27 November 2006
Ravioli, Sans Pasta
Oh, golden and luxurious ravioli filling, I hereby elevate your status from ‘filling’ to ‘side dish.’ By means of this declaration, you may finally rid yourself of the confines of your bland pasta encasements and bask in your own squishy squashy glory. Your epicurean rank now is equal to that of mashed potatoes and creamed corn.
So...I hope I am not being lazy when I make homemade ravioli and leave out the ravioli. It’s just that I’m not good at making homemade pasta. I’m much better at helping my friends make homemade pasta, which means that I lovingly turn the crank of the pasta machine with one hand and hold a wine glass (more lovingly) in the other hand. Friends, whilst you slave over piles of eggy flour and clumps of sticky, uncooked ravioli, I sit at the kitchen island spooning velvety mouthfuls of squash into my mouth when your backs are turned.
Since that joyful November evening during which when I ‘helped’ my friends make ravioli, I have made this ravioli filling twice as a side. It stands on its own, splendidy, and has the potential to surpass your main course.
Roasted Butternut Squash Purée with Caramelized Onion, Goat Cheese and Sage
~adapted from Butternut Squash Ravioli Recipe at epicurious.com
1.5 pounds of butternut squash
2 tablespoons butter
2 onions, diced
1 clove garlic, pressed through garlic press
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1-2 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped finely
3 oz. goat cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees faranheit.
Cut the squash into two halves and scrape out the seeds. Discard seeds (or save for garnish).
Place the squash cut side down onto a baking sheet. Bake for about an hour, until the squash is tender and easily pierced with a fork.
Set aside to cool
Meanwhile, prepare the onions by cooking them over medium-low heat in the butter for about twenty-five minutes. Add the sage and garlic about halfway through the cooking time. When the onions are soft, dark, and caramelized, take them off the heat and stir in the goat cheese.
When the squash has cooled, scrape the flesh into a bowl.
Add the onion mixture.
Using a hand mixture, blend the squash and onions until smooth and creamy. Alternatively, use a food processor.
Season to taste.