27 November 2006

Ravioli, Sans Pasta

Roasted Butternut Squash Purée with Caramelized Onion, Goat Cheese and Sage

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.


aria said...

mmmm, that sounds so delicious! theres just something about roasted butternut squash that really gets me too. i can just tell this recipe is wonderful.

Kate said...

I really, really love squash in any form, shape, size or function. To heck with pasta.....gimme squash!

Julie said...

Wow, that really does sound fantastic! I bet the goat cheese is a good counterpoint to the sweetness of the squash.

Great picture too.

Dakiwiboid said...

That sounds seriously delicious! I could eat a whole bowlful of that!

Shannon said...

Oh yum. Now I have to run to Stanley's Veggie Market after school tomorrow to pick up a squash. And some sage and onion. Mmmm...

Oh, you know, I think we met many moons ago back when you were at DePaul. Actually, I think I looked at your apartment at one point when you were looking for a roommate. (You were in classes with my ex, Jim.)

Erielle said...

Aria, it really is wonderful. Try it, you'll be hooked!

Kate, the pasta is definitely unnecessary!

Thanks Julie. Yes, the goat cheese does balance the tastes. And it goes especially well with the caramelized onion flavor.

Dakiwiboid, go for it! It's easy to make and easy to eat!

Shannon, I love Stanley's! I wish I lived closer to it. They have everything.
And yes, I know you! I remember you from the DePaul days. That's crazy. What a small world.
I've been enjoying your blog and your writings about the GF diet. That must be hard, but it sounds like you are doing very well with it.

J said...

Oh boy, I'm definately making this one!

beenzzz said...

My parents grow an inordinate amount of squash in the summer. We are always looking for squash recipes. This one looks wonderful!

Lisa said...

Yum is right! I made this a couple of nights ago and it was delicious. The garlic, cheese and rosemary (I didn't have sage) set off the sweetness of the squash very nicely.

I had some left over so I added some more cheese, stuffed them into filo cups and topped them with toasted pecan pieces. Another winner!

Erielle said...

J, you won't be disappointed.

Beenzzz, I would love to grow squash sometime. I would eat this everyday!

Lisa, oooooooooooh, I love the idea of putting it in flaky pastry dough. Did you buy the cups pre-made or did you form the dough into cups yourself? I will have to try that. Yum!

Lisa said...

I would love to say that I carefully craft the filo cups by hand (and I just might, some day), but I don't. I buy them frozen in 15 packs at my local grocery store. Just the thing to make random bits festive and tasty.

Lisa said...

I have tagged this; I must make it ASAP! Wow does it sound delish. I love butternut squash, but I'm not too fond of putting sweet spices with it, and sugar. So this recipe is most welcome.

Erielle said...

Lisa ( there are 2 different Lisa's that posted, first I will write to the Lisa that ingeniously put the squash in the filo dough), thanks for informing me that I don't have to frustrate myself working with filo dough, that I can just buy frozen cups. No one has to know I didn't form them myself, right?

Lisa of Champaign Taste, I agree with you about squash being misrepresented when sugar and sweet spices are added to it. You will enjoy this recipe most deliciously!

Shannon said...

oh wow. I just made this for dinner. SO good. I only used one onion because I only had these huge sweet onions. It is amazing. So creamy and sweet. I am going to make it again in about a month when I am entertaining. I'm thinking it would make a nice dip served with pita chips. A different alternative to hummos.