Tuesday, January 10, 2012

#178 Elegant Butternut Squash Ravoili from Il Fornaio

This is my version of a simply delicious Pasta dish that I was served at an Italian Restaurant in Virginia called Il Fornaio. The sweet savory taste of the butternut squash and Parmesan cheese is one that stayed with me especially the aroma of the Sage leaves. It was sort of a tortellini stuffed with mashed butternut squash and loaded with flavor. I was inspired to recreate a modified version of this at some time. With the dawn of the New Year those memories came back when I saw some fresh Sage leaves at the grocery store a few days back.

An elegant Italian recipe that is bound to amaze all your guests at your next dinner party. I will share one big secret with you... I did not make the ravioli
pasta from scratch. Instead I got some pre-made wonton wrappers from the store to fill the roasted butternut squash and creamy cheese. The Fried Sage leaves make such an elegant display and crispy scrumptiousness you can almost start snacking on it before the ravioli is done!! Above all, the aroma fills the air and reminds me of simple home cooking.  I promise you, your guests will shower you with compliments.

For filling
a 2-pound butternut squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
use one half of it
1/2 medium onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
1  teaspoons ground sage
1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 ounces soft cheese like goat or cheddar cheese, grated
30 won ton wrappers, thawed if frozen
1/2 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1/3 cup walnuts,toasted lightly and skinned and chopped coarse
Sage leaves- 3 sprigs
that is so warm and fuzzy it reminds me of Holidays gone by.
Preheat oven to 425°F. and lightly grease a baking sheet.
Make filling:
Put squash halves, flesh sides down, an baking sheet and roast in middle of oven 30 minutes, or until flesh is very tender. When squash is cool enough to handle, scoop out flesh into a bowl and discard skin.
Mash squash with a fork until smooth.
While squash is roasting, in a skillet cook onion and sage in butter with salt and pepper to taste over moderate heat, stirring, 5 minutes, or until onion is golden brown. Stir in garlic and cook, stirring, 1
Cool onion mixture slightly and add to squash. Add cheese and stir to combine well.
In a 6-quart kettle bring 5 quarts salted water to a gentle boil for ravioli.
Put 1 won ton wrapper on a lightly floured surface, keeping remaining wrappers in plastic wrap, and mound 1 tablespoon filling in center. Lightly brush edges of wrapper with egg wash and put a second
wrapper over first, pressing down around filling to force out air and seal edges well. If desired, trim excess dough with a round cutter or sharp knife. Transfer ravioli to a floured baking tray. Make more ravioli
with remaining wrappers and filling in same manner, transferring to the baking tray and turning occasionally to dry slightly.
In a skillet melt the butter, add the nuts and toast over moderate heat until butter begins to brown, about 3 minutes, and immediately remove from heat (nuts will continue to cook). Season clarified butter with salt and pepper and keep covered in a warm place.

A taste test for texture and flavor!!

Cook the ravioli in 3 batches in gently boiling water 6 minutes, or until they rise to surface and are tender. Carefully transfer the ravioli as they cook and rise to the surface, with a spoon. Keep aside in a large shallow baking pan and add enough cooking water to reach 1/2 inch up side of pan. Keep ravioli warm, covered.
Transfer ravioli with a slotted spoon letting excess cooking liquid drip off onto 6 serving plates.  If you decide to put them all onto a family size platter(like I did) you must serve them immediately or they will lump together and stick.

For a real treat, after boiling and draining the ravioli, set them aside for a while on parchment paper, separating each and every packet so they do not stick together. Rest them for a while. Now heat the
clarified butter, when it foams add sage leaves.  Let them crisp, and slide in the ravioli. Sauté them until they start browning nicely. Remove to warm serving dish and toss with Parmigiano or toasted walnuts, or bread


  1. I love this..Thanks for the recipe..This looks mouthwatering


  2. Wow, this is a fantastic ravioli. While ravioli dough is not hard to make, I've used the won ton wrappers on occasion myself, they are very convenient. I love sage with poultry and with potatoes; this recipe is wonderful.

  3. Yummy ravoili...Using wanton wraps makes it easier..

  4. I must agree that this is a real treat for the family. I should try making pasta at home too :)

  5. Hi Malli - even if you didn't make the pasta itself, you still made the stuffing - that's the most important part ;) I never saw pre-made, unfilled ravioli sheets before... Must take a look! I love the stuffing - so colourful and the final dish looks incredible! Especially that sage... yum!

  6. Woww.. .mouth watering here.. looks absolutely delicious and perfect..

  7. Hi Malli! Yum! This looks delicious! What a lovely idea to stuff butternut squash in the Ravioli! I often doesn't know how to use sage, but I like how you added sage in this. I'd love to try this one day. Really lovely!

  8. Just mouthwatering...looks so fresh & delicious!


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