ACiL Update: Hi folks! I’ve been back in NYC for a little over a month now. With easy access to good pizza, a bare cupboard and a lack of kitchen equipment it’s been tough to put together any meals for the site. I built up enough of an arsenal to put together a few meals worth posting, so you may see a few new dishes hit the site in the next few weeks. 

Pumpkin Ravioli with Roasted Acorn Squash, Honey Toasted Walnuts and Crumbled Gorgonzola

This is a great fall comfort dish that is a satisfying meal for both my vegetarian wife and my carnivore self. This dish works best if you have some homemade veg stock. If you don’t have any, no worries, place some herbs, a bay leaf, cinnamon stick and some peppercorns in a small pot with salt and cold water; simmer for about 10 minutes then strain through a fine sieve.

I bought some freshly made pumpkin ravioli from a local market, but if you’re feeling adventurous and want to make your own, check out this post on how to make fresh pasta and this link for a quick lesson on how to make your own ravioli. To make a filling for your own ravioli: roast pumpkin or squash as described in the recipe below; purée with a little butter, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt & pepper.

Ingredients:

  • Roasted Squash
    • 1 ea  acorn squash (substitute butternut, pumpkin or kobocha if preferred)
    • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
    • 1 Tbsp olive oil
    • 1 pinch fresh chopped herbs (sage, oregano, thyme)
    • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
    • 1/2 Tbsp honey
    • Salt & pepper
  • Honey Toasted Walnuts- Toss all ingredients together and toast in oven, toaster or a hot pan
    • 1 Cup shelled and crushed walnuts
    • 1 tsp honey
    • 1 tsp butter (melted or at least soft)
    • 1 tsp fresh chopped herbs (sage, oregano, thyme)
    • Salt & pepper
  • Veg Stock (follow link and scroll down for veg stock recipe)
  • 1 minced shallot
  • 1/2 yellow onion- diced small
  • 1 rib celery- diced small
  • Pumpkin ravioli (8-12 per person
  • Arugula (dress very, very lightly with white vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper; just enough to coat)
  • 1 Cup crumbled gorgonzola

Method

1. Put a large pot of salted water on the stove for your ravioli, make sure it is large enough to give the ravioli plenty of room to   cook. If you dump in too many, especially if they are frozen, it will drop the temperature and they won’t cook right.

2. Prepare the squash (use a sharp and sturdy knife):

    • Preheat oven to 375° F (190° C)
    • Remove the root and stem ends of the squash so that it can sit flat on either side. Then cut in half and scoop out the seeds with a spoon.

    • Cut the squash into wedges no more than 3/4 of an inch thick. You can usually just follow the ridges as guides.

    • Toss with the butter, olive oil, spices, seasoning and herbs.

    • Lay out on a baking tray use foil for easy clean-up, but you’ll get better caramelization directly on the tray. Make sure they are all laying flat. Roast for about 25 minutes, flip the squash, and roast another 15 minutes.

  • Allow the squash to cool enough that you can handle it, and begin to peel the tough skin from the squash. It should come off fairly easily and in big pieces. Don’t worry if your squash falls apart, once peeled cut or break the squash into bite sized pieces.

    • Set aside

3. Using a large sauté pan, heat a little butter and/or olive oil over  medium heat. Once hot, sweat the onion, celery and shallots for about 8-10 minutes, or until soft and translucent.  Then, turn up the heat a pinch and add the squash.

 

4. Get a bit of color on the squash and then add about 2 cups of vegetable stock. Now is a good time to drop the ravioli in your boiling water.

 

5. The squash will start to break down a bit and thicken the stock as it reduces. When the ravioli is cooked, drain and immediately add to the squash. Incorporate the ravioli well and continue to cook on the stove until the sauce starts to coat the ravioli, stirring often to prevent sticking. For an especially rich sauce, finish the sauce by incorporating a little cold butter into the sauce.

6. Place a small bed of dressed arugula (rocket) on the plate and spoon the ravioli and sauce over it. Sprinkle the gorgonzola and toasted walnuts over the dish.

Be sure to follow American Chef in London for more updates coming soon.

Including a different variation on this dish with papardelle, goat cheese and almonds (pictured below).