I bought this butternut squash the other day only because it looked so pretty and picturesque, sitting with all the other fall pumpkins and seasonal vegetables. Turns out my superficiality got the best of me because I'd never cooked butternut squash before, and had no idea where to begin.
The only thing that I knew was that I didn't want it roasted. I mean, heaven forbid I cook something normal like a simple brown sugar or maple-roasted butternut squash. So after much hemming and hawing over millions of butternut squash recipes, I finally decided on this one. Because isn't that what most people do in their spare time? Make homemade butternut squash ravioli? ;)
While I love butternut squash, it's sometimes a little too sweet for my taste. This recipe offsets some of that sweetness with generous amounts of aged goat cheese -- which when mixed in with the roasted butternut squash, adds an unique saltiness and nuttiness to the creamy filling. The addition of sage and chopped onions also doesn't hurt.
I have just one small confession to make; I'm not that crazy. While I wanted to make my own ravioli filling for the first time, I wasn't planning on spending my entire afternoon in the kitchen. So I cheated...I substituted pre-made wonton wrappers for the ravioli dough instead. I know. While it was an efficient and quick fix, it really didn't do the rich, creamy butternut squash filling justice. So lesson learned -- if something craaaazy comes over you and you just happen to make this, do it the right way. Otherwise, you'll end up with this strangely sweet Azn-fied "potsticker" that just doesn't work :P
Butternut Squash, Sage, and Goat Cheese Ravioli
Adapted from Gourmet, January 1997 and Recipezaar
1 small butternut squash (about 2 lb), halved lengthwise and seeded
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 1/2 teaspoons ground sage
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 garlic clove, minced
3 ounces aged goat cheese, grated/crumbled
3 cups unbleached white flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water
Preheat oven to 425°F. and lightly grease a baking sheet.
Put squash halves, flesh sides down, an baking sheet and roast in middle of oven 45 minutes, or until flesh is very tender. When squash is cool enough to handle, scoop out flesh into a bowl and discard skin. Mash squash with a fork until smooth.
While squash is roasting, in a skillet cook onion and sage in butter with salt and pepper to taste over moderate heat, stirring, 5 minutes, or until onion is golden brown. Stir in garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute.
Cool onion mixture slightly and add to squash. Add goat cheese and stir to combine well.
Sift flour and salt together. Place flour mixture on a board, making a well in the center of the flour. Drop eggs into the flour well, using your hand or a fork, break the yolks and beat eggs slightly. Combine the eggs and flour together, gradually adding enough warm water to make a stiff dough. Knead dough well, until smooth; cover the dough and let it rest for 15 minutes.
Cut dough in half and roll each half of the dough out on a floured board, into a very thin sheet (about 1/16 to 1/8 inch thick).
Drop about 1 tablespoon of filling about 2 inches apart all along the dough. When the sheet of dough is fully dotted with dabs of filling mixture, cover filling with other sheet of dough. Using your fingers, gently press dough between each dab of filling to seal it (if using wonton wrappers, use egg yolk to seal dough). Cut ravioli into squares with a (zig-zag edged) pastry cutter, or very sharp knife.
Allow ravioli to dry for one hour before cooking. Drop ravioli in lightly boiling water, and cook until they float to the surface, about 6 minutes. Sprinkle with olive oil and toasted hazelnuts.