Valentine Recipe: Heart-Shaped Butternut Squash Ravioli with Seductive Sage-Marsala Brown Butter Recipe


Ingredients

Ravioli:
1 butternut squash (yield 2 1/2 cups cooked squash), halved lengthwise, seeds and fibers removed
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup amaretti (almond) cookies (4 single cookies, available at Italian grocery stores)
1/2 cup fresh ricotta
1 egg yolk
2 sage leaves, chiffonade
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons kosher salt
96 wonton wrappers to make 48 ravioli

Sauce:
1/2 cup Marsala wine
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 fresh sage leaves

Garnish (optional):
20 sage leaves, leave whole
1 cup canola oil
1/4 cup toasted hazelnuts, skins removed, and coarsely chopped

Methods/Steps

Make Filling: Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Roast squash, with pulp touching the pan, in a lightly oiled oven-proof sauté pan, until a knife inserted into the thickest part encounters no resistance, about 1 hour. Remove squash and set pan aside for deglazing later. Let squash cool slightly and scoop 2 1/2 cups of flesh from shell – save remaining squash for another use. In the bowl of a food processor, blend squash, breadcrumbs, amaretti, ricotta, egg yolk, sage, nutmeg and salt until smooth. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a circle tip.

Assemble Ravioli: Lay won tons on your work surface. Use a heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut the won tons into hearts, or use a pastry cutting tool to free-hand cut heart shapes. Pipe a teaspoonful of filling onto the wrapper. Spray won ton lightly with water. Lay another won ton top and press around the edges to seal. Make sure the edges are firmly sealed and transfer to a sheet pan covered with parchment or wax paper. Repeat to make 48 ravioli.

Cook Sauce: Heat the sauté pan leftover from roasting the squash over medium-high heat. Pour in the Marsala and use a deglazing spatula to remove the crusty bits off the bottom of the pan. Add the butter, salt and sage. Simmer, stirring until the butter is lightly browned. Remove sage and discard. Set butter sauce aside.

Fry Garnish (optional): In a small sauté pan, heat canola oil until the oil starts to ripple. Drop whole sage leaves in the oil and fry until crisp and still green, about 10-15 seconds. Remove from oil and let drain on a paper towel. Set aside. If not already toasted, toast the hazelnuts on a cookie sheet in a 375ºF oven until golden and aromatic.

Cook Pasta: Meanwhile, in a large pot of heavily salted boiling water, cook the ravioli in batches until tender but firm to the bite, about 5-10 minutes. When the water returns to a boil and the ravioli floats to the top, test for doneness.

Additional Tips

Serve: With a slotted spoon, transfer to a warmed platter, toss gently with butter sauce and garnish with fried sage leaves and chopped hazelnuts.

Serves/Makes

Makes 48 ravioli

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