Well, honestly, this post is all about the sauce because I took a huge shortcut and bought the crab ravioli at the market. I suppose I could have made the ravioli if I had another two hours to spend in the kitchen, a pasta machine, a ravioli cutter and this Nonni in my kitchen. Isn't she great? Oh, she makes me miss my Nonni. So, guess what's on my Christmas wish list this year? Yup, a pasta roller and ravioli cutter.
Anyway, I was inspired to make this dish because my sister and brother-in-law were in Tuscany last week and posted the most stunning photos of their trip. (My sister Audrey is an amazing photographer.) Her husband Tom actually posted the photo that inspired me. It was of a meal he had in a little restaurant consisting of some kind of seafood ravioli served with some kind of Winter squash sauce. I thought I'd try to create something similar.
I decided to use Kabocha squash. It has a beautiful dark golden color and a rich, nutty flavor. It is my favorite Winter squash, this year anyway. I roasted it, like I did with the butternut squash in my soup recipe. See the instructions here.
I pureed the squash in a food processor in batches and ended up with about 5 cups of puree. I used one cup for this recipe and froze the rest. I think I'll use it for soup or a souffle for Thanksgiving.
The sauce was a bit thicker than I would have liked, and I could have thinned it a bit with pasta water or stock, but I didn't want to dilute the flavor. It tasted so good that I let it remain thick. You can thin it a bit if you'd like, but taste it before you do. I think you'll agree with my decision. ;)
So here we go.
- 1 cup puree from roasted winter squash
- 4 TBS butter
- 2 TBS olive oil
- 1/4 tsp ground sage
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- a handful of toasted pine nuts
- 8 oz. crab ravioli
Roast, peel and puree the squash. Cook the ravioli according to pkg. directions.
Add the olive oil and 1/2 the butter to a heavy skillet and heat on Medium. Add the squash puree and cook for about 3-4 minutes while stirring constantly. The puree will incorporate the oils. Add the sage, salt and pepper. Turn the heat down to low and add the heavy cream. Stir until heated and incorporated. Stir the remaining 2 TBS of butter into the sauce until melted. This will make it smooth and add a nice glisten.
To plate, spoon the sauce, ladle on the ravioli and add more sauce. (You don't want to toss, raviolis are delicate.) Garnish with toasted pine nuts.
Note: I toasted the pine nuts in the skillet and set them aside before I added the oil for the sauce.
This dish turned out so delicious and satisfied my Tuscan envy. Of course, it's not quite the same as sitting in a medieval restaurant atop a hill covered in grapevines and olive trees. But it will do, and did, hit the spot. Ciao Bella!