squash ravioli with sage-orange reduction

divine taste, less waste – squash ravioli with a sage-orange reduction

photo by karen messer, food prep by anurag dhir

Like corn to autumn, squash is the ubiquitous winter ingredient, and you never need to worry about having too much of it. You can make tarts, casseroles, soufflés, breads, stews, and great curried dishes. When making this ravioli recipe, roast the squash alongside quartered green apples, cloves of garlic and onions. Use some of the squash for the ravioli and purée the rest to make the base for a terrific winter soup. The seeds from the squash add a delicious component to your finished pasta dish and minimize waste. Just toast the seeds in a light oil until they begin crackling and use as a garnish for your ravioli or any salad dish.

For those of you looking for some additional character in your ravioli, you can add the squash purée to a minced sauté of carrots, celery, onions and garlic. Deglaze the pan with a slightly dry white wine and continue to flavour with some chopped fresh parsley and thyme. I like to use a sauce that complements a flavourful ingredient already in the dish. For this recipe, I chose to use an orange juice–based reduction (a thick, concentrated liquid or sauce made by boiling) to highlight the “orange” flavour already in the squash.

This squash ravioli dish offers many creative opportunities to use what is given to us, reduce waste and stretch the ingredients as far as your imagination is willing to go.

squash ravioli with sage-orange reduction

1 large butternut or kabocha squash (to yield 2 cups of purée)
1 tsp. coarse salt
freshly ground pepper
5 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 c. maple syrup
1/3 c. orange juice (fresh would be best)
1 tbsp. freshly grated ginger
3 tbsp. tahini
2 tbsp. nutritional yeast flakes
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 pkg. frozen wonton wrappers
water or egg wash

3 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 c. shallots, minced
1 garlic clove chopped
1/2 c. sherry or white wine (optional)
1/3 c. orange juice
1 1/2 c. vegetable stock
1/3 c. fresh sage leaves, chopped
1/3 c. dried cranberries


pecans or walnuts, toasted
squash seeds, toasted

for the filling
1    Preheat oven to 400°F. Peel squash and cut into large chunks, scoop out insides and reserve seeds for later. Add salt and pepper. In a large bowl, whisk the oil, maple syrup, orange juice and fresh ginger, add squash and toss. Roast in oven for 45 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a fork.

2    Allow squash to cool and cut into smaller pieces. Sauté with remaining juices from roasting pan over medium heat to dry out the mixture (about 10 minutes). Note: A “wet” filling could leak out of the ravioli later. Smooth out the squash mixture with a potato masher or fork to make a purée.

3    Allow to cool completely and mix in tahini, nutritional yeast flakes and nutmeg. Season to taste with salt and pepper.  

assembling the ravioli
1    Lightly dust your work surface. Lay out wonton wrappers (only 10–12 at a time, so that they don’t dry out) and brush half of them lightly with water or egg wash.

2    Place 1 tbsp. of filling in the centre of each piece of moist wrapper and flatten slightly with the back of a spoon.

3    Cover each with a second wrapper (not moistened) and with the tips of your fingers or the back of a fork, press tightly around each mound and out toward the edges of the wrapper to create a tight seal. (Try to avoid creating air pockets). 

4    Arrange the filled ravioli on a lightly floured baking sheet and refrigerate until you are ready to boil them. 

preparing the sauce
1    In a medium-sized skillet, add olive oil and sauté the shallots and garlic over medium heat until shallots are golden. 

2    Add the sherry or wine to deglaze pan and raise the heat to medium high, cooking until liquid has almost evaporated.

3    Add the orange juice, stock, sage and cranberries. Reduce by half, or until the sauce reaches the consistency that you prefer. Season with salt and pepper. Keep sauce warm.

4    Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop 8–10 ravioli in at a time (don’t crowd the pot or they will stick to each other). They should rise immediately to the surface.

5    Cook in batches for 3–4 minutes, strain and transfer to warm plates. Drizzle lightly with the sauce and garnish with nuts. Serve accompanied by a tangy salad of mixed greens, citrus fruit and balsamic vinaigrette. (yields 25–30 ravioli)

Ali Hassan is owner/chef of Lime Catering Co. in Montréal, Québec, Canada. Tel: 514.606.4678; email: info@limecatering.com; www.limecatering.com

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