Thursday, November 20, 2008
Pumpkin Ravioli with Hazelnut Cream Sauce
A few years ago when I was in Italy, our architecture group went on a tour of the Northern towns. My friend, Nicole, had previously lived in Venice and was more than happy to return to one of her favorite restaurants. It has been so long that I cannot recall just how it tasted, but the pumpkin ravioli with hazelnut sauce was other-worldly.
SB is determined that we shall find some Americans and have a proper Thanksgiving dinner. With only a few weeks to go before Thanksgiving I wanted to try out some autumn recipes and this sounded perfect.
1 package flat pasta (or won ton/spring roll wrappers if you can't find or make the pasta)
1 cup (240 ml) pumpkin puree
1 cup (240 ml) ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter
coarse salt (I had a jar of Maldon sea salt that I was dying to use)
Pecorino Romano cheese (or anything hard and salty)
Mix the pumpkin puree, ricotta, maple syrup, nutmeg, and cinnamon together to make the filling.
Lay a pasta sheet on a fat surface or cutting board and mist lightly with water. Spoon 1 teaspoon of filling onto the pasta about one inch from the edge. Continue placing teaspoons of filling along the sheet, 2 inches or more apart. Place another pasta sheet on top and cut out the ravioli. Repeat until all the filling is used.
Gently cook the ravioli in boiling water for 2-3 minutes until the pasta softens, but not until it is al dente. In a skillet, heat 1/2 tablespoon of butter and saute a couple ravioli. Sprinkle with ground pepper and half a pinch of sea salt. Saute the remaining ravioli with the rest of the butter, one batch at a time. Be gentle.
Hazelnut Cream Sauce
1/3 (80 ml) cup hazelnuts
1/2 stick (60 ml) butter
1/2 (120 ml) cup cream
pinch coarse salt
Puree the hazelnuts in a food processor. Place the hazelnuts in a skillet on high and shake the skillet, lightly toasting the hazelnuts. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the butter and mix together until melted. Slowly add the cream and salt. Cook slowly until the sauce is thickened.
Assemble the ravioli on a plate and drizzle the sauce over the top. Grate the Percorino Romano over the ravioli to add a sharp contrast to the creaminess of the sauce and sweetness of the ravioli. Enjoy.