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Archive for the ‘Ravioli’ Category

It’s winter squash season!!!! There are SO MANY delicious kinds of winter squash and so many ways to cook them that it’s almost overwhelming. Almost enough, even, to not rue the fact that if you live anywhere other than California, that’s pretty much all you’re going to get at the farmer’s market until next May.

Heat, Bill Buford’s book about his Italian cooking journey from Babbo in New York to the Tuscan countryside, filled my head with delusions of hand-rolled pasta and thoughts of a plate of pumpkin ravioli with radicchio sauce I had in Florence over 10 years ago. Which is an insane and thoroughly unrealistic standard to set. I mean, I’m Asian. I’m not some fleshsome Italian grandma who’s been pressing pasta w/ her orecchiete thumb since birth.

But I’d shlepped 4 orange kabochas down from the farm and I figured I’d give ravioli a shot. Now, in Heat, there is a brief mention of some recipe for ravioli di zucca in which the squash is grated and then stewed in milk. This is intriguing because it seems gratuitously fiddly. Winter squash is great because all you have to do is cut it in half, brush it with oil and throw it in the oven. And you can even skip the oil part if you’re feeling really lazy. So why on earth would you make the process so painstaking?

Needless to say, I just couldn’t bring myself to muscle down in front of the grater for hours and shred my own fingers into the ravioli filling. Instead, I halved each squash, removed the seeds and then baked them semi-submerged in milk at 350 – just because I had some sitting around in the fridge and thought, what the hell. Once the squash was baked through (about 45 mins), I scooped the innards out, added 1 1/2 cups of grated parmesan, a dash of salt and nutmeg and mixed it all together.

I rolled my pasta out, cut it into 2×2 squares and put about half a tablespoon of filling in. Then, while the ravioli were cooking, I minced some leeks, shredded up some chard and sauteed the lot in butter.

Tada! Ravioli. Not pretty, not perfect and definitely not the way the Tuscan mountain people make it, but not too shabby. Even if I did cheat and add what is probably a sacrilegious amount of olive oil into the dough so it would behave.

Can’t wait to use the leftover filling in a sauce…

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