Sunday, December 6, 2009

Butternut squash ravioli with pomegranate sauce

On a whim, I decided to get all gourmet and stuff yesterday and this was the result. Inspired, if I do say so myself. I'm going to have to do more experimentation with exotic fruits, they're super-cheap out here.

So, first: the pomegranate sauce. The best way to de-seed a pomegranate is in a bowl of water--the seeds float to the bottom, the membrane floats to the top, nothing gets stained. I de-seeded two big poms and pureed them in the food processor, then squeezed the remains through cheesecloth to get 2-3 cups of pom juice. Then I added about a cup and a half of brown sugar and a couple tablespoons of black pepper to that, and cooked it down over low heat for about an hour until it reduced by at least half.

The ravioli filling: I roasted two big butternut squash at 375 for about an hour; cut them in half, de-seed them, then place in a roasting dish with a little oil cut-side up. Coat the exposed side with a little oil, cover the whole thing with foil. When done, let cool, then scrape out the insides and add ricotta cheese, a little curry powder, and a little grated parmesan.

The ravioli themselves: for the dough, add 5 to 6 eggs to three and a half cups of flour. You can mix it by hand or whiz in the food processor for 15-20 seconds. Knead until smooth and elastic, then divide into four pieces and let rest for half an hour. I rolled out the dough using my handy pasta roller KitchenAid attachment; but you can also do it by hand, with a rolling pin. When you've rolled out all the dough to the desired thickness, place a tablespoon of filling for each square, fold the other half of the dough sheet back over, and cut out the ravioli squares. Let rest again.

To assemble: place the ravioli in boiling water just until they float, then finish by sauteing in a little butter. Place 4-5 ravioli per plate, cover with pom sauce, and crumble a little goat cheese and chopped fresh parsley over the lot. Sprinkle with reserved pom seeds. Serve with a nice California zinfandel, light some candles, and have a gourmet restaurant experience right in your own living room. You can even make your boyfriend do the dishes for you, completing the gourmet restaurant experience.

It sounds like a lot of work, and really, it is a fair amount. It's not something you want to tackle unless you have the better part of an afternoon free. But it was so worth it. Every time I get about halfway through the fresh pasta-making procedure, I think, "Why am I doing this?" Then I eat it, and I remember why.

Butternut Squash on FoodistaButternut Squash

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