Tag Archives: butternut squash

Homemade Butternut Squash-filled Ravioli with Creamy Basil Sauce

30 Aug

Today felt like a Monday. It just had the miserable undertones of the start of a week. I blame this on my staunch efforts at being on class on time at 8am…and after sitting on a crowded, hot light rail, I walk to the classroom and see the “class canceled” sign. GRRRRRRR. Ah well.

I’m quite fortunate to have a loving spouse (N) who is so supportive of my strange fascination with photographing food and gladly assists me with my cooking when he can! While I was at work, perusing foodgawker and answering the occasional reference question, I remembered we had a butternut squash sitting on the counter. N cut it up and threw it in the oven to roast while on my way home. I’ve been wanting to try making ravioli since I got the pasta roller and finally, I succeeded!

For the pasta, I followed the recipe I used for homemade spinach pasta, except of course, I didn’t use spinach. And didn’t have WW pastry flour. Or semolina. Or vegetable stock. Here’s what I DID use:

Flat Noodles for Ravioli (or lasagna, perhaps?)

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup liquid (water or stock)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • (optional) 1 tsp of your favorite sweetener, i.e. honey, agave, maple syrup, etc
  • Garlic powder, onion powder
  • Dash of salt/pepper
Mix all dry ingredients together. Slowly work the liquids in until dough begins pulling away from sides of bowl (you may have to add more water–I added a few tbsps more). Dough should be firm, just barely tacky and not overly sticky or soft. Divide into even amounts (I just grabbed two globs at a time and made them feel even in my hands). Roll through a pasta roller, but do not roll too thin, otherwise the ravioli won’t be able to handle your filling and might fall apart. And that would be devastating! Set the sheets on a well-floured surface. Spoon your desired filling by the teaspoonful onto a sheet. I was able to spoon about 6 blobs onto each pasta sheet. Take the second pasta sheet and gently lay on top of the blob-filled pasta sheet. GENTLY press the top sheet down around the blobs and seal. I didn’t use any water, but I hear this is a good way to make a solid seal. I have a handy pasta cutting tool that made the fun crinkles around the edges of the ravioli, but it isn’t necessary. Use a sharp knife to cut the ravioli and if you’re feeling fancy, use fork tines to make pretty edges. Let the ravioli sit for a few minutes and bring a pot of salted water to boil. The pasta only needs a couple of minutes to cook, so make sure your sauce is ready!


Now, the filling. My filling was not a huge hit. I wasn’t a fan. I think my butternut squash was a bit old and just tasted…funky. Everything else in this dish was great…except for the filling. So sad! But, live and learn. I will improve next time! So, the only advice I have for you: be creative! Fill the ravioli with whatever your heart desires! Be indulgent and controversial! Savory & sweet! Yum.

The creamy basil sauce was super easy and quick to whip up. I am truly in love with using raw cashewsfor cream sauces! So easy, way healthier than heavy cream and full of healthy fats! It went really well with the sharp flavor of fresh tomatoes. The cream sauce came together as such:

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked for a few hours
  • A few handfuls of fresh basil
  • Your favorite alternative milk (I used almond milk)
  • Olive oil
  • Heaping tablespoons of minced garlic
  • Salt/pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a saucepan and saute the minced garlic. Toss in the basil, stir and wilt. In a blender, throw in the raw cashews, add salt+pepper and the ingredients that were in the saucepan. Blend on high, slowly adding milk until you get the desired consistency for the sauce. Pour everything back into the saucepan and heat. DONE! Easy. You can do this. It turns out to be a lovely puke green color that I enjoy incorporating into as many food dishes as possible.

This is definitely a meal that you start making when you’re not hungry. I, unfortunately, was hungry during this entire process, so I may have rushed some things and the ravioli turned out to look a little mutant and lopsided. BUT IT HAS GREAT PERSONALITY. WHICH IS ALL THAT MATTERS. RIGHT. RIGHT?! 😉

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Butternut Squash Gnocchi with a Creamy (Cashew) Rosemary/Garlic Sauce

18 Aug

The only things getting me through the day today were coffee and the thought that I will be heading to Palisade, Colorado this weekend and then running the Warrior Dash on Sunday! Super excited for Palisade because this weekend is the Palisade Peach festival and Palisade is known for their orchards and vineyards. Looking forward to sipping on some wine and unwinding a bit. Even though I was thoroughly tired after getting home from work, I was in the mood to make something that would be satisfying and make me feel accomplished!

