies, salt, nutmeg, cheese until well blended. It will seem a little wet. Then add plain breadcrumbs until it feels drier and holds together.

Served with butter and sage.

I have also used Kabocha squash and it worked fine.


Cooking is like love, it should be entered into with abandon, or not at all.

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It's interesting that these recipes all include amaretti cookies: they are challenging to come by here until the holiday season, and even then they are typically marketed as fancy gifts with a price to match. I made ravioli a few weeks ago and tried to just replicate the flavor of the cookies without actually using cookies, but with limited success.


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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I am going to add my two cents to the possibility that our American squash are not as flavorful. I was making a dish with butternut squash the other day and needed more than the puree in my freezer. Sadly the farmstand where I get mine was closed so I headed to the Korean market and picked up a kabocha squash. Now, I know that Kabocha is more firm, dense, and flavorful than butternut, but I really noticed during the roasting process (I microwave the whole thing till soft enough to cut and then clean out seeds and roast) that the smell was almost as if warm spices had already been added. I would try your recipe with a more flavorful squash.

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May I add a wonderful ameretti recipe here? It was from someone at my opera club many years ago, no source noted except that it's a "treasured family recipe". I've made them myself now several times and they are delicious.

My Mother’s Amaretti

Treasured family recipe.

• 1-1/2 pounds almonds, finely ground plus extra whole almonds to garnish cookies (I toasted the almonds first)

• 2 cups granulated sugar (plus 1 cup extra sugar to roll the cookies in)

• 1-1/2 tbsp. cocoa

• 4 eggs

• 3 tbsp. almond extract (this is not a typo, it’s 3 T)

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Position your oven racks so that one rack is at the bottom of the oven and the other rack is in the middle of the oven; line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

3. In a large bowl, combine ground almonds, sugar and cocoa.

4. Add eggs and almond extract and mix until well combined.

5. Using a tablespoon or your hands, scoop out enough of the almond mixture to form a ball that is roughly 1-1/2 to 2 inches in size.

6. Roll each ball in the 1 cup of extra granulated sugar and place on cookie sheet.

7. Use extra whole almonds as garnish by placing one almond in the centre of each cookie.

8. Bake cookies on lower rack for 10 minutes and then move to middle rack for an additional five minutes.

9. Remove cookies from oven and allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

10. Once cool, store cookies at room temperature in an airtight container. Cookies will keep for up 10 days.

Note: This recipe will yield anywhere from 50 to 70 cookies, depending on the size of the cookies.

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That cookie recipe looks great...it is going on the Christmas Cookie list. Also, I am sure they would freeze well to be used in future Squash ravioli recipes!


Cooking is like love, it should be entered into with abandon, or not at all.

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This is how my friends from Milan taught me to do it (we used Caribbean pumpkin but butternut squash would work):

Pumpkin Filling

This amount of pumpkin should fill make enough to fill about 600 grams of pasta, definitely enough to feed 6 hungry people.

1 1/2 pounds of pumpkin or butternut squash, seeded and cut into wedges

10-12 amaretti cookies, crushed

dried unseasoned breadcrumbs, as needed

1 egg, lightly beaten

1/2 cup of freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano

salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Roast the pumpkin or squash in a moderate oven (350° to 400°) until soft. Let the pumpkin cool and then scoop it out of the skin and into a bowl. Mash the pumpkin well, then add the crushed cookies, the cheese and the egg. Mix together well. The filling should be quite dry and firm; if it seems wet, add a few tablespoons of breadcrumbs. Add salt and pepper to taste, then taste the mixture for balance and adjust if necessary. Reserve until needed to fill the ravioli.

And thanks to Maggie for the amaretti link. They're not easy to come by here.


Abigail Blake

Sugar Apple: Posts from the Caribbean

http://www.abigailblake.com/sugarapple

"Sometimes spaghetti likes to be alone." Big Night

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I wonder if the Stella D'Oro Anisette Toast cookies would work flavor wise to replace the Amoretti cookies. I cant remember if they have a real name...

tracey


Edited by rooftop1000 (log)

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I wonder if the Stella D'Oro Anisette Toast cookies would work flavor wise to replace the Amoretti cookies. I cant remember if they have a real name...

Seems to me that the flavor is very different.

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I wonder if the Stella D'Oro Anisette Toast cookies would work flavor wise to replace the Amoretti cookies. I cant remember if they have a real name...

tracey

I would think not. First of all the flavors are very different...the amaretti are almond and they sweeten and compliment the flavor of the squash. The Anisette cookies are anise flavor and are much harsher in flavor. Also the textures of the two cookies are quite different and would affect the feel of the puree. Just my opinion. If you try it, let us know how it comes out.


Cooking is like love, it should be entered into with abandon, or not at all.

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I start by roasting the squash in a 400 oven for about 30 minutes or until it's tender. Then just seed the roasted squash and scoop out the flesh. I wrap the squash "meat" in cheesecloth and squeeze out as much moisture as I can. That leaves me with more of a pure squash taste in the filling.

I keep the filling pretty basic--the squash, butter, some nutmeg, salt, pepper, a bit of fresh chopped sage and maybe some chopped toasted hazelnuts or some roasted garlic. I usually make my life easy and use store-bought wonton wrappers for the ravioli pasta.

