Monday: Pumpkin Ravioli

Pumpkin Ravioli

Recipe courtesy Wolfgang Puck, The Wolfgang Puck Cookbook, Random House, 1986

Show: Wolfgang Puck Episode: Celebrity Food and Wine Charity Event

Ingredients:

  • 10 8 tablespoons (5 ounces) unsalted butter
  • 1 pound fresh frozen pumpkin purée , peeled and cut in 1-inch cubes
  • 2 cups heavy cream (well, 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, filled out with whole milk)
  • 1/2 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh sage, plus 6 small leaves for garnish
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground white pepper
  • 2 packages fresh lasagna noodles 1/2 recipe Spinach Pasta Dough or Regular Pasta Dough
  • 1 egg, beaten lightly, for egg wash
  • 2 cups chicken stock or light duck stock
  • 2 4 shallots, chopped
  • shredded parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Heat a sauté pan over low heat and add 4 3 tablespoons of the butter. When the butter is foamy, add the pureed cubed pumpkin and cook, stirring often to stop it from sticking and burning, until it defrosts softens and falls into a purée.
  2. Turn the pumpkin into a saucepan, add 1/2 of the cream and half the herbs and cook over a low heat for approximately 1 hour 15 minutes, or until the purée is thick and the liquid has evaporated. Stir occasionally to prevent scorching. Remove from the heat and beat in an additional 2 tablespoons of butter. Whisk in the beaten eggs, season, to taste, with salt and pepper and set a side to cool.
  3. On a floured surface, roll spread out the pasta as thin as possible. Cut into 2 sheets and brush 1/2 of them with egg wash. Using a teaspoon, place 24 equal mounds of the pumpkin purée on the egg-washed dough, about 2 inches apart. Cover the mounded dough with the second sheet of pasta and press around the mounds of pumpkin to seal the dough.
  4. Using a ravioli cutter or a sharp knife cut the ravioli. Dust a tray with semolina and place the ravioli on it.
  5. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, while you make the sauce.
  6. Prepare the sauce: In a saucepan, reduce the stock with the shallots to 1/2 cup. Add the remaining cream and reduce by half. Over a low heat, whisk in the remaining 4 3 tablespoons butter, a little at a time, over low heat. Strain the sauce into a clean saucepan and add the remaining sage and thyme. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  7. Add the ravioli to the rapidly boiling water and cook for 4 to 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain. Add the ravioli to the sauce and bring just to a boil. Correct the seasonings.
  8. Divide the ravioli among preheated soup dishes and spoon the sauce over them. Garnish each serving with parmesan a fresh sage leaf. Serve immediately.

The Verdict:

The ravioli were a little explosive.  Meaning that some of them fell apart in the boiling water.  This is something ALL the recipes I looked at warned would happen.  It’s possible they’ll hold together better if we make our own pasta, but that’s a little outside the realm of weeknight dinner for us.  Maybe there’s another option for fresh pasta I haven’t found yet that will work better.  it was almost like those lasagna noodles were dusted with flour & designed not to stick together  (which makes sense from a packaging standpoint).  Maybe it would work better if we brushed the lasagna noodles with water prior to working with them – get rid of that nonstick surface?

In all, this was a really good dinner.  Of course, with a full stick of butter & two cups of heavy cream(ish), it had to be good, right?  I think it would be really good with a garnish of chopped hazelnuts.  I think we’ll try this again – we do still have one more pumpkin, after all (plus more purée in the freezer).  We also have some leftover filling, which I think I’ll try in a quesadilla for lunch sometime this week.

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