Over the weekend I went to visit some cousins in Toronto, and on the way stopped in Bowmanville where I paid my first visit to Watson Farms. They had all of the deliciousness that one can expect to find at this time of year in Canada. Luckily, O provided an extra pair of arms and entertained my "Oh, look at this!" and "Maybe I'll get some of these too." Two butternut squash formed part of my loot, and as I thought about what I could do with these, I kept coming back to the Ravioli Off that F had mentioned a couple of weeks ago. What is a Ravioli Off, you ask? I haven't actually been to one, but considering that my entire adopted family gets together and "competes" to see who can produce the best homemade stuffed pasta, I would consider it heaven. An excerpt from F's email the day after:
Cauliflower w creamed fennel sauce.
Arugla w fresh tomatoes and pancetta
Eggplant w scallop pesto sauce
Artichoke w tomato sauce - note this came with home made ricotta and butter
Pear and Walnut with a gorganzola cream sauce.
She's often talked about pumpkin ravioli, so I decided to take a shot at it. Keep in mind, I had never made homemade pasta before. After consulting with C, a local Italian friend and amazing cook, and with F while I made my way through a suburban grocery store, I was ready to go.
The inspirational cucurbita:
I peeled and chopped one of these up, then threw it into a pot with some onions that had been softening in olive oil. When the squash was soft, I pureed the contents of the pot with a hand blender, then stirred in some fresh, chopped Italian parsley, spices including thyme, sage, nutmeg and salt, and then added some ricotta. This is what all of that looks like together:
I dub this: Goodness. This was to be the stuffing.
F had said if I could find pre-made pasta sheets, that would be ideal. I could not find any in the giant suburban grocery store, so I stuck with the idea of making some, despite never having seen anyone do it before. I'll spare you of the aches and pains, though I now think that all those size 0 girls in Italy must be that size because they make their own pasta. The pre-cooked result of my efforts:
Yup, 24 pieces of ravioli. They're not the big ones either.
I cooked them up and dressed them up:
I used the delicious pumpkin on top, after all that work there wasn't much more room for creativity. Sprinkled with pepper and parmesan. They flavours were really nice, I'd do it again, after I get a live tutorial in pasta dough from one of my favourite Bs in Bermuda.