Last week I made a delicious pumpkin vinaigrette that would go really well with butternut squash ravioli. It's got a nice tang and varies off the path of the traditional brown butter sauce. The recipe is based on a recipe from Chef Larry Forgione in his American Place cookbook. His pumpkin vinaigrette uses pepitas, (green pumpkin seeds), and calls for pureeing some of the nuts into the vinaigrette using a blender. I don't like the final texture of the vinaigrette when it's pureed, so I just whisked the nuts into the vinaigrette. I like the sweet taste of hazelnuts and they are native to the Northwest so are a natural accompaniment to ravioli made with our local butternut squash.

Pumpkin Vinaigrette with Toasted Hazelnuts:

1/2 cup fresh hazelnuts, toasted, husks rubbed off and chopped

1/3 cup canned pumpkin puree

1 clove minced garlic (or use roasted garlic)

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

1 tsp. sugar

1/2 cup walnut or hazelnut oil

Salt, pepper and fresh grated nutmeg

Whisk the pumpkin puree with the cider vinegar, sugar and oil. Add about 1/4 cup of the toasted hazelnuts and the garlic and continue to whisk. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.

All you would need to do is simply blanch the ravioli until done, drain, then toss with some of the vinaigrette and garnish with more of the toasted hazelnuts, some fresh chopped sage and freshly grated parmesan. Delicious.

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I'm guessing that the addition of the cookies serves as a thickening agent as well as adding flavor to the squash. By itself, butternut squash puree is too thin for ravioli filling--I've tried and failed, so I speak from experience. I've experimented with adding ricotta cheese, that helped give it body but it diluted the flavor. Drying the squash puree over low heat helped but didn't quite do the trick with either texture or flavor. Now I know that the cookies are the secret ingredient. Grazie!



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I have had great success recently with this recipe. It's combining a couple schools of thought and adding my own twist, but I assure you the combo is delicious.

  • 2.5# butternut squash roasted until tender about 30-40 minutes @ 375
  • 4 strips of bacon - cook and pour off drippings and keep remainder in pan
  • 1/3 finely chopped large onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2T chopped sage
  • 1/3 cup parm cheese
  • 10 amaretto cookies (crushed)
  • salt/pepper/cinnamon to taste

sauté the onion, garlic, and sage in the pan you cooked the bacon in. when the onions are soft and translucent put everything in a food processor and blend until smooth but still chunky enough to see some of the ingredients i.e. medium sized bacon bits.

this combination, for me, had a great sweet and savory taste to it.

I hope you find the same success that I did.

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I love pumpkin ravioli, just two quick additions:

- when I roast the pumpkin I always roast it with loads and loads of garlic, then mash it all together. I always roast with olive oil, never steam or boil.

- My partner's (Italian) mum swears by Japanese Pumpkin instead of butternut pumpkin.

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I love pumpkin ravioli, just two quick additions:

- when I roast the pumpkin I always roast it with loads and loads of garlic, then mash it all together. I always roast with olive oil, never steam or boil.

- My partner's (Italian) mum swears by Japanese Pumpkin instead of butternut pumpkin.

Kabocha is more intense and dry- butternut seems pale in comparison

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I have just changed my menu at work here in Auckland NZ and the vegetarian dish is a local soft goats cheese ravioli which has just come into season. We mix this with lightly sauteed red capsicums and zuccini to give the goats cheese a real sweetness. Its served with a cauliflower puree and candied walnuts. You could very easily add your squash to the mix.

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Phew, finally got around to making these tonight (I've been making a lot of fresh pasta lately now that I have that KitchenAid stand mixer attachment, what a joy to use!). I more or less followed the recipe RWood posted above, minus the goat cheese, which I didn't have on hand but sounds fantastic.

The filling:
Butternut Squash Ravioli 1 - Filling.jpg

The pasta sheet (times four: two eggs' worth):
Butternut Squash Ravioli 2 - Pasta.jpg

My grandmother gave me the scoop she used to use to make ravioli, which is a perfect size (must be about 5mL?):
Butternut Squash Ravioli 3 - Scooped.jpg

I like to fold mine lengthwise, rather than the other way, or using a separate sheet:
Butternut Squash Ravioli 4 - Folded.jpg

She also gave me her rolling cutter, and I don't have the stamp kind, so they are not quite square!
Butternut Squash Ravioli 5 - Cut.jpg

I got 35 ravioli out of a half batch of filling and two eggs' worth of pasta (yeah, I had a lot of pasta scrap leftover):
Butternut Squash Ravioli 6 - Array.jpg

I served it with a browned butter and sage sauce and some microplaned Parm.
Butternut Squash Ravioli 7 - Served.jpg

I was pretty happy with the way these turned out, though I bet they are considerably better with the goat cheese in the filling. I think I was a little heavy-handed with the cookies, and will probably cut down on the number I use next time: maybe it's the less assertive squash, or maybe it's my tastebuds, but I think I could have served these for dessert.

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Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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On 1295313773' post='1782126, Chris Hennes said:


Phew, finally got around to making these tonight (I've been making a lot of fresh pasta lately now that I have that KitchenAid stand mixer attachment, what a joy to use!). I more or less followed the recipe RWood posted above, minus the goat cheese, which I didn't have on hand but sounds fantastic.

I was pretty happy with the way these turned out, though I bet they are considerably better with the goat cheese in the filling. I think I was a little heavy-handed with the cookies, and will probably cut down on the number I use next time: maybe it's the less assertive squash, or maybe it's my tastebuds, but I think I could have served these for dessert.



I think you used a different recipe (?) as RWoods's doesn't call for the ameretti. Yes, you need to be moderate with the ameretti. I like the idea of the goat cheese, but it is not, of course, traditional. I don't put sage in the filling itself, just in the browned butter sauce. I use nutmeg, salt, and white pepper in the filling.

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