I can spend an entire day decorating a cake but I have no patience when it comes to preparing food. So despite my affection for anything Italian, I have thus far prepared ravioli solely by buying it frozen and pouring sauce over it. Who has the time to make the dough from scratch, roll it out, blah blah blah? Just thinking about it gives me a headache.
Enter last month’s issue of Good Housekeeping. Near the back was their featured “Easy” recipe of the month–Butternut Squash Ravioli. You use wonton wrappers so that you don’t have to make the dough yourself. It wasn’t exactly easy, but it wasn’t too bad….until I made a serious error in judgement.
These suckers are supposed to dry for 30 minutes before boiling. I figured I’d prepare them the night before and let them dry all day in the fridge. Well, the edges got so dry that most of them cracked all the way to the filling and the middles got so soggy on the bottom that they were nearly impossible to pry off the cookie sheet. They fell apart in the boiling water and I had a spaz attack. I was starving and I get CRANKY when I’m hungry. All I could think about was how long it took to fill each one of those ravioli and then seal the edges and all for nothing!
I started banging the hell out of the edge of the pot and things started falling off the back of the oven…picture frames, vitamins, fake ivy….
Then when I started draining them one by one and laying them on paper towels as the recipe (I thought at the time) directed, the mangled mess began sticking to the paper towels. I lost it completely. I started banging cabinets until the apple clock fell off the wall. It didn’t break so I picked it up and threw it one the floor. That did the trick.
After stirring them into the sage butter sauce and watching them further disintegrate, I slid a few remaining whole ones onto a plate and dug in. My sizzling nerves gasped and then settled into complete bliss. At least it was all worth it. So worth it.
Butternut Squash Ravioli
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped (4-6oz)
12 ounces frozen winter squash
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons plain dried breadcrumbs
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 pinch nutmeg
fresh ground black pepper
1 large egg white
1 teaspoon water
12 ounces wonton wrappers (50 wrappers)
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh sage leaf
In a small nonstick skillet, heat oil on medium 1 minute. Add onion and cook about 12 minutes or until tender and lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Cook squash in microwave as label directs; cool slightly.
In medium bowl, combine onion, squash, parmesan, bread crumbs, whole egg, nutmeg, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and freshly ground black pepper. In small bowl, whisk together egg white and water.
Place 1 wonton wrapper on work surface. With pastry brush, brush egg white along edges; place 1 rounded tablespoon squash filling in center of wrapper, keeping filling away from edges. Top with second wrapper; press down firmly around filling to seal ravioli, pushing out any trapped air. Place ravioli on cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining filling and wrappers, using a second cookie sheet so that ravioli do not overlap. Let ravioli dry 30 minutes, turning over halfway through to evenly dry both sides.
Ten minutes before cooking ravioli, heat large pot of salted water to boiling on high.
Add ravioli to pot; cook 3-5 minutes or until tender, stirring gently to separate ravioli.
Meanwhile, in 4-quart saucepan, cook butter on medium 3-4 minutes or until golden brown, stirring. Remove from heat; stir in sage and 1/8 teaspoon each salt and freshly ground black pepper.
With large slotted spoon, lift out ravioli, 1 at a time; drain, on paper towels. Transfer ravioli to saucepan with butter; gently stir to coat.