Hurry up and wait. That’s what life has been like for me since I began photographing the cookbook. It’s a fabulous opportunity but an arduous task. Between the 60-70 hours a week at the restaurants, there has been another 10-15 hours a week photographing, waiting, photographing, editing and uploading photos. There hasn’t been much time for anything else. The laundry is piling, the leaves need raking and how on earth is the recycling bin so full? Oh yeah, forgot to put it out…
Needless to say, there hasn’t been much cooking at home. But today the clouds parted and both of my shoots canceled. One for a somewhat major kitchen disaster, the other for what I’m guessing was a few too many late night libations. I’m taking this time to get up a post that has been in my head since I began thinking about fall, pumpkin ravioli with brown butter.
The two people I mentioned this post to (yes TJ, you were one) had asked if I was going to include a pasta recipe. There is no pasta recipe, I don’t know of a cookbook that doesn’t have one. If you can’t find one, I’ll send you mine. You can find fresh pasta sheets at Whole Foods or any specialty food store if you aren’t interested in making your own. This post is focused on making the ravioli and making the brown butter.
I may have gone a little overboard with the step by step instructions but this has been in my head for a while and I wanted to do my idea justice.
For the ravioli filling….
2 each pie pumpkins (about 6 cups of cooked pumpkin)
2 Tbs. garlic, minced
2 Tbs. butter
1 tsp. fresh rosemary, chopped fine
1 Tbs. kosher salt
1 tsp. white pepper, ground
2 Tbs. vegetable oil
You may substitute 5 cups of canned pumpkin if you would prefer that to fresh. Though it is easier than roasting fresh pumpkins, you won’t get the delicate flavor fresh pumpkins will give you. Leave out the butter and add the garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper to the canned pumpkin and skip to assembling your raviolis.
1. Preheat your oven to 350°.
2. Line a baking sheet with foil.
3. Rub the vegetable oil on the foil to keep the pumpkins from sticking.
4. Remove the stems and halve the pumpkins.
5. Scrape out the seeds, save them if you want to make pepitas later.
6. Place the pumpkins on the baking sheet, cut side down.
7. Cover the pumpkins with foil and bake for 60-70 minutes or until the pumpkins are fork tender.
8. Allow the pumpkins to cool to room temperature.
9. Scrape all the meat from the pumpkin skin into a bowl.
10. Puree the pumpkin in a blender or robot coupe.
11. In a sauté pan, melt the butter over medium heat.
12. Add the garlic and sweat gently until it begins to turn white.
13. Add the pumpkin puree, rosemary, salt and pepper.
14. While we’re infusing the pumpkin with the garlic and rosemary flavor, we’re also cooking out some of the liquid in the pumpkin so it’s not too loose when we go to make the raviolis.
15. Continue cooking over low heat while stirring constantly with a spoon so as not to let it burn.
16. Your pumpkin is ready when it is firm enough in the pan to hold the weight of the spoon without letting it sink.
17. Remove from heat and chill.
If you’ve followed this blog at all, you’re aware of my disdain for white pepper. This recipe is one of the rare exceptions I have for white pepper, but you must grind it yourself. Most ground white peppers you can buy have hints of manure in the aroma (not actual manure, mind you) that I find off putting.
• Clean work surface
• Ravioli press
• Chefs knife
• Egg wash
• Fresh pasta sheets
• Rolling pin
1. Prepare your work surface, this is your mis en place.
2. Lay the first pasta sheet on the ravioli press.
3. Using the second piece of the press, make an indentation in the pasta sheet.
4. You should now have room for the filling.
5. Brush the pasta sheet with the egg wash.
6. Fill each ravioli section with about 1 Tbs. of pumkin filling.
7. Going end to end, lay the second pasta sheet on top of the filling.
8. Slowing work your way up pressing out any air bubbles.
9. Make sure you get as much air out as possible.
10. Small bubbles should be fine, large bubbles will make your raviolis explode in the water.
11. The second piece of pasta should lay snug on the filling.
12. Press the pasta dough with the rolling pin to cut the ravioli.
13. Make sure to roll both north & south and east & west.
14. Press the dough down off the ravioli press to avoiding lifting and tearing a ravioli.
15. Once the pasta has been separated, remove the excess.
16. Flip the ravioli press and gently remove the raviolis.
17. Cut any pasta that may be connecting the raviolis.
19. Sprinkle corn flour on a plate to keep the raviolis from sticking together.
20. Place on the plate and freeze or reserve for cooking.
For the brown butter…
4 Tbs. butter, unsalted
1 tspn kosher salt
1. Plate the butter and salt in a small sauté pan.
2. Melt the butter on medium high heat.
3. Allow the butter to keep cooking until it begins to bubble.
4. Once the bubbling has stopped, the browning will begin.
5. Keep on the heat, swirling gently until the butter attains a medium brown color.
6. Remove from heat and reserve warm.
Bring six quarts of generously salted water to a rapid boil. Cook the ravioli for 3-5 minutes. Remove to a plate and finish with brown butter and Parmesan.