Acorn Ravioli with Roasted Pine Nuts and Sage Butter

December 17, 2011

Main Dishes, Pasta Dishes


 

See that very bright yellowish orange acorn squash there to the right..yup that one right in the middle, that’s the one I am talking about. That little guy has been sitting on my counter for WEEKS turning from that really cool shade of dark green you usually see when acorn squash starts hitting the stores to that lovely yellow-orange.  I am a firm believer that the reason most people who do not like squash is because they have been fed unripe bland squash. Now the one on the left is a tad under ripe but not horribly so.

So what got me thinking about doing this dish? Well I was trying to play around with something different as a filling for ravioli with my almost weekly pasta making.  I didn’t want to do pumpkin or a cheese filling as they were getting boring.  Then I remembered that lone acorn squash sitting on the counter with the potatoes.  The wheels started turning and I got to wondering how the lovely fresh sage leaves I had cooling their heels in the fridge would pair with my lovely orange-y friend.  So out came the Flavor Bible and page flipping commenced.  Some times my wild haired ideas don’t make it past the first concocting well enough to be made again but not this time!  The Pine Nuts…oh the pine nuts they really added a roasty buttery punch to this dish.

As for the pasta you have two ways you can go.  First you could use the recipe I posted months ago found here or you can use wonton wrappers either the square or round it does not matter.  I went with the homemade pasta only because The Husband is obsessed with my pasta.  Making these does take a little bit of time since you have to be careful with the pasta dough once you apply the egg wash, the dough gets a bit delicate.

Acorn Ravioli with Roasted Pine Nuts and Fresh Sage~

2 Med Acorn Squash

1  3/4oz pkg Fresh Sage

1 Egg yoke

1 Ts Fresh Ground Black Pepper

1 Ts Kosher Salt (plus more for boiling water)

1/2 c Butter (don’t skimp and use margarine)

1/2 c  Pine Nuts

1 recipe of Fresh Pasta (linked above) or 1 to 2 pkgs wonton wrappers

Optional

1 to 2 TB Dk Brown Sugar

If you are making your own pasta start with that so it can rest while you are baking the squash.

Cut acorn squash in half from pole to pole and remove the seeds and stringy guts from the squash.  Rub with soften butter and sprinkle with about half of the fresh pepper salt and garlic, press some sage leaves into the middle of the squash like so…

Just press the leaves into the butter

Bake in a 350 degree oven for approx 45 mins or until a fork is easily inserted the flesh of the squash they will look a bit like this when done

The smell when these were baking was amazing!

OK now you need to remove the flesh from the skin. The easiest way to do this is to put the squash into a dish towel to hold it and use a spoon to remove the flesh.  Put the removed flesh into a bowl add the remaining pepper and garlic give it a good stir and taste it, if it needs it add a bit of the salt.  If your squash was ripe enough it should be slightly sweet if it is not add a tablespoon of the brown sugar stir and taste again. You don’t want it super sweet just slightly.  Set the squash aside to cool while you roll out your pasta.

I did this two different ways to see which I like best and I have to say while you end up wasting bits of pasta dough I think I like the circles instead of the squares. I liked the quality control I had with the circular dough.  Anyway here is a look at both ways…

To  the yoke add a couple of tablespoons of water and mix well with a fork.  This will be your egg wash “glue” to stick your pasta together.

Lay out your dough on the counter and put your squash into either a pastry bag or zip lock with the end cut off.  Going along the length of your dough or in the middle of the circle of pasta dough portion out approx. 1 -2 TB of squash for each ravioli.  Like below.

I think I need a longer counter…

Leave about 2″ between portions to allow for room to seal the pasta

I set up the rounds in pairs to make sure there are tops and bottoms for each ravioli

Now that you have your first set of portions set up use a pastry brush or your finger dipped into the egg wash and go around the edges almost right up to the squash with egg wash, if using rounds or wonton shells place your top on and start sealing from one edge working around the edges pushing out any air being careful to not squish out the filling. Like so…

See the small “vent” at about 1 o’clock allowing the air to be pressed out, it will be sealed when all the air is pressed out

If you are using a long piece of pasta dough like this

you have to be careful when you are flipping the top so that you don’t trap air in the folded over part.  You do have to work quick because the dough will stick like cement after a few minutes. Once you have all the air worked out you can cut them apart either with a sharp knife or a fancy pasta/pie crust cutter like so.

If you look at the far right ravioli you will see what I was talking about with working fast so the dough doesn’t stick I could not get the fold out without tearing the pasta

Once you have everybody sealed you are ready to commence boiling.  When you cook pasta unless you are making your own the only time to get  flavor into the pasta is when you are boiling it, so use WELL salted water.  When I do use store-bought pasta I put a good fist full of salt into my water.

Before you allow your little guys a dip in the pool you need to get your sage butter going and your Pine Nuts toasting.  To toast the pine nuts you will need a skillet and the pine nuts.  Now there is a goodly amount of oil in pine nuts which does two things gives them lots of flavor and allows them to burn real easy so once you put those bad boys in the dry pan DO NOT walk away.  They can go from pale and boring to burnt and nasty literally in seconds. So over med heat stand there and shake your skillet jiggling those pine nuts until they are nicely browned, once they are the color you want vacate them from the pan to a plate or bowl DO NOT leave them in the pan the heat of the pan even though it is turned off will continue cooking them and you may come back to burned Pine nuts.

These were just about done

Using just the leaves of the sage julienne them and toss the pieces into a saute pan with the remaining butter over med heat and allow it to simmer while you boil your ravioli (…yes the smell will make you slobber just a tad H.N.) I added a few grinds of black pepper but it is up to you if you would like to add it.

Yes soooooo bad for you but soooooo good for you!

Now with these little guys they will cook very fast depending on how thin you roll out your pasta.  We like ours very thin so when I am cooking these they take less than 2 minutes to cook once they hit the boiling water.  The easiest way to know when they are done is when they float to the top of the pot of water the have about 30-45 seconds till they are done. Now your time might be longer for cooking as it totally depends on the thickness of the pasta/wonton wrappers.

You can see they turned translucent when they were just about finished, that’s how thin we like our pasta

Once the little guys are done drain and toss with the sage butter while trying to not droll all over.  Plate up, drizzling any remaining butter and sage bits and topping with the toasted pine nuts.

Look at the lovely brown on those pine nuts…

Oh yeah they were GOOD!

Now go play with your food!

WikiJan

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2 Comments on “Acorn Ravioli with Roasted Pine Nuts and Sage Butter”

  1. Hungry Neophyte Says:

    Nice alternative with the wonton wrappers.
    Have to try those little guys.
    -HN

    Reply

    • Wikijancooks Says:

      The photos for this entry are from when I sent them to your place for you and KFC to try them. I totally forgot I needed to write this entry up and post it until yesterday. I think its about time to make them again…

      Reply

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