Monday, November 26, 2012

Meatless Monday: Cappellacci di Zucca (Pumpkin Ravioli)

I was so excited to try this recipe! I was intending to copy a butternut squash ravioli I'd had at Il Fornaio in Seattle. Their version is described as: Fresh ravioli filled with butternut squash and walnuts; tomato sauce, brown butter, parmesan and crispy sage. It was nothing short of amazing. I hadn't thought of recreating it, but I came across another recipe on Pinterest that reminded me of it. So then I went in search of an original Cappellacci di Zucca and found one that sounded like it had all of the components required.

Did you know that you can use won ton wrappers for homemade ravioli? Well, you can! It works great, and takes ravioli making to a more accessible level for the average person. Also, the cool thing about squash recipes is you can usually swap out different kinds of squashes. Butternut squash, pumpkin, delicata squash, and hubbard squash are all fairly interchangeable. I had a few hubbard squash from my parent's garden sitting in my pantry, so I roasted one, pureed it and used instead of the pumpkin.

Now, this was not a complicated recipe, but there are a few steps to it. You have to assemble the ravioli (easy), and make two sauces (easy). I adjusted the amounts of ingredients to use an entire package of won-ton wrappers, the package I bought had 45. I don't know about you, but I can't eat 45 raviolis at once, so I froze half of the batch. You can leave them on the cookie sheet so they can freeze individually, then you can package them together. Oh, and trust me you'll want a batch of these in the freezer because this recipe is amazing!

I loved everything about these raviolis! The combination of flavors is unbelievable. You get a spicy marinara, a slightly sweet pumpkin ravioli and then the sage-spiked nutty browned butter sauce drizzled over the top. Wow. It's a different combination of flavors, but once you've had it you'll understand. To make this dish even more special, I used my homemade ricotta recipe! Now, I will mention if you plan on serving this to kids, you'll want to cut down or omit the chili flakes from the marinara because it definitely has a kick to it.

This is perfect for the Fall, and it's a sure hit for you squash lovers (or even a squash hater!!). So make, and enjoy!

Cappellacci di Zucca (Pumpkin Ravioli)

1 cups pumpkin puree, can butternut squash, hubbard squash, etc
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
2 T brandy, I used 1T Marsala wine
3 T ground pine nuts (I used a food processor to get a good consistency)
1 1/2 T brown sugar
1 package wonton wrappers

1/4 cup + 2 T unsalted butter
10 fresh sage leaves, chopped in half or thirds at the width
2 T dry white wine

1 1/2 cups plain marinara sauce
salt, pepper, chili flakes to taste

parmesan shavings for garnish/extra deliciousness


Mix together the pumpkin puree, ricotta, brandy, pine nuts and brown sugar until incorporated.  Place in a sieve over a bowl for a couple hours to let the mixture drain.  Once firm, scoop the mixture by the teaspoonful and place in the center of the wonton wrappers. Fold the wrapper in half diagonally, then fold each of the corners in, to create a little hat-like thing. Place them on a generously-floured cookie sheet and refrigerate until serving time.

Brown butter sage sauce:

In a small saucepan, melt the 1/4 cup of butter on a medium-low heat.  Midway through the melting, throw in the sage. Stir occasionally until the butter reaches a golden brown color.  Remove from heat.  Pour 2 T white wine into the butter for bite.

Spicy marinara:

Warm the marinara with the reserved 2 T of butter.  Add about 1 teaspoons of chili flakes (less if you don't like it too spicy), salt and pepper to taste.  Let simmer.

Create a bed of spicy marinara sauce in the center of a plate.  Boil your ravioli (I only boil for 90 seconds or so), place in a circle around the sauce, then pour a healthy serving of the brown butter sage sauce on top.  Finish with a piece of crispy sage and a parmesan cheese shaving atop each pillow, and serve.

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