Butternut Cream Ravioli
Little Pillows of Scrumptiousness
My dad has been growing winter squash in his garden for as long as I can remember. Yet, I never truly appreciated the greatness of these gourds until I was old enough to cook for myself. A little olive oil, sea salt, fresh cracked pepper, and a hot oven can transform the rather plain-looking Butternut into one of the most flavorful gems in the patch.
Here, I thought I'd share a new recipe that's already becoming a favorite in my house: Butternut Cream "Ravioli." This dish uses wonton wrappers in place of traditional pasta, making for convenient preparation, and resulting in a superbly fresh flavor. It's a perfect "special occasion," vegetarian entree that's rich, hearty and warming during the winter season, which also happens to be peak time for enjoying the Butternut harvest.
*While I've included the fixings for a simple, accompanying sauce, by all means, get creative!
Drinking wine with dinner? Be sure to splash a little into the saucepan and presto, your pairing is perfect.
- 1 Butternut Squash - peeled and cubed
- 2 T Olive Oil
- 6 oz. Cream Cheese - softened
- 1 Package Wonton Wrappers (40 pieces)
- 1 Egg - beaten well
- Salt & Pepper to taste (I prefer fresh milled)
- 2 cups Marinara Sauce (homemade or jarred)
- 1/4 cup Butter
- 1 medium-sized Vidalia Onion - slivered
- 1/2 Red Bell Pepper - slivered
- Fresh Basil to taste - chopped
- Preheat your oven to 400 Degrees.
- Toss cubed squash in a large bowl with olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast (stirring occasionally) until soft; about 20 minutes.
- Puree squash in a food processor. Add cream cheese and continue to blend until color is consistent and texture is smooth.
- Place a wonton wrapper on a flat surface and brush the edges with the beaten egg.
- Drop approximately 1 T of the squash/cream cheese mixture in the center of the wrapper.
- Cover the first wrapper with another. Using the prongs of a fork, press around the edges of the "pillow," to seal it shut (also creating a decorative edge).
- Fill a dutch oven or deep pot 2/3 full with water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a strong simmer.
- Drop pillows into the water in small batches (too many at once and they'll stick together). Let each pillow simmer for approximately 1 minute before removing with a slotted spoon.
- Plate raviolis straight out of the pot onto individual dinner plates. (Cover and reheat when it's time to eat if you're prepping beforehand.)
- Saute slivered onions and pepper in a small skillet with butter until onions become translucent. Add marinara sauce and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Top plated ravioli with sauce, garnish with basil, and serve.
Use Tofutti or your favorite dairy-free "cream cheese." For the egg, grind 3T of flax seed in a small food processor, and slowly add water until the seed reaches egg-like consistency. Sub olive oil for the butter (and reduce from 1/4 c. to 1T).
A Few Handy Kitchen Accessories:
...A good peeler for the squash's thick skin.
...Get a more professional presentation with this little press.
...Fresh cracked pepper and coarse ground sea salt: much more flavorful than their fine-as-dust counterparts.
...Considered an ideal way to cook raviolis, yet a standard pot will work, too.