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Friday, January 27, 2012

More Fun with Ravioli!

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

More Fun with Ravioli:
Butternut Squash, Sage, and Goat Cheese Ravioli with Hazelnut Brown-Butter Sauce
by Victoria Challancin

Ravioli are just fun and satisfying to make, especially if you take the easy way out by using purchased wonton wrappers.  Easy.  Satisfying.  Pretty.  And delicious. Sooooo delicious.
And with a little imagination, the variations on the filling and sauce are infinite.

In my classes for Mexican cooks here in San Miguel de Allende, it is always particularly gratifying to teach such techniques such as the making of ravioli, spring rolls, beggars' purses, spanikoptia, briouats, lumpia, dumplings/potstickers, and/or any recipe that involves rolling, shaping, and playing with food.  Inevitably, it turns into a giggle fest, which warms my heart.  I love joy in the kitchen--it should be a requirement for cooking.

Cook's Notes:  This recipe for butternut squash-filled ravioli proved a winner in every way.  Fun to make; delicious to consume.  The filling was delicate, yet rich,  Because I have fresh sage growing, I used that instead of ground sage, but other than that the recipe is straightforward as I found it in Gourmet.  Just make sure that as always when making browned butter sauce  (beurre brun) that you are careful not to burn the butter, just let it turn a rich light brown color with its accompanying heady scent. And make sure you don't leave pockets of air with the filling or the ravioli will prematurely float to the top of the boiling water before they are fully cooked.  And if you have leftover filling, by all means bake it and serve it with crostini as an hors d'oeuvres (see the photo below).

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

Once we had mastered the making of the ravioli, the cooks wanted to know what else they could use for fillings and sauces.  I came up with a few ideas:

  • Mexican/Spanish picadillo with a Sherry-butter sauce dotted with pine nuts or even a pico de gallo
  • Mexican cheese or any leftover guisado with appropriate salsa (leftover mole? or pipian?)
  • Goat cheese filling topped with a roasted tomato-chipotle sauce
  • Shrimp or cheese with a roasted pineapple salsa
  • Cheese or shrimp in a puddle of gazpacho
  • Middle Eastern with either a kofte meat filling or eggplant filling nestled in a cinnamon-scented tomato sauce or a lemony tahini sauce--again with pine nuts
  • Any Chinese dumpling filling with a soy-ginger-scallion-sesame sauce
  • Mashed broccoli or cauliflower with a rich Cheddar or  Welsh Rarebit sauce
  • Asparagus and goat's cheese with a light lemon- or grapefruit- butter sauce and toasted breadcrumbs
  • Moroccan-scented cooked vegetables (with Ras el Hanout) resting in Chermoula Sauce with slivers of almonds and preserved lemon
  • Spinach with Greek avgolemono sauce and garlicky breadcrumbs
  • Shrimp with a vanilla-butter sauce
  • Chicken, fish, vegetables, or cheese with beurre blanc and Grapefruit Gremolata
  • Minced chicken or cheese with a puttanesca sauce
  • Olive oil and lemon-scented lentils or mashed chick peas with a sprinkle of Dukkah
  • Roasted winter root vegetables with a dollop of horseradish cream sauce
  • Seafood of any sort or mixture with a sherry-raisin-smoked paprika butter drizzle
  • See the link below for Heart-Shaped Goat Cheese Ravioli with Lemon-Arugula Sauce
Oh, the possibilities are endless.  Pick a cuisine and let your imagination go rampant.  Truly, just keep to the basic flavor principles of the targeted cuisine and create to your heart's content.  Or create new flavor combinations!

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

Recipe:  Butternut Squash, Sage, and Goat Cheese Ravioli with Hazelnut Brown-Butter Sauce
(Recipe from Gourmet Magazine)

For filling:
one 2-lb (1 kg) butternut squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 1/2 teaspoons ground sage or two teaspoons chopped fresh sage leaves
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 garlic clove, minced
3 ounces aged goat cheese, grated (about 2/3 cup)--or use regular natural goat cheese

60 wonton wrappers, thawed if frozen
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1/3 cup hazelnuts, toasted lightly and skinned and coarsely chopped


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and lightly grease a baking sheet.

Make filling:
Put squash halves, flesh sides down, on baking sheet and roast in middle of oven for 30 minutes, or until flesh is very tender.  When squash is cool enough to handle, scoop out flesh into a bowl and discard skin.  Mash squash with fork until smooth.

While squash is roasting, in a skillet cook onion and sage in butter with salt and pepper to taste over moderate heat, stirring, 5 minutes, or until onion is golden brown.  Stir in garlic ad cook, stirring, 1 minute.

Cool onion mixture slightly and add to squash.  Add goat cheese and stir to combine well.  In a 6-quart kettle bring 5 quarts salted water to a gentle boil for ravioli.

Put 1 wonton wrapper on a lightly floured surface, keeping remaining wrappers in plastic wrap, and mound 1 tablespoon filling in center.  Lightly brush edges of wrapper with water (using a finger) 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 dry kitchen towel.  Make more ravioli with remaining wrappers and filling in same manner, transferring as formed to towel and turning occasionally to dry slightly.

Make butter sauce:
In skillet cook butter with 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 water for 6 minutes, or until they rise to surface and are tender (do not let water boil vigorously once ravioli have been added).

Transfer ravioli with a slotted spoon, letting excess cooking liquid drip off, to 6 plates and top with hazelut brown-butter sauce.


If you love ravioli as I do, you might want to try these Heart-Shaped Goat Cheese Ravioli with Lemon-Arugula Sauce that I made for Valentine's Day 2011

Baked leftover ravioli filling

©Victoria Challancin.  All Rights Reserved.


Hotly Spiced said...

Oh Victoria! That looks mouthwatering. I just love ravioli and you've filled it with my favourite - butternut squash and then a brown butter sauce. And yes, like you say, making it with wonton wrappers really is a great sort-cut. Fabulous looking recipe!

FOODalogue said...

Those ravioli possibilities are endless...and I want to try each and every one!

Chantal said...

This looks amazing!!!!!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

My favourite ravioli is butternet squash and browned butter. Your heart shaped ones are adorable! :D

Ben said...

Sage and ravioli is such a great combination. I wanna take your class now :)

kaareem9 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator. said...

The sauces are driving me crazy. How I wish I could take one of your classes. It's not even 8 in the morning and I am salivating...

Nagi@RecipeTinEats said...

It really is more fun with ravioli! Great combination you have here!