As I’m sure you’re all tired of hearing, it was Cory’s birthday last weekend. I wanted to make a really awesome dinner to show off my cooking skills and I forbid him from entering the kitchen…until I got to the end of this recipe and It required more than just two hands.
On the menu for birthday dinner:
BUTTERNUT SQUASH RAVIOLI WITH WALNUT BUTTER SAUCE
This recipe, by one of my favorite bloggers, Iowa Girl Eats, originally called for bacon, but obviously since I’m a vegetarian, I decided to skip that part. This was kind of an off-and-on all day process, so this is a great weekend recipe.
Since this recipe calls for making your own ravioli and then cooking the ravioli, I’m going to separate it into two parts.
Part 1: The Ravioli Recipe According to Iowa Girl Eats
2 small-medium sized butternut squash (enough to make 3 cups of squash)*
1 Tablespoon olive oil
Salt & Pepper
2 cloves garlic*
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
40 Wonton Wrappers
Wash and dry the butternut squash, then use a small pairing knife to pierce the “bulb” (bigger) end on 4 sides. Place on a microwave safe plate and cook for 3 minutes, flipping the butternut squash halfway through. This will make it easier to cut.*
Place butternut squash on a cutting board. You’ll need a sharp knife and a spoon.
Slice the top and bottom ends off of the squash. Stand the squash upright and slice it all the way through. This shouldn’t be too difficult since it’s softened slightly in the microwave.
Scoop out the insides of the butternut squash with a spoon.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and place butternut squash halves on a foil-lined cookie sheet. Mist or drizzle with a small amount of olive oil, salt & pepper. Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a small knife can easily be inserted into the thickest part of the squash.*
If the squash isn’t cooked all the way through, but it starts to get too brown, place a sheet of foil over the top and continue to bake.*
Allow squash to cool until it is easy to handle.
Take a large spoon and scoop out the baked flesh from the peel. It’s okay if some of the peel stays with the flesh, it’s safe to eat. At this point you should have about 3 cups of baked butternut squash.
Chop onion and garlic. Saute onion in olive oil with some salt and pepper until softened, approximately 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and saute for another minute, being careful not to burn.
Transfer cooked onion and garlic to food processor. Add butternut squash and cinnamon to food processor and pulse until all the ingredients are combined and smooth (may need to work in batches).*
Place butternut squash filling into a bowl and taste. Add more salt and pepper as needed.*
Setup a work station that includes a cookie sheet lined with wax paper, small bowl of water, cutting board, and butternut squash filling.
Place wonton wrappers onto a plate and cover with a moistened paper towel.*
Place wonton wrapper on cutting board and moisten all four sides with water.
Place approximately 2 teaspoons butternut squash filling into the center of wonton wrapper. *
Fold one corner over to the other and seal two sides, pressing any air out of the middle of the ravioli.*
Fold one corner over, then fold the other corner over on top. Squeeze gently to make sure corner stick together.
Place ravioli on wax lined cookie sheet. Once you’ve made all the ravioli, place the cookie sheet directly into the freezer and allow raviolis to freeze through for 1-2 hours.*
You can store the raviolis in a freezer safe bag. They will keep for 4-5 months and can go directly from the freezer to the stove or pot of boiling water.*
The Ravioli Recipe According to The Hearty Herbivore
Now you probably understand what I meant when I said this recipe was an all-day process.
*Finding butternut squash seemed to be a daunting task. Kroger had all these gourds that looked exactly the same. Further more, they had acorn squash in a bin labeled “BUTTERNUT SQUASH.” Nice try Kroger, you’re not fooling anyone. I finally just asked someone at the store and they found exactly 2 in the entire store. Lucky me!
*I may have said this in a previous post, but we just have a giant jar of minced garlic that we use when recipes call for cloves of garlic. I used about 2 tablespoons, maybe a little more.
*I LOVE ONION. I used an entire onion. What about it?
*These directions may be easier to understand if you read this post by Iowa Girl Eats. She has pictures and it’s super helpful!
