Monday, November 15, 2010

Kevin's Famers Market Challenge Recipe

Roasted Butternut Squash and Hazelnut Ravioli for Kevin
Last Saturday I went out for drinks with Kevin to catch up. I hadn't seen him since the closing of Macbeth and was in the mood for a evening of cocktails and nachos. Kevin, it so happens, is super supportive of my cooking obsession. While discussing something . . . probably food . . . he challenged me to go to the farmers market and make up a meal based on what I could purchase there. The rules were basically that I could use my own flour, olive oil, salt and pepper, and stuff, but the main ingredients had to come from what I could purchase from the stalls. I had no idea what I would find, but was pleased at all the lovely produce and (even better) farm-fresh cheese. Homemade ravioli take a little time and effort, but I promise . . . it's worth it. Homemade pasta is actually really easy to make and the taste is worth the time. Challenge accepted, Kevin! And it was a tasty challenge indeed.

- 1 2 lb. butternut squash, sliced crosswise into 1" rounds
- 1 c. chopped hazelnuts
- 2 c. grated Pecorino Romano cheese, plus extra
- salt and pepper
- Italian parsley
- dried herbs d' Provence
- 1 head of garlic, top sliced off
- olive oil
- 2 c. flour
- 4 eggs

Preheat oven to 400˚F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and arrange squash rounds in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper, and herbs d' Provence. Take head of garlic, place in a square of foil, sprinkle with salt and drizzle with oil, wrap foil around it into a little packet and place on baking sheet with squash. Roast in oven for about 30-40 minutes until squash softens and begins to brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Peel outer layer from squash and scrape orange middle into a large bowl, mix in 1/2 c. chopped hazelnuts, 2 c. grated cheese, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

In the food processor pulse together 2 c. flour with eggs and 1 tsp. salt until dough collects on the blade. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until ready to use. When ready, cut dough into four equal portions, one at a time, dust with flour and then roll thin with a rolling pin or pasta machine. Use flour liberally! Dust a little flour on both sides of dough sheets with each pass through the pasta roller- I rolled it out to #5 thinness. Place one sheet on work surface, or inside ravioli mold, and fill center of each square with about 1 tsp. of butternut squash filling. Top with a second sheet of dough and cut into individual raviolis.

Allow raviolis to dry out on a wire rack until ready to boil. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil and then drop raviolis into water. They will boil up quickly, 1-2 minutes and puff up. Drain water and then place raviolis in a serving bowl. Toss with a drizzle of olive oil, extra cheese, hazelnuts, and chopped Italian parsley. Season with extra salt and pepper if desired. Eat! Yum!

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