In Season: Squash Ravioli in Sage Brown Butter


I first laid eyes on the Kitchen Aid mixer pasta maker attachment when Mike and I were registering for wedding gifts. Frankly, it frightened me. I had visions of mangled pasta dough in a rainbow of colors stuck to the ceiling–a nightmarish scene in which the cat and I were entangled in sticky, inedible dough. There was flour everywhere and well, no one was going to eat homemade pasta anytime soon.

Seven years later and I am still without my pasta maker attachment–so a good Nana-in-training must improvise. For this ravioli recipe, you just need a package of won ton wrappers. For about $3 or less, you can get 50 of these handy little squares of dough that are perfect for wontons, dumplings and of course, homemade ravioli.
For the filling, I made use of squash puree from our Galeux d’Eysines squash. You can use any winter squash you like from butternut to pumpkin. You could even skip the fresh puree and use a can of pumpkin puree (although it won’t taste as fresh!).
And the best part: you can make a bunch quickly and freeze it–it cooks up in a few minutes and makes it a great meal to bank in your freezer. This recipe yielded about 30 ravioli.
Ingredients:
1 large egg
1/4 cup romano cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons ricotta cheese
pinch of nutmeg
Salt/Pepper
60 won ton wrappers (which is about 2 packages)
1 stick of unsalted butter
2 tablespoons of fresh, chopped sage leaves
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Steps to yumminess
1. Place squash puree, egg, romano and ricotta cheese and nutmeg in a food processor. Process until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
2. Make your ravioli, filling each with 1 heaping tablespoon of squash filling. Follow directions here (Ravioli making 101). Freeze ravioli (flat) for at least 30 minutes. You can leave any ravioli that you don’t intend to cook in the freezer.
3. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add ravioli and cook until it floats-about 3 minutes. Keep an eye on it–the ravioli will explode if you overcook.
4. While ravioli is cooking, melt butter over high heat (in a large pan). Add sage and cook until butter begins to brown and sizzle. Remove pan from heat, whisk in balsamic vinegar.
5. Use a slotted spoon to carefully remove ravioli from cooking water and place directly into brown butter sauce. Serve immediately.
A fab side for Squash Ravioli: I died and went to Rouge Salad.
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Staple recipe: Roasted winter squash puree


As I mentioned in my Coconut Lemongrass soup recipe, Mike and Lily grew a successful crop of Galeux d’Eysines–a beautiful, bumpy heirloom winter squash that looks like a warty pumpkin and tastes like a slice of squash heaven.

We love squash in our house–mashed,roasted,pureed or in a pumpkin pie–we will eat it! Part of our addiction is purely superficial–squash is gorgeous. It comes in greens, oranges, creamy white, yellow and in smooth,bumpy and ridged textures. I love the shape of butternut squash–it reminds me of a bell and of course, I adore the stringy insides of spaghetti squash–nature’s low-carb answer to pasta. Sweet sugar pumpkins are adorable in their perfectly rounded symmetry.

When I was doing a little research for this blog post, it occurred to me that I had no idea if squash was a fruit or a vegetable or something entirely different like a legume. Botanically speaking, squash is a fruit. In cooking, squash is used as a vegetable and it is a fantastic substitute for meat.

Lily helped with every part of this recipe–she helped plant, water, nuture and then reveled in the end result–a warty, orange beauty that would be transformed into delicious recipes for our family. I had Lily help me make the puree and taught her a little French along the way. Galeux d’Eysines translates to mean “Warts from Eysines (a town in France),” a detail Lily found endlessly fascinating. Lily now has a little French in her tool kit (as every fancy girl should) and I have the sweetest memory of my little girl Bonjouring, Oh La Laing and cooking with me. When we eat something prepared with this puree, we eat a little of Lily’s first French lesson–I can’t think of anything more delicious.

Try this staple recipe with any winter squash you like and then use the puree to make fabulous things like squash soup, pies, squash ravioli or squash souffles–stay tuned to Nana’s Fabulous Life for oodles of great recipes.

Buy locally–it is a way to be sustainable and help your local farmer continue to bring you beautiful, nutritious produce for years to come.

To make and freeze the puree you will need:
2 or more pounds of your favorite winter squash; olive oil; some brown sugar; parchment paper; baking sheets; a food processor or blender; quart sized-freezer bags

The work:
1. Preheat oven to 400F. Select your squash, cut in half and remove the seeds and cut squash into chunks about a couple inches in size.

