Wednesday, December 14, 2011

What's for Dinner?

Today's recipe is kind of fancy and long but that's because I have an eye on the holidays.  I'm not sure if you have traditional holiday fare, but have you ever done home-made pasta?  It's very delicious and really fun. If that's not exactly your thing, but you'd like more of that home-made flavor, then wonton wrappers are just the thing for you!  Don't be intimidated by the ingredient list or all of the steps.  Trader Joe's and Costco sell already chopped up butternut squash.  If this filling isn't appealing to you, make up your own or try this one. Whatever you find yourself eating, Happy Holidays and Bon Appetit!

Butternut Squash Ravioli with Brown Butter Sage
Giada De Laurentiis, serves 4-6

2 lbs. cubed butternut squash (3 c)
2 T olive oil, plus 2 T
1 1/2 t herbs de Provence or other seasonings
1/2 salt and 1/4 t pepper
2 shallots, chopped (1/2 c)
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 c ricotta cheese
4 small amaretti cookies, crushed (I think these are delicious but optional)
1/4 t ground nutmeg
1 package small wonton wrappers

3/4 c butter
2 T fresh torn sage leaves
1/2 c toasted walnuts, chopped
1/2 c dried cranberries or cherries or a mixture
1/4 t salt and 1/4 t pepper
1/3 c grated Parmesan

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. On a foil-lined baking sheet, mix butternut squash, 2 T olive oil, herbs de Provence, salt and pepper. Bake until soft and golden, 25 minutes.  Meanwhile, heat 2 T olive oil in small pan and cook shallots and garlic until lightly golden, 3 minutes.  In a food processor, combine the roasted squash, shallot mixture, and the ricotta cheese. Pulse a few times to blend. Add amaretti cookies, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Pulse until smooth.  Filling can be made one day ahead.

Lay out 6 wonton skins, keeping remaining skins in wrapper. Place 1 T of squash filling into the middle of each skin.  Using your finger or a pastry brush, dip in water and wet the edges of the wonton skin.  Gently fold wrapper into a triangle, making sure edges are securely closed without air pockets.  Dampen two bottom corners of the longest side of the triangle and gently bring them together forming the tortellini.  Place them on a baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap.  Continue making tortellini until all the filling is used up, drying work surface to keep the wrappers from sticking.  At this point, you can freeze the tortellini on a baking sheet and then transfer to a bag and freeze for up to 6 months.  To cook frozen tortellini, toss into salted boiling water and cook for about 4 minutes.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  For the sauce, melt the butter in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat.  Add the sage, walnuts, cranberries and let cook until the butter starts to brown, about 3 minutes.  Turn off the heat and season to taste with salt and pepper and stir to combine.  Gently place the tortellini into the boiling water and gently stir. Cook for about 3 minutes or until they begin to float.  Remove tortellini with a slotted spoon to a serving platter. Top with the brown butter sauce, sprinkle with Parmesan and enjoy.

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