Cucurbita (Latin for gourd) is a genus of herbaceous vegetables in the gourd family, Cucurbitaceae (also known as cucurbits or cucurbi) native to the Andes and Mesoamerica. Five species are grown worldwide for their edible vegetable, variously known as squash, pumpkin, or gourd, depending on species, variety, and local parlance,[a] and for their seeds. Other kinds of gourd, also called bottle-gourds, are native to Africa and belong to the genus Lagenaria, which is in the same family and subfamily as Cucurbita, but in a different tribe. These other gourds are used as utensils or vessels, and their young fruits are eaten much like those of the Cucurbita species.
Most Cucurbita species are herbaceous vines that grow several meters in length and have tendrils, but non-vining “bush” cultivars of C. pepo and C. maxima have also been developed. The yellow or orange flowers on a Cucurbita plant are of two types: female and male. The female flowers produce the fruit and the male flowers produce pollen. Many North and Central American species are visited by specialist bee pollinators, but other insects with more general feeding habits, such as honey bees, also visit.
There is debate about the taxonomy of the genus, as the number of accepted species varies from 13 to 30. The five domesticated species are Cucurbita argyrosperma, C. ficifolia, C. maxima, C. moschata, and C. pepo. All of these can be treated as winter squash because the full-grown fruits can be stored for months; however, C. pepo includes some cultivars that are better used only as summer squash.
The fruits of the genus Cucurbita are good sources of nutrients, such as vitamin A and vitamin C, among other nutrients according to species. The fruits have many culinary uses including pumpkin pie, biscuits, bread, desserts, puddings, beverages, and soups.
HOMEMADE BUTTERNUT SQUASH RAVIOLI WITH BROWN BUTTER SAGE SAUCE
Why This Recipe Works:
- Roasting butternut squash is so easy to make. Once you roast butternut squash with whole cloves of garlic, you’ll never go back. Pure heaven, I tell you!
- Homemade pasta is actually super simply to make and the taste and texture can’t beat. My pasta recipe works perfectly for this ravioli.
- And let’s not forget the brown butter sage sauce. You know I love my brown butter, and it is perfect for savory dishes like this butternut squash ravioli too. This homemade ravioli has so much flavor, but it requires the perfect sauce to compliment it rather than over power it.
How To Make Homemade Ravioli:
In my opinion, there are three necessary pieces of equipment: a stand mixer with a dough hook, a pasta roller, and a ravioli maker. These are amazon links to the exact products I use. Now, you certainly don’t need all of this equipment and people have been making pasta by hand for centuries, but if you have them, making pasta is a breeze.
- Prepare the filling. This is done by coating butternut squash and garlic cloves in olive oil and roasting on a baking sheet (photo 1). This gets pureed in a food processor with additional olive oil, parmesan cheese, dried sage, and salt and pepper (photo 2).
- Make the sauce. Butter and fresh sage are cooked over low heat until the butter is browned and the sage is infused (photo 3). This is to be done just prior to serving.
- Make the pasta. Equal parts of all-purpose and semolina flour are combined with eggs, olive oil, water and salt, then kneaded until elastic. After a period of rest, the dough gets rolled into sheets.
- Assemble the ravioli. Cover the ravioli mold with the pasta dough, create a well for the filling, and add about a heaping teaspoon of roasted garlic butternut squash filling to each well (photo 4). Cover with the second sheet of dough (photo 5) and gently roll the dough together to cut the pieces. Then, all you have to do is turn it over, give it a tap, and they all fall out (photo 6). Easy!
- To cook: toss the ravioli in salted boiling water for just a few minutes until they float.
- To freeze: line a baking sheet with parchment paper and add a single layer of the homemade ravioli. Set in freezer and once completely frozen, they can be added to a resealable plastic bag. Be sure to squeeze out as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn.
- Making the pasta: I prefer an even mix of semolina flour to all-purpose flour. It gives the pasta great texture and chew, plus it’s insanely easy to work with. The addition of olive oil to the dough can tasted in the final pasta – YUM! You must kneed your pasta dough for a solid ten minutes. If you want to do this by hand, more power to you, but pasta dough is not a soft dough like bread dough, so you’re in for a workout. I highly recommend using your Kitchenaid mixer. You have to be sure to cover the dough and allow it to rest. This process allows the gluten to do whatever gluten does to make pasta wonderful.
- To roll out the sheets of pasta dough to make your homemade ravioli, you can roll it on the counter by hand, but I highly recommend using a pasta roller. I’ve used the KitchenAid pasta attachments before, and while they certainly are easy to use, there is something so satisfying about rolling pasta dough in a quality made in Italy pasta roller. Just be sure you use enough flour to avoid any sticking in your pasta machine.
- When forming the ravioli, be sure to have floured all of your dough generously so that it releases easily from the mold.
Do I have to make my own pasta?
Absolutely not! If you don’t have a pasta roller or simply don’t want to make homemade pasta you can use wonton wrappers instead. Sandwich the filling between two wrappers and seal together with a little water. Cook ravioli in boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes.
Can I make my own butternut squash puree?
Yes! To make your own puree is pretty simple. Peel and scoop out seeds from a large butternut squash. Cut squash into 1/2″ cubes and toss in a little olive oil. Cook in a 400° oven for 45 to 60 minutes, or until squash is completely soft. Puree squash in food processor until completely smooth. You’ll need about 1 1/2 cups of puree.
Can I freeze the pasta?
Please do! If you are going through the effort of making pasta you should definitely make extra to freeze. After assembling the ravioli, place them flat in a freezer safe container and freeze! When ready to cook, pop them straight in boiling water from the freezer and cook until al dente, about 2 minutes. Frozen pasta will keep for about 3 months in the freezer.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced
- 10 sage leaves
- 2 tablespoons dry white wine
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ cup chopped walnuts
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup Roasted Butternut Squash cubes, optional
- ½ bunch Sauteed Kale, optional
- Grated pecorino cheese, optional
An easy butternut squash ravioli recipe made with wonton wrappers – the perfect shortcut instead of making your own pasta. They are delicate and light, perfect in a sage butter sauce.
CAN I USE CANNED BUTTERNUT SQUASH PUREE?
Sure! Making butternut puree is pretty simple and tastes better than canned. But, if you must use canned, you’ll need about one and a half cups of puree. Season it with salt and pepper and add sautéed garlic to enhance the flavor, and then proceed as directed. I do think the flavor will be best if you roast it, to save time you can use pre-cut butternut or frozen.
WHAT SAUCE GOES WITH BUTTERNUT SQUASH RAVIOLI?
I thought long and hard about the best butternut squash ravioli sauce and decided to go with a light butter-sage sauce – it was perfect! If you wish to skip the butter, use olive oil and garlic instead. You can also create a butternut squash sauce by doubling the roasted squash, pureeing it in the blender with some of the pasta water to loosen it, and adding parmesan cheese.
CAN I FREEZE THE RAVIOLI?
Yes, you can freeze the ravioli. I’d recommend doubling the recipe and making extra to freeze – it won’t take that much longer to assemble.
After assembling the ravioli, place them flat on a sheet pan and flash freeze. Once frozen, transfer the raviolis to a freezer-safe bag or container and label with the date and name.
When you’re ready to cook the butternut squash ravioli, pop them straight into boiling water from the freezer and cook until they rise to the surface, about two to three minutes. Frozen ravioli will keep in the freezer for about three months.
Nutrition information: Serving: 6raviolis, Calories: 355kcal, Carbohydrates: 46.5g, Protein: 11.5g, Fat: 14.5g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Cholesterol: 77.5mg, Sodium: 502mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 3.5g
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