Yep, I got all fancy by making these ravioli in heart and circle shapes for hugs and kisses ravioli.
This version is lighter than the Ravioli di Zucca that you will find in a restaurant. The dish is traditionally made with a thicker egg pasta, and then bathed in a brown butter and sage sauce. It’s very good, but sometimes too heavy for me, especially when spring is coming.
In the Italian language, “zucca” means “pumpkin” and “pumpkin” means “winter squash”.
zucca =pumpkin=winter squash
Interesting enough, this is the same in the English language. We just don’t know it. Americans associate the word pumpkin with the familiar round orange winter squash that comes in a small size for pie making, or a large size for carving and decoration. That’s how we use the word pumpkin.
Every once in a while I see a meme exclaiming:
DID YOU KNOW THERE IS NO PUMPKIN IN YOUR CANNED PUMPKIN PIE FILLING??? HOW CAN THEY GET AWAY WITH THIS???
My pie eating friends, please rest assured that it truly IS pumpkin in your canned pumpkin. It’s just a variety of pumpkin that is shaped differently than what you are used to seeing at the grocery store or on your neighbors porch. It’s a pie pumpkin – a kind that was bred in a different shape so it would be easier to harvest and can.
For ravioli di zucca, I like to use the milder, more flowery flavor of butternut squash. Roasting it results in a carmelized note and silky texture once you put it in the food processor. It’s so good that it doesn’t need any spices at all.
That’s why this filling is just butternut squash, a small amount of amaretti cookies, and a sprinkle of lemon zest.
Make sure to heavily salt your water whenever you cook pasta. It should be as salty as the sea.
Enjoy! And if someone makes this FOR you, make sure to give them lots of hugs and kisses, because believe me, it takes a long time to make these little guys. Add in a back rub as well. Hugs and kisses and a back rub ravioli. 🙂
Ravioli di Zucca
makes 64 ravioli
1 1/2 pounds roasted butternut squash, roughly chopped
9 Ameretti cookies
wee amount of lemon zest – like 1/8 teaspoon
1 egg + small amount of water, beaten
sauce for 24 ravioli – 4 servings
2 T butter
2 pinches red pepper
1 t crushed sage (more if you want)
handfull baby spinach leaves
1 C water
1/2 cube (crumbled) of vegetable bouillon with salt
optional: top with grated Grana Padana cheese
In a food processor, grind the cookies first, then add the squash and the zest until fully incorporated. The mixture should be somewhat dry, and fully ground. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
Place 1/2 T of squash mixture into the center of a wonton wrapper. Brush beaten egg on all four sides of the wrapper, and place another wrapper on top, pressing down and getting out as many air bubbles as possible. Use a cookie cutter, glass or ravioli machine to cut out the desired shape. Place on a wax paper lined cookie sheet, and cover with a damp dishcloth. Once the tray is full, remove towel, and transfer ravioli to the freezer or refrigerator. Continue until all the ravioli are finished. You can freeze the ravioli you are not cooking for supper at a later time!
Bring several quarts of water to a boil and then add salt. While waiting for water to boil, heat up butter, sage, and red pepper in a saute pan on med low until the butter browns. As soon as it starts to brown, add the spinach leaves and crumbled bouillon, then the water. reduce the heat to simmer once it boils, and let it simmer while you cook the ravioli.
I recommend cooking the ravioli thawed if it was previously frozen. These take about 2 minutes or so. Transfer from water to the saute pan to soak up flavoring for at least another minute. Transfer the ravioli to serving dishes and ladle the broth over the top.
Top with cracked pepper and grana padana if you wish!
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