Tuesday, August 9, 2011

In The Kitchen With Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Ravioli

DSC09293This is one of those “MMMMmmmm!” kind of recipes. As in, you will most likely be saying that with every bite. It’s basically five ingredients that come together to make utter heaven in your mouth. I am counting the days until I make this for dinner again because it’s such a crowd pleaser and isn’t always nice to see someone enjoying your food? Here’s how it came together for me (See the bottom of this post for a complete recipe):

DSC09249First thing I do is make tomato sauce since it should simmer for about an hour. You can buy sauce in a jar if you would prefer to save the time I just happen to love homemade. Mine varies depending on what’s available to me. This particular sauce had the basics to keep the flavors more focused on the ingredients: tomatoes, garlic, red onion, olive oil, basil, oregano etc.

DSC09259After about an hour your sauce should look something like this and will have filled your house with an amazing smell.
 DSC09286I don’t normally puree my pasta sauce but because I’m going to add other elements to this I want the sauce to be smooth so you can really get the full effect of the other toppings. Puree until all the chunks are smooth which takes about 45 seconds on high.

DSC09264Next I made candied pecans. It might seem not worth it but trust me, candying these delicious little buggers is pivotal to the tastiness of this dish. Plus it’s pretty simple to do. I made a quick sauce with an egg white, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.

DSC09270Then I put a cups worth of pecans in the juices. (I suggest making a few extra as a snack because these babies are so dang good)

DSC09271Bath time for pecans.
DSC09281 Once they’re all coated and shiny I laid them out on a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper. This is one of the many instances I love having a toaster oven. So much easier and saves huge on power. I threw them in the toaster for about ten minutes at 350.

DSC09257While the pecans are baking I tossed the butternut squash ravioli in a pot to boil. I found this ravioli at Costco over by the fancy cheeses. When you open the package it smells just like Thanksgiving. The nutmeg and sage smell amazing so it’s a great dinner to make in Fall too. Plus aren’t the colors fun? The cashier told me her kids call it “Nemo Pasta” which I thought was quite fitting.

DSC09291After about ten minutes the pecans look like this. Let them cool down before breaking them up. It only takes a few minutes and they crumble really easily when cooled.
DSC09283Speaking of fancy cheese, you will need some goat cheese to crumble on top of your pasta. My cat goes absolutely bananas for this stuff. This particular cheese was another Costco purchase for me. Goat cheese is one of my weaknesses; it calls my name from the shelf and says, “Don’t you love me anymore?” Resistance is futile.
  DSC09296The last component is fresh basil leaves. I got mine from my garden box which makes me click my heels. It’s satisfying to get use out of your summer long TLC time. I’m starting to finally see some tomatoes too, it’s pretty incredible to watch it all grow everyday.
DSC09295Now it’s just a matter of laying out the dish. I overlapped the ravioli then poured on some tomato sauce. Then I sprinkled on the candied pecans followed by the goat cheese and basil. It’s incredible how much this dish really does smell like Thanksgiving. My fella and I were just standing in the kitchen taking in deep breathes while we waited for it to be done cooking. Thanksgiving in August? Darn tootin!

So here’s a summary of everything I just said:

1 package Butternut Squash Ravioli
2-3 cups tomato sauce (jarred or homemade and preferably smooth)
1 cup Pecans
1 Egg White
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
1 tsp Nutmeg
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 cup Goat Cheese
1/4 cup Fresh Basil Leaves

Preheat oven/toaster oven to 350. Follow directions on ravioli package. While pasta boils, beat egg white, brown sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon by hand in a bowl until frothy. Bathe pecans in mix and thoroughly cover every pecan. Lay out pecans on parchment lined cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes until golden.

While pecans cool lay ravioli on plate and cover in tomato sauce. Crumbled on goat cheese then crush candied pecans over pasta. Top dish with basil leaves and serve.

*Photo credits property of Reckless Bliss*


Amber @ fromtheseeds said...

This looks so delicious! I need to try out that pasta too mmmmmmm

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Thanks for sharing!