Butternut Squash Ravioli with Kale Pesto

I've been wanting to make raviolis for quite a long time. 

I first attempted them back in 2010 from scratch... without pretty much any kitchen equipment. It didn't go terribly but it also wasn't a raging success.  Ever since then, the closest I've gotten to fresh pasta was making gnocchi. Given that I haven't acquired any pasta making tools yet, I cheated and used wonton wrappers... which was pure genius.

I had seen this approach in several places before but never really got around to finding the wonton wrappers at Whole Foods until a few weeks ago. I had picked up the butternut squash literally about a month before (or more?) when I made soup. It just kept sitting in my fridge while I pondered what I would do. Butternut squash makes me feel like I have a million options and then none all at once. What do you do with it besides make soup, make a side dish, and stuff raviolis? I'm not really sure still. So I made raviolis.

This was actually crazy easy. The hardest part was getting the squash pulp (gross description) out... and the longest part was stuffing the raviolis. I didn't start this until after 6:30 one Sunday night... and still managed to be eating when Brooklyn 99 started at 8:30. Making this will cause you to feel like a culinary genius... I almost promise.

A few notes:
  • wonton wrappers make the ravioli very very light. Don't be fooled... this is still cheater ravioli. 
  • I used kale in my pesto because I had bought it earlier in the week... and then never actually made a salad. I once heard someone refer to this as an "aspirational vegetable" - very accurate.
  • Once you do this once, you can do it a million times in a million different ways. I will absolute try and make just a pancetta cheese ravioli at some point.
  • I froze all but 6 of my raviolis for another day. To freeze raviolis, you want to lay them on a cookie cheat in an even layer until they are frozen then you can put them in a container. This will prevent them from sticking to each other ... or so they say. I don't have room in my freezer for a cookie sheet, so I literally stuck raviolis all over my freezer to make this work.

(Step 1) Preheat oven to 400°.
(Step 2) Place squash halves, cut sides down, on a foil-lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 30 minutes or until tender. Cool. Scoop out pulp; discard peel. Mash pulp. Combine oregano, squash pulp, and butter in a large bowl. Stir in 2 ounces (about 1/2 cup) cheese, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Taste to make sure you like it... you will but mostly because of the parmesan cheese.
(Step 3) Working with 1 wonton wrapper at a time, spoon about 1 1/2 teaspoons squash mixture into center of each wrapper. Moisten edges of wrapper with beaten egg; bring 2 opposite corners together. Pinch edges together to seal, forming a triangle. Repeat procedure with remaining wrappers, squash mixture, and egg. Cover ravioli loosely with a towel to prevent drying. Be patient... and don't try to overfill the wrapper. It won't be worth it.
(Step 4) Time to make the pesto. Place lemon juice, garlic, kale, parmesan cheese, and pine nuts in a food processor, and pulse until finely chopped. Season with salt and pepper. With processor on, slowly pour oil through food chute and process until well blended and in the consistency you like. Place pesto in a large bowl.
(Step 5) Cook ravioli for 3 minutes in boiling water. Remove gently... these babies are fresh.
(Step 6) Arrange on a plate and drizzle with pesto and a little extra olive oil.

Shopping List
1 butternut squash, halved lengthwise and seeded (about 1 1/2 pounds)
Cooking spray
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2.5 ounces Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
36 wonton wrappers
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 garlic cloves
1 1/2 cups torn kale
1/4 cup walnuts, toasted, chopped, and divided
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

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