Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Italian Sausage and Butternut Squash Ravioli

Does it feel busy out there?  I am feeling a little worse for wear after a day of running around in the driving rain.  On my mental menu for the night was ravioli, which felt like a herculean effort to  accomplish today.  A variation on my previous posting of butternut squash ravioli, this one puts the pork into the ravioli.  


1 Small butternut squash
2/3 lb Mild Italian sausage
1 cup grated cheese (I used equal parts parmesan, pecornio romano, mizithra, and fontina)
1 tbsp spreadable brie, or mascarpone, or cream cheese
2 tbsp chopped parsley
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


Slice butternut squash in half length-wise and scoop out the seeds.  Roast in the oven cut side down in a pan at 425f for 25-30 minutes.  I overcooked mine.  Having to leave the house, I turned the oven off and left it in there only to return too late.  This made the squash a little too soft and mushy.  I scooped out the flesh and let it drain in a sieve so the excess liquid could run out.  Cook sausage and break apart into small bits while cooking.  Combine squash and sausage with remaining ingredients.  
I used ready made fresh pasta sheets, 8 sheets in total, which made 40 large ravioli in total.   You could make whatever size you like, but the size of the sheets I had made it easy to lay out the spoonfuls of filling in 2 rows of 5.  I brushed all the edges with water before laying the top pasta sheet and used a rolling cutter to cut the ravioli.


I decided to make a little tomato sauce to go with.  
1 - 28oz can San Marzano whole tomatoes
1/2 cup diced sweet onion
1 small carrot, finely diced
1 celery rib, finely diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup olive oil
splash of cream


Chop or puree the tomatoes in a blender.  Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large sauce pan.  Saute the onions and garlic until softened.  Add the carrots and celery and stir to combine.  Turn heat down to medium low, cover and let cook for about 5 minutes.  Add in the tomatoes, stir to combine.  Once again, I got distracted and let it simmer for about 50 minutes.  It worked out ok, just a thicker sauce.  Simmer the sauce for only 30 minutes for a regular thickness.   Finish with a splash of cream.
The ravioli was fabulous, if I may say so, and really did not need the tomato sauce.  May have been really good with just a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of grated parmagiano reggiano.  The tomato sauce was special on its own and could have been saved for a simple spaghetti.  But you know us, we never turn down a sauce.

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