I’ve made gnocchi quite a few times in the past, sometimes without much success. Not the easiest dish to make, but I can’t get enough of those fluffy clouds of goodness. Making gnocchi really makes me want to buy a potato ricer…definitely a good thing to have. My gnocchi have always been made with the very basic of ingredients: potatoes, salt, flour and a bit of oil. Tonight? Butternut squash was on the menu. I love the color! There was also a hint of sweetness in the gnocchi, so it could definitely go well with a variety of sauces.

Creamy Cashew Rosemary/Garlic Sauce

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked for a few hours
  • Garlic powder, dried rosemary, onion powder
  • Water!

Drain the cashews. Place everything in a high-quality blender and blend to desired consistency. Mine was super thick, should have added more water. Use vegetable stock for extra flavor instead of water. Warm up in a saucepan and add whatever flavors you like! Another approach to this would be to make a roux, bechamel or mornay sauce to go with this dish. Simple white sauces are amazingly versatile!

Butternut Squash Gnocchi

  • 1 Medium Butternut Squash, halved
  • Salt+Pepper to taste
  • A few sprinkles of garlic powder
  • All-purpose flour

Bake butternut squash at 375 degrees until soft (this takes awhile, about 40 minutes). Scoop soft squash and spices into a blender and and blend until thick and pasty. Place the squash paste into a large bowl and begin working flour into it. I don’t have an exact measurement, since I just kept adding flour until it had the correct consistency. You want the dough to be soft and smooth, not dry nor sticky. Let dough rest for a few minutes.

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Take a small hunk of the dough and roll it into a thin, round tube. Cut into 1/2″ long bits. Using a fork, smoosh the gnocchi into fun shapes. Experiment! Who cares if it’s authentic or traditional! Make bunny heads or stars! 😉 Make the gnocchi in small batches. Place in boiling water and when they float to the top, they are done! Fish them out with a slotted spoon and set aside. Top with tasty sauce of your choice!

 

obligatory schnozz action.

I made my gnocchi quite large and beefy, so they were more chewy than fluffy. Still filling and delicious! I served this with fresh heirloom roma tomatoes that I picked from the garden today. It’s true–vegetables/fruits that you grow yourself taste so much better.

Not sure if I will be able to post tomorrow since I have much to do before leaving, so have a great weekend everyone! Cook some good things while I’m gone…

Roasted Butternut Squash & Carrot Soup

29 Jul

Happy Friday everyone! Another week gone, another week closer to school beginning (the library will be much less rowdy once the kids have something to occupy their time!) I have three butternut squash that have been staring at me from the dark corners of my kitchen counter for a week…and now there’s two. It’s always a daunting task to get the squash ready to go and cook because it’s such a pain to cut! I’ve made this soup before by chopping (and fighting with) the squash before roasting, but I recently read this great article on butternut squash that said that roasting the squash when just cut in half keeps more of the flavor in! How brilliant. If you want to learn more about this great, versatile squash, I do highly recommend the article. Onto the recipe!

Yum! Loving the smooth, lightly sweet texture of this thick soup.

Roasted Butternut Squash & Carrot Soup

  • 1 butternut squash, cut in half lengthwise
  • A couple handfuls of baby carrots, cut in half lengthwise
  • Canola oil
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Salt/Pepper
  • Vegetable stock (low sodium so you can control the taste of your dish!) 🙂

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Prepare your vegetables by rubbing them (or tossing them) with some canola oil (a few tablespoons should be fine) and your favorite spices! When coated well, place veggies on a roasting pan or baking sheet and pop into the oven…for awhile. Be sure to watch the carrots since they will probably be done before the squash. My squash took about 45+ minutes to get nice and soft. Just poke at them every so often until a fork can easily pierce their flesh (how morbid!)

Get thee to the blender! Place the nicely roasted veggies in the blender and slowly add vegetable stock until desired consistency (thick and smooth!) Taste! Good? EAT.

Notes:

  • I definitely would like to make an even CREAMIER version of this (if that’s even possible) using cashew milk…I’m just so fascinated by the many uses of soaked raw nuts!
  • Roast some other tasty root vegetables with the butternut squash in order to get richer flavors (i.e. elephant garlic, squash, sweet potatoes, etc)
  • For a sweet instead of savory soup, use cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and a couple tablespoons of your favorite sweetener (agave nectar, maple syrup, etc).

So much to be looking forward to this weekend! Tomorrow is a trip to the zoo with my dear sister and then off to the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival. I really hope it’s as amazing as it sounds! I’ll be taking lots of pictures, of course. Hope everyone has a great weekend!