Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Pumpkin, Squash - a recipe 3 for 1!

Includes recipes for:
Pumpkin Squash Ravioli with Sage, White Wine, Butter Sauce
Simple Stock
Pumpkin Squash Soup with Herbed Butter Croutons


I love a recipe that can turn into another meal that tastes completely different. It speaks to industriousness, respect for your food, and, most agreeably, a sensitivity for your wallet.

That's why I was so excited when I did our meal planning for the week. Don't get me wrong, usually my meal plans are written on a calendar and then interchanged innumerable times, but this time there was a plan. A plan!

Butternut Squash

We've been fortunate enough to receive quite a few squash with our CSA lately - in all sizes and varieties. While usually I hold onto the squash like gold, squirreling them away for the cold winter months, this time I couldn't help but burst with the anticipatory celebration of fall. I had to have some.

I also couldn't wait to get my hands on a sugar pumpkin now that they are at the Farmer's Markets again. While my daughter lugged a small final watermelon from the furthest end of the market - and I, in turn, got an assortment of glances, I carried my prize - a sugar pumpkin. We stopped, briefly, to pick up a bit of the oh-so-scrumptious Raspberry Bellevitano, before Eh finally gave in and let me carry the pumpkin, the watermelon, the bags of fresh market goods, and her the next few blocks back the car. No matter how incredulously I stare at my arms they still don't reflect the super human strength I believe I have managed to muster in my child's twenty some months of life. Bother.

It's here that I should pause to mention that the coveted watermelon was one of the best I've ever had. Eh on the other hand, would have nothing to do with it.

Sugar Pumpkin

My husband, lucky me, loves to make fresh, homemade pasta. What better way to spend a Sunday night together than making and enjoying a homemade meal? Exactly. So Sunday morning I got to thinking and...

Into the oven went two medium sized butternut squash and one sugar pumpkin - cut in half, cut side down, with a bit of oil drizzled on them. 350F (177C) for an hour or so until nice and soft and set aside for later.

While Em put our daughter to bed I got to work on the ravioli filling. Tough work I tell ya (sarcasm alert).

Pumpkin Squash Ravioli with Sage, White Wine, Butter Sauce
For Filling
1 small pumpkin - preferably a sugar pumpkin - roasted
1 medium-large sized butternut squash (but roast two if you plan to make the recipe below as well)
2-4 tablespoons milk (30-60 ml UK, 40-80 ml AU)
1.5 tablespoons (17 ml UK, 22 ml AU) herbs de provence or similar herb blend
A healthy dose of salt and pepper (start with 1/2 tsp of each (2ml UK/AU) and go from there
2 gloves garlic, minced fine
5-8 leaves fresh sage, chopped fine
1 teaspoon (5 ml UK/AU) nutmeg
About 6 ounces (approx 170 grams) Parmesan cheese (we used the raspberry bellevitano which is a raspberry ale soaked parmesan-style cheese) - grated fine (like with a microplaner). More or less is fine.

Scoop out the flesh of the gourds into a bowl.
Add all other ingredients.
Mash with a fork/spoon or potato masher until a consistency like mashed potatoes. You could blend as well, if you like, but it's easy enough to incorporate without doing so. Taste and determine if you would like or need more salt, pepper, or other. Set aside.

For pasta
1 egg
3/4 cup (175 ml UK/AU) unbleached, all-purpose flour

Put flour in a bowl, add egg. Mix with a fork until crumbly.
Put mixture on floured cutting board. Knead together until satiny.
Use pasta machine to roll into rectangular sheets until two settings from the thinnest option OR roll with a rolling pin to desired thickness (thinner is better).

To assemble ravioli
Place sheet of pasta on floured cutting board. (Or, use prepared wonton wrappers for an easy short-cut.)
Cut two sheets of equal size/shape. Set one aside
Brush sheet of pasta with egg wash. Even space small portions of filling approx 2 inches apart (around 6 cm). (Refrigerate extra filling up to one week for recipe below)
Place other sheet on top. Press down around each pocket of filling to seal pasta together. Cut into squares or circles.
Cook by gently placing in boiled/salted water until the ravioli float to the top (or your preferred texture)

For the sauce
2 tablespoons (30 ml UK/40 ml AU) butter
1/4 cup dry white wine
5 or so leaves fresh sage, chopped fine.
If butter is unsalted then salt to taste.

