Hopefully by now all of you little turkeys out there have gotten over your Thanksgiving comas – it certainly took me a full 24 hours to recover.
If you are anything like my family then you always have a refrigerator (or freezer) full of leftovers for several days following the big event – cranberry sauce, a whole half of a turkey, cornbread turkey sausage stuffing (check last week’s post for my recipe!), and roasted butternut squash with garlic and herbs, to name a few.
And while I will be the first to admit that I enjoyed “Thanksgiving” for lunch the next two days after the holiday, there are only so many ways you can construct your epic Thanksgiving sandwich. If you are Ross Geller, then your sandwich has a piece of bread soaked in gravy, “moisture maker”, in between and then get it stolen at work the next day.
My version – two slices of hearty artisan bread toasted, spread ample amount of cranberry sauce on one slice, and just a touch of mayo on the other slice, layer with white meat turkey, some my cornbread turkey sausage stuffing, tomatoes and lettuce = heaven.
I’m always looking for different ways to use leftovers from parties or holidays and this year was no exception. I decided on Friday evening that I was going to cook my family and one of my best friends Margaret dinner using just leftovers, creating something that was not “Thanksgiving”.
I spied in the refrigerator around 2 cups leftover of my roasted butternut squash from Thanksgiving dinner, which already had been seasoned with fresh garlic, sage and other herbs, and olive oil. One of my absolute favorite types of ravioli is butternut squash ravioli, usually served with a sage butter sauce.
My father has a pasta machine that we gave him over Christmas many years ago, that ironically I have used lately more than he. It is actually amazingly simple to make fresh pasta and I decided that given I was home for vacation and had a late afternoon ahead of me with no plans, that instead of buying fresh pasta I was going to do it myself – make fresh butternut squash ravioli pasta (See recipe below).
I remember from reading several recipes, and tasting several butternut squash ravioli, that many of them had crushed amaretto cookie added to the filling. So alas, my lone ingredient I did have to purchase was a $3.00 bag of amaretto cookies, but I returned quickly to continue my cooking.I will say that I did learn a couple of things during my second go at pasta making– fill a short glass with water to use as your “glue” for the pasta sheets to stick, make sure to have flour always on hand to spread on your workspace and on the dough when necessary, and try to have some fun 🙂
Butternut Squash Ravioli with Sage Butter
Filling & Sauce:
2 cups leftover roasted butternut squash * To make this – toss cubed butternut squash, 1-2 tablespoons olive oil, 4 large garlic cloves roughly chopped, handful of chopped fresh sage, thyme, rosemary, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer on to a cookie sheet covered with aluminum foil that is sprayed lightly with cooking spray and bake for 35 minutes in 400F oven.
½ cup freshly grated romano or parmesan cheese
¼ cup of crushed amaretto cookies
Salt/pepper to taste
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
5-6 fresh sage leaves
Pasta Dough: (adapted from epicurious.com)
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour plus additional for dusting
4 large eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon salt
2 to 3 tablespoons water
To make dough in a processor:
Blend flour, eggs, salt, and 2 tablespoons water in a food processor until mixture just begins to form a ball, adding more water, drop by drop, if dough is too dry (dough should be firm and not sticky). Process dough for 15 seconds more to knead it. Transfer to a floured surface and let stand, covered with an inverted bowl, 1 hour to let the gluten relax and make rolling easier.
To make dough by hand:
Mound flour on a work surface, preferably wooden, and make a well in center. Add eggs, salt, and 2 tablespoons water to well. With a fork, gently beat eggs and water until combined. Gradually stir in enough flour to form a paste, pulling in flour closest to egg mixture and being careful not to make an opening in outer wall of well. Knead remaining flour into mixture with your hands to form a dough, adding more water drop by drop if dough is too dry (dough should be firm and not sticky). Knead dough until smooth and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes. Cover with an inverted bowl and let stand 1 hour to let the gluten relax and make rolling easier.
Divide dough into 8 pieces, then flatten each piece into a rough rectangle and cover rectangles with an inverted large bowl. Set rollers of pasta machine on widest setting.
Lightly dust 1 rectangle with flour and feed through rollers. (Keep remaining rectangles under bowl.) Fold rectangle in half and feed it, folded end first, through rollers 7 or 8 more times, folding it in half each time and feeding folded end through. Dust with flour if necessary to prevent sticking. Turn dial to next (narrower) setting and feed dough through rollers without folding. Continue to feed dough through rollers once at each setting, without folding, until you reach narrowest setting. Dough will be a smooth sheet (about 36 inches long and 4 inches wide).
To Make Filling:
Reheat the butternut squash in the microwave for a minute in a large bowl. Use a masher and mash the butternut squash until a thick puree. Add in the cheese, crushed amaretto cookie (I put the cookies in a plastic bag and crushed with the bottom of a water glass), garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste. Mix until all ingredients are incorporated.
To Make Ravioli:
Lay one long sheet of pasta on lightly floured surface and every 2 inches or so put a teaspoon size scoop of the filling.
Lightly dab some water on the dough, in a square around the filling (to seal the sheet you are about to place on top).
Take another sheet of pasta and place on top of the first, making sure to press firmly around the filling to get rid of any air bubble (otherwise your ravioli could burst while boiling), and to seal the pasta together.
With a knife or ravioli roller cut out your ravioli, you can trim edges if you want to get rid of excess pasta but make sure they are sealed.
In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter, add in the sage and let the butter start to get slightly brown.
Place ravioli in boiling water, cooking for around 3 minutes or until they come to the surface (if they come up right away give them another minute or so). Cook in batches (about 5 or 6 ravioli at a time) to make sure they cook properly.
With a large slotted spoon, transfer cooked ravioli from boiling water to the sauté pan with the butter and sage. Once you have cooked, and transferred all the ravioli to the sauté pan with the sage butter, lightly stir to cover reach ravioli with some of the sauce, making sure not to break the ravioli.
Serve with more cheese and fresh ground pepper.