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Friday, September 17, 2010

Squash, Chestnut and Ricotta Ravioli

   When I eat something delicious, I like to savor every flavor and texture.  Combinations of great foods give you the surprising feeling of knowing exactly what ingredients you are eating all in one bite.  As it swirls around in your mouth you can easily separate all the tastes yet they all go so great together.
   Many great chefs can make wonderful creations with various ingredients and bring them all together with whimsical presentation.  On the other hand, I enjoy seasonal ingredients and just let the flavors of the season make for a great combination.   Whether they are local to your area or come from across the ocean, seasonal ingredients are readily available.  As I often find when it grows together, it goes together.
  Vibrant butternut squash, earthy roasted chestnuts and creamy sheep's milk ricotta combine to create a taste that lets you know fall is here and it's harvest time.  Although ricotta is available all year long, fall is when I enjoy it the most.  Nuttiness from the chestnuts partners great with the sweet rich taste of a roasted squash.
  Why make ravioli when you can go out and buy them?  First of all we never truly know what is in them and secondly this recipe will show you a trick to making quick and easy ravioli using fresh pasta  you can buy locally.
   Using fresh lasagna  purchased from from my neighbourhood pastificio I take the leg work out of making the pasta my self.  When creating a stuffing for your ravioli, let your imagination run wild using seasonal flavors you enjoy together.

8 sheets of fresh lasagna
1 cup of fresh sheep's milk ricotta
1 cup roasted butternut squash, skin removed (400f oven for 1hour)
1/4 cup ground roasted chestnuts
1/2 cup grated parmigiano cheese
Flour for dusting
1 egg beaten with 2 Tbsp water

Once squash has cooled, place it in a bowl with ricotta,chestnuts and parmigiano and mix well.
On a lightly floured surface lay one sheet of lasagna and place 1 teaspoon of stuffing evenly apart keeping fillings closer to one side.
Using a brush or your finger tip, carefully paint egg wash around each filling and carefully fold lasagna over to match ends on the other side.  Firmly press around each filling until sealed then using a pizza cutter or sharp knife begin cutting out ravioli.  I usually make 5-6 ravioli per sheet but if you have the patience and skill you can make smaller ravioli.
Once cut out, firmly press around all edges to ensure a good seal.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and begin gently dropping the ravioli in.  Because they are made with fresh pasta the cooking time is short.  Once the ravioli come to the water's surface they are ready.


In a frying pan on medium heat, melt some butter until lightly brown then add fresh sage leaves and a very small pinch of freshly grated nutmeg.
Pour sauce over ravioli and plate with shavings of parmigiano reggiano.
The result is luxuriously tender ravioli with a sweet, creamy filling and an nice earthy aftertaste of roasted chestnuts and delicately flavored by the sauce. Finish with a few drops of good quality extra virgin olive oil.
If large ravioli are made, serve 3-4 per person.


Velva said...

Wow, this is a beautiful combination of flavors. Love it.

Pam said...

I am so impressed! The ravioli look perfectly delicious.

The Enchanted Cook said...

This is so funny - I JUST made my own pasta today and failed quite miserably. I ate it anyway because of all the time I put into making it and of course I was hungry! Maybe next time I will buy the fresh made sheets. I like the filling you came up with - sounds yummy!



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