There they are, sitting in that big bin at the grocery store, looking all rustic and farm-y and kind of scary to cook with. It’s squash season! Welcome to our first squash recipe of fall 2016.
Fall – aka squash season – is the time of year I start saying things to Bjork like: remember when we went to that restaurant 7 years ago and I ordered the butternut squash ravioli with brown butter sauce and sage? and remember how light and delicate the pasta was? and how sweet the squash was, and how it perfectly complimented the salty butter sauce with those earthy fresh herbs? remember? remember? remember?
And he looks confused.
And then I ask him, what did he order from that restaurant again? because the butternut squash ravioli was so life-changing that surely he, too, remembers his order? was it a lasagna bolognese or maybe a fall-inspired risotto? And then he looks at me with a blank stare and I realize that some people literally do-not-have-food-memories. Does not compute. Cannot process. They hold exactly zero delicious, mind-blowing foods of days gone by floating around in the memory bank of their brains, and in its place sits logical information and other “important” things of the boring, wise brain. Is it sad to live like that?
I would be half of a person without my food memories.
HOW TO MAKE OUR BUTTERNUT SQUASH RAVIOLI (50 Sec):
This is that ravioli that I remember from 7 years ago at that random little restaurant in St. Paul, but revisited in my own kitchen in easy weeknight form.
Friends, allow me to shatter your ravioli worldview.
You don’t need to make fresh pasta for this. (Naturally, someone right at this second is writing a comment that you DO need to make fresh pasta because it’s so much more wonderful, and to that person, we award you all the gold medals and we will be over later for dinner! You’re hosting and we can’t wait.)
But truly, you don’t need need fresh pasta.
Just use (ahem) WONTON WRAPPERS.
And suddenly, the fog is lifted and everything becomes clear and you envision yourself experiencing ravioli greatness. Amiright?
You mash your roasted squash with creamy ricotta and salty Parm for a creamy-dreamy filling. You fill those little wonton guys with squash mixture, seal ’em up, boil to soft goodness, and then serve with your sauce of choice, which will obviously be kale pesto because you are that much of a boss right now.
Do I recommend tossing crumbled bacon on the whole thing if you just HAPPEN to have some laying around? Um, actually, YES I DO. Yes I do, very much very much very much.
My wish for you is today is simple: jumbo, weeknight-friendly butternut squash ravioli served up right to your very own couch – errr, table – in this crisp, vibrant, dark-by-6pm October season.
Place cooked squash, ricotta, Parmesan, olive oil, seasonings, and S&P in a food processor. Pulse until mostly smooth. Mixture should be very thick and sticky, like cookie dough.
Bring a large pot of water to boil.
Lay out half of the wonton wrappers. Place 1-2 tablespoons filling in the center of each wrapper. Brush edges with egg wash. Place another wrapper on top, sealing tightly at the edges, and rounding the top with your palm to make a nice shape.
Boil ravioli in batches for about 5-8 minutes. Drain gently (they break easily) and toss with olive oil to prevent sticking. Serve with that yummy kale pesto and extra Parmesan cheese!
The garlic and herbs (I’ve used both fresh rosemary and thyme, separately) can be sautéed in the oil if you want to increase the flavor of the herbs and remove the bite of the garlic. I just add a TINY touch of nutmeg to warm it up, but I don’t love nutmeg so it’s seriously the tiniest little dusting ever – too small to measure. If you love nutmeg, go for it – but start with less and taste and adjust as needed. Too much nutmeg and suddenly you’re not having fun anymore. I know from experience.