Butternut Squash Ravioli

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green ravioli with olive oilThese exquisite butternut squash-gouda cheese ravioli are definitely a must try: unique, filling, and wholesome!

Follow this egg and lactose free recipe and learn a new, healthy, and fun way of serving squash this fall season!

♥About Butternut Squash:

A close cousin of the pumpkin, butternut squash is a popular ingredient in many holiday recipes such as: soups, casseroles, stews, breads, dips, side dishes, and pies. Because it contains seeds, which are a rich source of Butternut squash zinc and mono-unsaturated fatty acids, butternut squash is considered a fruit. Its sweet, buttery, deep orange, succulent pulp is a great source of fiber, carotene, antioxidants,  vitamins (A, B and C), and minerals (calcium, iron, and potassium). As with most vegetables and fruits, the skin of this winter squash is also high in phytonutrients, so buying organic and consuming its peel, seeds and pulp is the best way to get the most out of this amazing fall quintessential food!

INGREDIENTS:

  • Dough: 2 cups of flour, a pinch of salt, 3/4 cup of  spinach puree (blend a few handfuls of spinach leaves with 1/4 cup of water).
  • Filling: 1/2 butternut squash cut in small cubes and roasted with 1/4 of a red onion (diced), or 2-3 sliced green onions, salt, pepper and a pinch of nutmeg (blend after cooking and ley cool off). Follow Your Heart vegan gouda cheese, Tofutti cream cheese, or other white vegan cheese. Note: Butternut squash and pumpkin seeds are a great source of zinc. If you would like to find out how to prepare roasted pumpkin seeds, visit GSU’s Pumpkin Soup recipe page!
  • Special tools: rolling pin and ravioli cutter/marker. You can use a ravioli or cookie cutter or a small cup or jar lid with sharp edges. If you are going to make square shape ravioli, you can skip this step and just calculate the right distance between each ravioli.
  • Tomato sauce: 1 can of diced tomatoes, 1 can of tomato sauce, 2 or 3 minced garlic cloves, a bay leaf, salt, pepper and chili flakes.
  • Béchamel sauce: 1 cup of almond or soy milk, 1/2 cup of water, 2 tablespoons of corn starch, 1 tablespoon of oil or 1/8 of an Earth Balance butter stick, nutmeg, salt and pepper.

PREPARATION:

♦Dough:  In a large bowl mix the flour and salt. Make a hole in the center and pour the spinach puree in it. With a wooden spoon mix the liquid with the flour and then start kneading the dough with your hands. If the dough is too dry, add a little bit of water. If the dough is too wet, add a little bit of flour. Once you reach a uniform and firm dough, cover it with a cloth and let it rest for around 30 minutes.

♦Filling: In a medium bowl or food processor, puree the cooked butternut squash and onion. Cover and refrigerate. If you are using the vegan cream cheese instead of the gouda, mix a tablespoon of cream cheese with the butternut squash filling and then refrigerate.

SAUCES

These exquisite butternut squash ravioli can be simply served with olive oil and fresh ground pepper; however, if you want to add a sauce to your dish, here are a few options:

♦ Tomato sauce: Place a pot on the stove, turn the burner to medium heat and add some oil. Sauté the minced garlic with chili flakes. Add the cans of diced tomato and tomato sauce, bay leaf, salt, and pepper and mix well. Turn heat to low, cover and let simmer for 30 minutes.

♦ Béchamel sauce: In a pot or microwave safe bowl, combine the corn starch with a little bit of water and stir until you get a uniform paste (without lumps). Add the rest of the ingredients and begin heating the mixture on the stove or in the microwave. Stir constantly (if microwaving, every 30” to 40”) to avoid lumps from forming and to prevent the sauce from sticking to the bottom of the pot or bowl.

PUTTING IT TOGETHER

  1. On a clean, dry and smooth surface start rolling the pasta dough with a rolling pin. You will need to sprinkle some flour on the counter in order to keep the dough from sticking. Roll the dough into a flat sheet and fold it, then roll it again and fold it again. Repeat this process 3-4 times, or until you obtain an elastic, uniform and smooth dough.
  2. Get your stuffing out of the fridge. Divide the pasta dough into quarters and roll two quarters of the dough (side by side) until they are approximately 1/32 of an inch thick. With your ravioli cutter or small glass, gently mark the circles on one of the dough sheets (try to be space efficient and fit as many circles as you can).
  3. Put a piece of smoked gouda cheese in the center of each circle. With the help of two spoons, put a small amount of stuffing on top of each piece of cheese.
  4. Once you have completed all of the dough circles, carefully place the other thin layer of spinach pasta on top of the one with the stuffing. With the side of your hand, mark the ravioli rows, and with the tip of your fingers, put pressure around each ravioli to seal both sides of the dough and secure the filling.
  5. Finally, cut the ravioli with a knife. Press the edges of the ravioli with your fingertips again to make sure the ravioli has sealed properly. With a spatula, gently remove each ravioli from the counter top and place it on a floured plate. Repeat the procedure until you finish the dough or until you reach the desired number of ravioli. Note: If you do not cook ravioli right after making them, place the floured ravioli plates in the freezer, allow them to freeze and the bag them up. Keep them in the freezer until you are ready to cook them.
  6. Mix all the dough trimmings and left overs and roll them again into a think pasta layer. Then cut them into thin strips with a knife or pizza cutter; spinach noodles are also delicious!
  7. Cook ravioli in salted boiling water for 3 or 4 minutes or until they start floating on the surface. Garnish with fresh black ground black pepper, olive oil and fresh basil.

Round butternut squash ravioli served with tomato sauce and béchamel:

Enjoy!

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