*I’m terrible at following instructions, which can be an issue. I get really anxious about reading all these words and just want to cook! So I kind of didn’t microwave the squash until I had already tried to cut it…thus, no such luck. Oops.
*Heating the oven seems like something you’d put as the first step in a recipe, don’t you think? I was kind of irked by this because after I had cut this squash, I just wanted to throw it in the oven, but no! I had to wait for my oven (which is the slowest oven in the world!) to preheat to 400 degrees. Sorry I put it in the middle of the directions as well, just citing according to Iowa Girl!
*What is it with every single recipe I do having a food processor involved? I’ve learned my lesson…I’m blending everything in batches. The butternut squash was too tough for my food processor, so I had to transfer it to a bowl, then back to the food processor after a failed attempt.
*This recipe is going to be pretty sweet, but I added a good amount of pepper to give it a little spice.
*Covering the wonton wrappers with a wet paper towel didn’t work out that well since I was working quickly. It kind of just sat next to the wonton wrappers for moral support.
*It may be easiest too look at the instructions posted by Iowa Girl when folding the ravioli. She has pictures of step-by-step instructions, which makes it really easy.
*Folding the raviolis takes some practice. I had made about 5 before I got them just perfect. This was also where Cory started to help me because he told me he was a pro at folding wontons. He was pretty good!
*I froze the ravioli for about an hour. I don’t even know if that was necessary because I cooked them immediately.
*Who keeps ravioli for 4-5 months? I eat too much food to keep anything that long…
Part 2: Pan Fried Butternut Squash Ravioli With Walnut Butter Sauce According to Iowa Girl Eats.
Approximately 1 tablespoon of olive oil
Approximately 1/3 Cup of Water
4 Tablespoons Butter
2 Tablespoons chopped walnuts
Heat up a big skillet with olive oil on medium heat and when it is hot, place frozen raviolis into the pan
After about 5 minutes, the bottoms of the ravioli will be golden brown.
At this point, add water to the pan and put a lid on it.*
After a minute or two, remove the lid and allow the rest of the water to evaporate and the bottoms of the ravioli to crisp back up.
Give the pan a gentle shake to make sure none of the ravioli are sticking. If they are, just use a rubber spatula to get them sliding again.*
Once the bottoms have a chance to crisp back up (1.5-2 minutes after you take the lid off) take the pan off the heat.
On the burner next door, melt butter with chopped walnuts over medium-low heat.*
As the butter heats up, it will get foamy and crackly. Let the butter and walnut pieces cook until the butter has reached a golden brown color (~3-4 minutes). Watch carefully and stir every so often as to not burn the butter or walnuts. Once your butter is ready, pour it over the ravioli!*
According to The Hearty Herbivore
*I cooked all of my ravioli (that’s right, all 40 of them) at once (I was feeding 3 people). So the measurements for the ingredients didn’t really apply to me. I did use the same amount of butter and walnuts for the sauce just because I didn’t know how strong the butter would be. It actually ended up being a pretty good ratio.
*We added a lot of water the pan because we wanted all of the ravioli to steam. We added a little too much, though. We had to drain some of it at the end.
*Cory had to do most of the ravioli because I was preoccupied with cooking the sauce. So much for him not entering the kitchen.
*What’s the plural of ravioli? No, really…
*If you’d like to add bacon or even facon, you do so at the end, after the sauce is over the ravioli. My roommate (Julia) cooked asparagus with salt, pepper, and olive oil for 15 minutes to go with the ravioli. It was a great combination. She should probably make asparagus everyday.
As Julia would say, these ravioli were “bomb.”It was interesting because all of the ravioli I’ve ever had is savory, but this was sweet. Using wonton wrappers as the “noodles” was great, too. It gave the meal a kind of Asian feel.
Was it worth the time? Yes! It was a great dinner and it was fun to make the ravioli. It was like doing origami! Loved it.
Best Part of the Recipe
I made this meal at the beginning of fall, regardless of the fact that it was 80 degrees outside. It was a great meal to get me in the fall-spirit! And I’m pretty sure Cory was impressed and enjoyed his birthday dinner. S’mores Ice Cream Cake for dessert!