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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Butternut Squash and Ricotta Ravioli

One day Charles came home from work and told me that he had eaten butternut squash for lunch and that he really liked it. Well he probably said that he thought it was nice - Brits talk about food differently. Anyway, he wanted to know if I could make him squash. I said yes. Then he said, that he likes butternut squash without the nuts. The squash he had didn't have any nuts, so they must have been taken out. In my head I debated whether I should a) explain that there are no nuts in squash or b) let him think I slaved over a meal by taking nuts out of butternut squash.

My favorite butternut squash meal is my friend John's butternut squash ravioli that he makes from scratch - pasta and all. I look forward to having it every year at our Friendsgiving (which is the Thanksgiving edition of our weekly Sunday Night Dinners). I don't have the supplies needed to make pasta from scratch yet, and I don't really have that much time on my hands either. So this is my version of butternut and ricotta ravioli. I use fresh lasagna sheets instead of making the pasta from scratch to cut down on the prep time.

You will need:
2 cups roasted butternut squash (cut in half, remove seeds, bake at 350 degrees with a drizzle of butter, after 45 minutes finish by sautéing in 2 tablespoons butter and 1/4 cup brown sugar to caramelize - simmer for 5 minutes) make ahead or let chill.
1 cup ricotta cheese (you can use part skim)
1 package fresh lasagna sheets (must be fresh pasta - can be found at Whole Foods)
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
Parmesan to sprinkle on top
Flour to dust countertop to prevent pasta from sticking
Serves 4

Step 1
Combine squash and ricotta

Step 2
Carefully remove the lasagna sheets from the packaging. Take 1 sheet and run it under hot water for 20 seconds or so. You want any flour (used to prevent the sheets from sticking) to wash off, and you want the pasta to get sticky again. Once the pasta is sticky, place it on the floured countertop.

Step 3
Assemble the ravioli. Place teaspoons of the filling 2 inches apart and 1 inch from the edges. Then fold the pasta over. Cut in between the raviolis. Press the edges with your fingers, removing any air bubbles, and then seal edges with a fork.

Step 4
You can either freeze the ravioli - or cook it. Cook in boiling water for about 3 minutes or until the ravioli floats. While the ravioli is cooking, combine equal parts butter and brown sugar until just melted. Top the cooked ravioli with the brown sugar sauce and a sprinkle of parmesan.

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