Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Butternut Squash Ravioli!

Ok, so tonight I didn't make the soup I thought I'd make. I got home later than expected and instead picked up a Pho soup for my sickly wife. The kiddo got some other leftovers thrown at her so I could start on something I've been excited about all day. Butternut squash ravioli.

Probably one of my fave pasta dishes, which isn't saying much since I'm not a big pasta fan anyway. Regardless, what makes this my fave dish is the combination of savory, sweet and spicy. What's spicy you ask? 

Candied habanero pecans! 

To make these, set the oven to 375. While its warming up get two bowls ready. One full of water and one with your spice mixture. I used brown sugar and habanero powder. (I bought this ages ago and use it for EVERYTHING!)

Put the pecans in the water and then one at a time dip them top and bottom in the powder and lay evenly on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Repeat until your left eye twitches and the sheet is full. 

Then bake for about 5 minutes. They will bubble and look totally gnarly, but don't fret. Once they've cooked and cooled carefully pick each one up and place on "clean" parchment paper. I transfer them to one side and then fold the paper in and use the back. Once they're cooled, jar them and pretend that it was easy. 

Now on to the pasta. First the ravioli shell!

Add 3 cups of semolina flour, 6 tsp of olive oil, 1 & 1/2 cups of room temp water and a dash of salt. Mix the dough and when it's done wrap in a tea towel and set aside for 30 minutes. 

While you're waiting on that make your filling, or the guts as I like to call it. I cheated and had pre-cut butternut squash. Few things anger me like trying to cut up a whole squash. Then add onions and carrots and boil. Once they're boiled, drain and immersion blend the heck out of it. Then in a small pan add some olive oil, minced garlic and nutmeg. Once it's all cooked nicely add into the butternut mix and stir. Now your guts are done! 

They should look like this:

Now back to the dough. Unwrap it and roll it out on a well floured surface. Then use a cookie cutter, or well floured cup edge to cut your ravioli.  I used a scalloped edge cookie cutter for my shape. 

It should look like this:

Once the sheet is done, get a roll of tin foil and some vegetable spray handy. This will be your friend/nemesis for the next hour and a half. Break off a piece of tinfoil about 8 inches long. Spray a "line" of vegetable oil. Take one of your shapes, add a small spoonful of guts, put a top on, crimp the edges with a fork and voila! You have your first ravioli. Now place it on the veggie spray and repeat until suicidal, or until all of the dough and guts are gone. You will need a new sheet of tin foil every 3 pieces. The pecans don't look so bad now, do they? DO THEY?! Sorry. It's been a long night. 

If you've managed to stay with me, your pasta should look like this:

Wrap the pasta up nicely, don't give into the urge to smash it to the ground. Just place it gently stacked into the freezer and let it freeze. (Even if you do wish it would burn in hell instead.) 

I digress...

Now you have pasta! All that's missing is a simple tomato basil sauce. I didn't make that. But in theory to construct the most delicious meal follow these steps:

1. Boil pasta until it floats. Then strain.
2. Top with tomato basil pasta sauce.
3. Add some spiced candied pecans.
4. Die and go to heaven.

No clever sign off, I'm just out. Toodles!

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