Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Pumpkin Ravioli

As long as I'm hauling out leftover turkey, I still have a pint of pumpkin purée in the freezer.  If I'm going to be optimistic about my ability to grow pumpkins this summer, I'd better use up my insurance policy.

After a brief internet search, I decided to adapt my pasta recipe #2 for this.  I'm replacing one egg and the olive oil with pumpkin and adding a touch of nutmeg.  The pasta actually gets healthier.  Great for my eating-healthier trend.  Since falling off the extreme-diet wagon, I've lost the last nagging pound.  Go fig.  I credit the oat-bran muffins, and sneaked a wee bit of oat bran into this pasta.  You don't have to.

This is the kind of recipe I was talking about in the Get Over It post.  It only looks complicated because it's three recipes in one: pasta, filling, and sauce.  To make this post easier to follow, I'm doing the sauce in the next one.  Once you get over the pasta recipe and realize it's no harder than sugar cookie dough, doing the filling while the dough is resting is a no-brainer.  Instead of filling these ravioli with my first instinct of sausage and cheese, I'm opting for the lighter spinach with a dusting of parmesan.

2-1/4 C flour
2 eggs
*1/3 C pumpkin purée
1/2 tsp salt
*1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1.  In a medium bowl, stir together flour, salt, and nutmeg.  Separately, beat together eggs and pumpkin.

2.  Make a well in the flour and pour in egg mixture.  With a fork, gradually whisk in flour until all is moistened.  It's still going to look somewhat dry.  Knead lightly with your hands.  If it won't form a ball, moisten hands with water and knead again.  That should do it.  Wrap ball in plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature while you make the filling, at least 1/2 hour.

  • Alternately, you can do this in the food processor.  I just don't like cleaning it if the job can be done almost as easily by hand.

8 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained (about 2 C)
*1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tb olive oil
*2 Tb grated parmesan

1.  In a skillet over medium, heat oil.  Add garlic and cook until it starts to have an aroma, about 1 minute.  Add spinach and cook until thoroughly warmed.  Remove from heat and stir in parmesan.  Set aside until ready to use.

1.  Divide dough into manageable chunks, two or three.  On a lightly floured board, roll out one of the pieces into a rectangle four inches wide and as thin as you can get the dough.  If you have a pasta roller, go for it and make long strips on one of the thinnest settings.

2.  They do make ravioli molds, lengths of squares with dents in them that seal it for you.  Unless you make ravioli more than twice a year, it's just another gadget taking up space.  Spoon heaping teaspoons of filling on one half of the pasta strip, one inch apart, leaving half an inch to the edge.

3.  Dampen a pastry brush and brush water around the fillings.  Fold the clean half over and press lightly around the fillings to seal.  With a knife or pizza cutter, cut into individual raviolis.  Set aside and get out another chunk of dough.  Repeat.
Paring knife is Pampered Chef, and totally worth it.

4.  If cooking immediately, boil 4 quarts of lightly salted water in a big pot.  Gently lower ravioli into pot and cook until they float and are al dente, about 5 minutes.  Drain, rinse, and serve hot with sauce of choice.

5.  These can also be made ahead of time and refrigerated or frozen.  If refrigerating, just put them in a container with a secure lid and use within 2 days.  To freeze, seal in plastic bags with all the air squeezed out of them, placing a piece of waxed paper between layers.  Defrost in refrigerator overnight, then boil just as you would the fresh ones.

Serves 4 to 5

Difficulty rating :-0

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