Wednesday, September 28, 2011

"Bring Me A Body Bag, Because I'm Gonna Die Happy*" Ravioli (Recipe)

Like my title?  I was waffling between the "bring the body bag" or maybe "Sign The DNR FIRST" Ravioli.  Either way -- wowza.

I asked my husband to buy a squash when he went to the store, and he came home with a butternut squash.  Big, beige, kind of shaped like a ... shoe? Or a lightbulb?  Anyway, it had a sticker on, and it read "butternut squash," so I knew what was going on there.

Then I googled "Butternut Squash Recipes," and found many soups.  Hm, thought I.  Soup?  I love pumpkin soup, so maybe....  But then I saw "Butternut Squash Ravioli in Sage Butter."  Tap. Tap. Tap.  Know what that is?  The sound of the nails on the coffin.  oh yeah.

I cut it in half (as suggested in recipes) longways, saw the seeds were there, and I scraped them out like you would with a pumpkin.  [I momentarily debated cleaning and roasting them, but dismissed the idea as difficult and annoying.]
Pulled out a big rectangular roasting pan.  Some of the recipes called for the squash halves to be placed in cut-side-down, some cut-side-up.  I did what any good Democrat would do:  one of each.  The one that was cut-side-up, I rubbed the cut side with some oil to prevent drying out.  Olive oil, since it was the first oil I found in the cabinet.

Into the squash-ful pan, I put enough water to fill to about an inch.  (Would have been easier to just say "an inch of water," but I'm going with it anyway.)

Put in a preheated 350F oven.  Most recipes suggested 30-50 minutes, so -- guess what I did?  You DO know me, don't you?

At 40 minutes, I pulled the pan out and forked it a few times (poked).  I am not gonna lie to you here.  It farted.  Seriously.  I poked the cut-side-down one and heard a distinct FlrRRRRrP! from the squash.

I know.

Well, one half was pretty forkable, and one was still a bit resilient, so I popped the pan back on in for another 10 or so minutes.  When I tried to flip the pieces over with my fork (no gas this time), they just kind of broke off of the fork, so they were definitely done.

I poured off the water (and pretty much dumped half of the squash into the (thankfully clean) sink -- so don't do like I did) and turned them both cut side up.  With a dishtowel, I held on to the halves and scooped out the innards.  This was easy-peasy.  Like buttah.  Actually, kind of like avocado in texture.  whatevs.

Now, I was also making soup, so half of the squash went into the soup (recipe someday soon), but the other half I tossed in a bowl and cooled in the fridge.

Next day, I made the BMABBBIGDH* Ravioli
It was insanely easy.  No, really -- it was.  I saw you just roll your eyes in a "I hate you, you Martha-Stewart -wanna-be beeyotch" way.  And really.  I did this in the 20 minutes between flute lessons.

Get a pot of water boiling

scoop maybe 1/2 cup of squash innards into a medium/small bowl.  (we're making just a few right now -- feel free to double, but you'll be sorry if you do because you'll eat them ALL and then will feel like a sow.  don't say I didn't try to stop you)
Scoop in 1/2 cup ricotta cheese.
Add maybe 1/4 cup of a good strong hard shredded cheese (for a sec, you thought I was talking dirty, didn't you?).  Like parmesan or Romano.  I used a great gouda, but it would have been better had the cheese been stronger.
Add a little salt, a bit more pepper than salt, and?
A pinch of nutmeg.  FROM AN ACTUAL NUTMEG.  You wanna feel like a foodie?  Get yourself some whole nutmegs.  Totally cheap!  They kind of look like big acorns.  You use your super awesome microplane grater OR just scrape a knife back and forth on it to make little nutmeg dust.  THIS WILL MAKE YOUR FRIENDS LOVE YOU MORE.

Mush your cheese/squash innards/spice mix up until nice and smooth.  Taste it.  Alter to taste.

Grab your EGGROLL or WONTON wrappers (I shoulda used fresh pasta sheets, but shut up.  I only had 20 minutes).  WET them entirely all over one side.  Then -- for eggroll wrappers, put 2 walnut-sized (or a bit smaller) blobs of the filling on the lower half of the wrapper (separated).  Fold the wrapper over to cover them.
Press gently around the blobs (I suggest starting from between them) to seal up.  If you should make a crack or something, wet that spot, wait a sec, then try to pinch it together. Cut them down the middle (on the sealed part between the blops) with a pizza cutter (separating the two ravioli).  Check the seals and press more if needed.

Drop them maybe 4 at a time into the boiling water.
Boil for about 3 minutes.  Stir them around just a bit so they don't get stuck. Scoop out with a slotted spoon. I laid mine on some paper towels, because?  BUTTER SAUCE.

In a little pan, heat some butter (or I guess olive oil) and some FRESH SAGE.  From your garden.  That stuff is easy to grow.  I actually drove my lawnmower over mine TWICE this summer (by accident) and it came back like the next day.  Plant some.
I used about 5 leaves of sage (more is better, I think), which I used my scissors on to make little bits.

Cook the butter/sage until it starts smelling insanely good and the butter begins to brown (a couple of minutes, tops).  Then just either plate up your raviolis and dump sauce on top, or do what I did and dump the raviolis into the pot with the butter and roll them around for a second.


And I TOLD you not to make so many.  Didn't I?  DIDN"T I?  Don't blame me.

Total time (including standing at the sink, snarfing them down) about 20 minutes.

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