2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place squash, flesh side up on the paper. Drizzle with olive oil and then rub a small amount of brown sugar into the flesh of the squash.

3. Turn the squash face down and place in oven. Bake for 30-40 minutes until skin is easily pierced with a fork.

4. When squash is cool enough to handle, use a soup to scrape it into your food processor. Puree in batches until smooth.

5. Pour in 1 cup increments (I eyeball it out) into freezer bags. Label, date and freeze flat. Use in your favorite recipes (and soon to be faves!).

Squash Soup 1: Coconut and Lemon grass

We have a bumper crop of this gorgeous heirloom squash called Galeux d’Eysines. The name means “embroidered with warts from Eysines (a small town in France). ” These warts are actually produced from the sugar in the squash.
Mike grew squash because we eat it often-roasted, on salad greens and in soups. I made this fabulous Coconut and Lemon grass soup last week–the perfect transition from Summer to Fall. The coconut and lemon grass are reminiscent of a tropical, beach-y meal. There is nothing more “Fall” than creamy smooth squash.
While I used our Galeux d’Eysines, you can use any variety of winter squash or pumpkin for this soup. To make your life easy, pick up a package of pre-cut and peeled butternut squash in the produce department.
Lemon grass add a light citrus flavor to the soup, balancing the richness of the coconut milk and squash. You can find fresh lemon grass in the produce department. Find a great guide on the use of lemon grass here. I could not find fresh lemon grass, but found prepared lemon grass, in a tube, in the produce department at Wegmans. Use either option–although the tube option is quick and easy to use!
This soup cooks quick and freezes great. The recipe below serves 4. Serve with some garlic Naan or a baguette.

The ingredients:

3 cups squash–peeled, cut into 2-3″ chunks (any variety, butternut, acorn, pumpkin)

1 tablespoon EVOO
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 shallot, diced
1 whole jalapeno
1 inch of fresh ginger root, peeled and diced
1-2 stalks of fresh lemon grass, yellow/fleshy section, chopped OR 2 tablespoons of prepared lemon grass (in a tube, source: Wegman’s produce department)
15 oz can of coconut milk
Fresh cilantro
Get soup-y
Preheat oven to 400F. Place squash chunks in a large baking dish, toss with olive oil and salt/pepper.
Bake for 30 minutes or until it is soft, with some brown caramelized edges.
After squash is cooked, remove form oven and put aside.
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large pot. Add to butter shallots and ginger, cooking over medium heat and stirring constantly for 2-3 minutes until shallots are translucent and ginger is fragrant.
Add WHOLE jalapeno and lemon grass, stir. Cook 2-3 more minutes.
Add cooked squash, stir.
De-glaze the pan with can of coconut milk and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil.
Cover and reduce heat. Simmer for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove jalapeno.
Using an immersion blender, puree in pot until smooth. Or, puree in a blender in batches.
Top with fresh cilantro and serve immediately.

Pattypan Squash and Zucchini butter bake

The thing I love most about squash is the variety. There are hundreds of varieties. My first favorite has always been acorn squash–cut in half and baked with butter, salt and pepper, until it melts. Or butternut squash roasted and made into a smooth, hearty soup. And then there is spaghetti squash–which is divine when prepared like pasta.
My new farmer’s market find is the Pattypan squash. I’ve seen this little summer squashes before the grocery store–typically about an inch in diameter. The pattypan squash I found was gigantic in comparison; about 5 inches across. It sat in my refrigerator while I obsessed about what to do with it. One crazy Wednesday night (Lily has horseback riding and then I teach), I came up with this delicious butter bake as a side dish for vegetarian sloppy joes (Morning Star crumbles plus sloppy joe sauce).
This recipe is so easy and the squash melts like butter in your mouth. Feel free to substitute any summer squash and to use whatever herbs you have on hand.
The goods:
1 medium to large Patty pan Squash or a handful of small patty pan squash, sliced thin
1 small zucchini, sliced thin
4 tablespoons ghee or melted butter
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
kosher salt

black pepper
3 tablespoons fresh herbs–parsley, chives, basil and cilantro
The cooking:
Preheat oven to 400F.
In a baking dish, begin layering as follows:
Pattypan & Zucchini, (to cover the bottom of the pan)
a sprinkle of garlic
a tablespoon of herbs
a tablespoon-ish of butter
Keep layering and top with any remaining butter.
Bake for 20 minutes (or until soft and buttery).