Buttercup Squash, Sage, and Goat Cheese Ravioli with Hazelnut Brown-Butter Sauce

Yield: Makes 15 – 30 ravioli, serving 6 generously

This recipe if perfect for using the abundance of squashes available at the market this time of year. If you cannot find buttercup squash, use butternut. Also, if making your own pasta dough, you will either need to cut this recipe in half or double the pasta dough recipe. Use wonton wrappers or make your own dough from the recipe that I posted for pasta dough.

For filling
1 ¼ pound buttercup squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
4 – 5 medium shallots, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 ounces chèvre, room temperature
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Pasta dough or 60 wonton wrappers
½ cup chicken stock or water
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
½ cup hazelnuts, sliced or slivered almonds
½ cup dried cherries or craisins
Flour or cornmeal for dusting sheet pans
Fried Sage Leaves for garnish
Aged Balsamic vinegar for garnish

Preheat oven to 375°F and lightly grease a baking sheet or line baking sheet with a Silpat.

Make filling:
Put squash halves, flesh sides down, on a baking sheet and roast in middle of oven for about 45 minutes, or until flesh is tender when pierced with the point of a paring knife. When squash is cool enough to handle, scoop out flesh into a bowl and discard skin and seeds. Mash squash with a fork or potato masher until smooth. (Can be done one day ahead and refrigerated.)

While squash is roasting, in a skillet cook shallots and chopped sage in butter with salt and pepper to taste over moderate heat, stirring about 5 minutes, or until shallots are translucent. Stir in garlic and cook, stirring an additional minute.

Cool shallot mixture slightly and add to squash. Add goat cheese and stir to combine well. Do not wash pan it will be deglazed later and used for the sauce.

Put 1 won ton wrapper on a lightly floured surface, keeping remaining wrappers in plastic wrap, and mound about a 1 tablespoon filling in center. Lightly brush edges of wrapper with water and put a second wrapper over first, pressing down around filling to force out air and seal edges well. If desired, trim excess dough with a round cutter or sharp knife.

Transfer ravioli to a sheet pan dusted with flour or corn meal. Make more ravioli with remaining wrappers and filling in same manner, transferring as formed to dusted sheet pan. In a 6-quart kettle bring 5 quarts salted water to a gentle boil for ravioli.

Deglaze pan used to sauté the shallot garlic mixture with water and add the cherries to rehydrate. After all the water has evaporated add the butter and hazelnuts over moderate heat until butter begins to brown, about 3 minutes, and immediately remove from heat (nuts will continue to cook). Season hazelnut butter with salt and pepper and keep warm, covered.

Cook ravioli in 3 batches in gently boiling eater 6 minutes, or until they rise to surface and are tender (do not let water boil vigorously once ravioli have been added). Carefully transfer ravioli as they are cooked with a slotted spoon to a large shallow bowl and toss with a little of the browned butter to keep ravioli from sticking to each other.

Transfer ravioli with a spoon to 6 soup plates and top with cherry hazelnut brown-butter sauce. Drizzle with an aged balsamic vinegar and serve.

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