Melt butter in a sauce pan, add sage and saute until butter starts to brown. Add white wine. Done.

To serve drizzle a small amount of butter sauce over the ravioli. Add more to taste but don't get too excited or you may find the dish too rich for your tastes.

Consider chopped walnuts or some goat cheese to top off the ravioli and sauce - or even think about adding dried cranberries with making your sauce!

Chicken Stock

Right before we left for vacation I did my usual fridge cleaning - which involves a lot of cooking. Cooking? Sure. Why not make a mess! All the veggies go into a pot along with the remains of a roasted chicken dinner from the freezer and the result is a huge pot of stock - which gets divided and, you guessed it, goes into the freezer.

Simple Stock

1-2 Chicken/Turkey/Fowl carcasses (although, I admit, that word makes me shudder a bit)
A couple of onions - cut in 4, no need to peel
A head of garlic - smash the cloves, again, no need to peel
2 tbsps (30 ml UK, 40 ml AU) salt
2 tbps (30 ml UK, 40 ml AU)herbs de Provence
1 tbsp (15 ml UK, 20 ml AU)ground pepper
Everything else in your fridge. Well, pretty much. I even put salad green in mine. I shy away from beets that are red but will use the golden ones. Peppers are fine, but skip hot ones. Celery, fennel, cabbage, root veg, carrots, chard, kale – all more than acceptable. Fresh herbs - absolutely! Tomatoes, no.

Put everything in a pot. Fill the pot to nearly the top. Bring to a boil. Turn down to simmer and let go for an hour or more. Strain out veggies. Cool broth/stock completely before freezing. That's it!

Fall Soup - Pumpkin Squash

By now you'll realize you had way too much ravioli filling. Good! We'll turn it into soup. I was going to make this soup with coconut milk but, alas, pantry disasters happen and mine was out of date. Regardless it was wonderful without so you can add coconut milk of you like, in place of some of the broth, or skip it all together.

Pumpkin Squash Soup with Herbed Butter Croutons
Remaining ravioli filling from above
Additional 1 roasted butternut squash
6 cups simple stock
1 teaspoon (5 ml UK/AU) nutmeg
5-8 leaves fresh sage, minced fine
Salt and pepper to taste
Slightly stale bread, cut into preferred crouton size
Leftover sage, white wine, butter sauce

Put remaining ravioli filling in a pot. Scoop out flesh from additional squash and add to pot with stock/broth, sage and nutmeg. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and let cook for 30 mins. Blend with an immersion blender to your preferred consistency (you might not even have to do this step).

At this point if the soup is too thick for your preference you can add: more stock, milk/cream, or coconut milk. If you go the coconut milk route you may consider adding a bit of heat with some dried peppers as well. Return to a bubble.

In the meantime, re-melt the sauce and toss the croutons in the butter blend. Toast in toaster oven or oven until golden.

Ladle soup into bowls, top with croutons and, if you like, a dot of cream, truffle oil, more minced sage, or a grating of Parmesan cheese. Serve with a fresh loaf of homemade bread and you've got a decadently filling meal.

Fresh Bread

Don't forget to save those pumpkin seeds for toasting! What's your favorite fall meal?


Lindsay Road said...

Wow! You were busy this weekend! I love your recipes, I'll have to try out the ravioli!


Tara said...

Mmmmm. I know what I'm getting at the farmer's market tomorrow. Or, if I'm lucky I'll find some squash in my CSA box tonight.

Just so you know, I've been stalking your blog and reading through all the entries I missed because I hoped it would make me miss you less. Wrong. I miss you even MORE! :o( <3 <3

Tricia said...

Allison - Let me know how it turns out!

Tara - Aww, miss you too! I owe you an email - let's just say I am so proud of you! xoxo

erin said...

If you roast the bones before you throw them in the pot with the veggies, the stock will be much more flavorful and have a deeper color. I learned that the other day :)