Butternut Ravioli in Sage Browned Butter Sauce

Butternut Ravioli with Sage Brown Butter Sauce

Butternut Ravioli with Sage Brown Butter Sauce

Not too long ago we were out for a special dinner that was catered, and for the appetizer we were served this dish; butternut squash ravioli with a sage brown butter sauce.  It was so good I wanted the recipe, but, sadly, it was not available from the chef.  So I went on the hunt for a similar recipe, and on the Food Network website, I found this one by Emeril Lagasse.

He roasted his squash for starters, but I simply steamed mine, then mashed it with the same results.  Possibly roasting the squash brings out a debt of flavor that mine lacked, but with the nice balance of seasonings that are added I was perfectly satisfied with my results.  I found that using won ton wrappers is a good substitute for fresh pasta dough, if you’re in a time crunch.  However you don’t get that toothy “al dente” texture.  Not a big issue for me;  we enjoyed them all the same.

In trying out this recipe I served the ravioli as a side dish with roast chicken, and it was a good compliment.  The original recipe is written to be served as an appetizer, and that is very nice for a sit-down dinner where silverware is in use. But I would not try to serve it when people need to balance a plate and use a fork to eat it.

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BUTTERNUT SQUASH RAVIOLI WITH A SAGE BROWN BUTTER SAUCE

YIELD:   4 servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 9 Tablespoons butter
  • 3 Tablespoons minced shallots
  • 1 cup cooked butternut squash, mashed
  • salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons heavy cream
  • 3 Tablespoons grated Parmesean cheese, plus more for serving
  • pinch nutmeg
  • fresh pasta dough,rolled out into wide ribbons,  or won ton wrappers
  • 12 fresh sage leaves
  • 1 Tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley

DIRECTIONS

1.  In a large saute pan, over medium heat, melt 1 Tablespoon of the butter.  Add the shallots and sauté for 1 minute.  Add the squash puree and cook until the mixture is slightly dry, about 2 to 3 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Stir in the cream and continue to cook for 2 minutes.  Remove from the heat and stir in 3 Tablespoons cheese and nutmeg.  Season with additional salt and pepper as needed.  Cool completely.

2.  Start a large pot of salted water over medium-high heat and bring to boiling.  Cut the pasta into 3 – inch squares.  (Or alternately, use won ton wrappers.)  Place 2 teaspoons of the filling in the center of each square.  Bring one corner of the square to the opposite corner, forming a triangle, and seal completely, by wetting the edges slightly and pressing together.  Add the ravioli to the pot of boiling salted water.  Cook until al dente, about 2 to 3 minutes or until the ravioli float and are pale in color.

Remove the pasta from the water and drain well.  Season with salt and pepper.

3.  In a medium saute pan, melt the remaining 8 Tablespoons butter.  Add the sage leaves to the butter and continue to cook until the butter starts to brown.  Remove from the heat.

4.  Place some of the ravioli in the center of each serving plate.  Spoon the butter sauce over the ravioli.  Sprinkle with additional cheese and garnish with parsley.

Can be served as a side dish also.

Can be served as a side dish also.

SOURCE:  Emeril Lagasse, via Food Network

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Brown Butter White Chocolate Pretzel Blondies

Brown Butter Blondies with White Chocolate M & M’s and Pretzels

I do believe I’m becoming a convert to blondies.  I used to think they were sort of second-rate to “real” brownies.  But since early Spring when I first started writing this blog,  I’ve found three recipes for blondies, all of which appealed to me enough to want to make them.

I’ve been saving this recipe since late winter/early spring when it was featured for Easter using pastel colored M & M’s.  My thought at the time was that it could easily be adapted to any time of year just by changing the M & M’s.  So this past week, when I saw white chocolate M & M’s on display for Halloween I grabbed them and thought “now is the time to try that recipe”.

These squares are so easy and quick to make– mixed by hand, no need to get out your mixer–and so pretty to serve with the colorful M & M’s.  They taste a little salty from the pretzels, have crunch from the  pretzels and candy, and the browned butter provides a nutty background flavor to all of it.   My only concern about these bars is related to the salt content.  Unsalted butter is not specified but I would recommend it, since the pretzels add salt and the recipe calls for 1/2 teaspoon of salt.  If you use salted butter, cut back the added salt to 1/4 teaspoon, since browning the butter adds to its saltiness.

BROWN BUTTER WHITE CHOCOLATE PRETZEL BLONDIES

SERVINGS:   24 squares

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup butter, browned and cooled
  • 1 1/2 cup brown sugar, tightly packed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup pretzels, crushed
  • 1 cup white chocolate M & M’s ( or white chocolate chips)

Browned Butter

1.  Begin by browning your butter.  Use a light colored pan rather than one with a dark interior, so you can see the color change in the butter.  Allow the butter to melt over low heat,  once melted raise heat to medium and let butter cook, watching it all the while for a color change to golden brown.  This can take from 2-3 minutes, but it will happen quickly.  Remove from the heat at that point, otherwise it will burn.  Allow to cool.

2.  Crush the pretzels:  Place in a zip-lock bag and crush with a rolling pin or meat mallet.  They will be a variety of sizes. Break some of the larger pieces with your hands.  Large pretzel pieces will make it difficult to cut the squares, but you don’t want them to be all crumbs either.

3.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 13″ x 9″ pan with foil, and spray the foil with non-stick spray.

4.  In a medium bowl whisk together all the dry ingredients.

5.  In a large bowl, mix butter with brown sugar, stirring until all the sugar is saturated with the butter.  Add eggs and vanilla, stir to combine well.

6.  Fold in dry ingredients using a spatula.  Don’t overmix.

7.  Add in pretzels and white chocolate M & M’s and stir to distribute.

8.  Transfer to prepared pan and bake for 22-25 minutes.  The top will be shiny and somewhat crackled.  A toothpick should test clean.  Remove from oven and cool on rack.

Ready for the Oven.

Out of the Oven.

     

SOURCE:   Cook’s Illustrated New Best Recipes