The Empty Fridge is a monthly series where we challenge that formidable void and make the best of what's on hand. Join us each month for a new installment, and feel free to share your empty fridge recipes in the comments for this post!
Up this month: Butternut Ravioli
Well, it's been a while since I've battled the beast. That's not to say my fridge hasn't seen its empty days, but lately, my schedule has necessitated take out rather than taking on any new challenges. It seems that recently, every time I come upon a lack of provisions, it's at the end of a long day where my brain is mush and my hands are limp. This week was no different except. . .
. . . for the smallest spark of will power.
So, I fueled that spark with every piece of tinder I could find and forged forward. I picked up the squash that had been sitting idly on my counter for weeks. I grabbed some sage off the somewhat neglected pot of herbs that's definitely seen better days. I felt gratitude for the cheese shelf in my fridge that is seldom bare, and. . .
. . . I made butternut squash ravioli with a brown butter sage and walnuts.
Not only were the results delicious, but the process of mashing squash seemed to un-mush my brain.
Thank you empty fridge for forcing my out of my rut.
Butternut Squash Ravioli with Brown Butter Sage and Walnuts
- 1.5 cups all purpose flour
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1-2 tablespoons water
- 1 medium/small butternut squash
- 1 shallot (minced)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 4 tablespoons half and half
- 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- 5 tablespoons butter
- 1 bunch of sage
- 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
- Parmesan cheese (for topping)
Heat the oven to 375. Slice your squash and remove the seeds. Place the halves cut side down and roast until tender (30-45 minutes).
While the squash is roasting, make the dough. Mix 2 eggs, the flour, and salt with a fork until combined (or pop them in a food processor like I did). If your dough is not coming together, add one to two tablespoons of water slowly until it can form a ball. Kneed the dough for 1 minute and then wrap with plastic or put it in an airtight container for 30 minutes to rest.
While the dough is resting, chop your walnuts and clean the sage. In a pan, melt the butter along with the sage over low heat. When the butter is completely melted and beginning to bubble, add the walnuts. Watch the pan closely. When the butter begins to brown it moves very quickly. When you have a nice dark golden color, remove from heat and set aside.
Mince the shallot and set aside.
When the squash is done, scrape the flesh out and measure a cup of mashed squash. In a pan, saute the shallots in a tablespoon of butter for a minute or so. Add the squash and saute together for another minute. Add the half and half and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and add the cheese and seasoning.
Put a pot of salted water on the stove to boil.
Now your dough should be ready. Cut the ball into 4 equal pieces and roll the first one out as thin as humanly possible (or use a pasta machine). You want it to almost be see through. I couldn't get mine thin enough when it was all in one piece, so I gave each cut piece a little roll on its own before I filled them. I used a Linzer cookie cutter to cut out my shapes, but you could just cut 2" squares if you don't have one.
In a small bowl whisk the remaining egg. Brush a light wash of egg on each of your ravioli squares and place a teaspoon of filling on every other one. Place the egg sides together when you put on the top piece and gently press out toward the edges on each side making sure not to squeeze the filling. Repeat until you are out of filling.
With a slotted spoon, place 1/4 of the ravioli in the pot and stir gently to make sure they don't stick to the bottom. Cook for 3- 4 minutes. Remove them with the slotted spoon and place them in a bowl with a little of the pasta water so they don't stick together. Repeat for the remaining ravioli.
When they are all cooked, toss gently in the brown butter sauce (warm it a bit beforehand if it cooled to much) and serve with grated Parmesan cheese.
With the Kids:
*Last time in the Recipes: Lovely Linzers