Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Best Meal I've Ever Made

Well I must say, it’s been awhile since I last/first blogged.  I’m going to have to work a little harder at this! I blame it on the FABULOUS Fall we’ve been blessed with!

First a little update about my globetrotting, lifesaving, making a difference sister. Carla has been in Ethiopia for almost 6 weeks now. She currently lives with a family outside the capital, Addis Ababa. She is spending her days learning all about Ethiopia and learning their language.  After her 3 months with this family, she will be moving to Korem, Ethiopia in the Northern part of the country to start her service.  I love hearing about her journey, if you’d like to read about it you can visit her blog at

Beautiful fall colors along the Mississippi River

Ah, fall: my favorite of all the seasons. The pristine beauty the trees offer us almost makes the cold to come worth it.  The cooler days, bright sunshine, golden, fire colored leaves, pumpkins, bonfires, apple orchards, and the oh, so wonderful comfort food all contribute to the wonderfulness of this beautiful season. Of course I would have to say my favorite part of fall is the transition from light healthy meals on the grill, to roasting veggies and homemade pastas… comfort foods.  At the top of my comfort foods list is my latest endeavor, butternut squash ravioli with a brown butter sage sauce. Yes I know it sounds good, but really you have no idea how heavenly it actually tastes! All I could really say was WOW. It deserves a blog post dedicated to it. Lucky for you I am willing to share this recipe with you all, not only because I’m nice, but because I just got it from Emeril’s site in the first place.  The absolute BEST part of this recipe: it only takes an hour.

9 Tbs butter (mmm butter!)
3 Tbs minced shallots (I probably did more)
1 cup roasted butternut squash puree (I of course did more and pureed it in the food processor)
Freshly ground white pepper
3 Tbs Heavy cream (Again… of course I added a little more)
3 Tbs grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus 2 ounces (need I repeat myself again?)
Pinch nutmeg
1 recipe pasta dough, rolled out into wide ribbons, about ¼ inch thick (are you kidding me Emeril… a ¼ inch!! I don’t think so… I just went to the second to last setting on the pasta machine and even that was a little thick. You want it just thick enough that it doesn’t tear)
12 fresh sage leaves
1 Tbs finely chopped fresh parsley leaves (I of course did NOT add this since I am not a fan)

Directions: In a large sauté pan, over medium heat, melt 1 Tbs of the butter. Add the shallots and sauté for 1 min. Add the squash puree and cook until the mixture is slightly dry, about 2 to 3 min. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the cream and continue to cook for 2 min.  Remove from the heat and stir in 3 Tbs cheese and nutmeg to taste, season with salt and pepper. Cool Completely.

Cut the pasta ribbons into 3-inch squares.  Place 2 tsp of the filling in the center of each pasta square.  Bring 1 corner of the square to the other, forming a triangle and seal the pasta completely.  Add the pasta to pot of boiling salted water.  Cook until al dente, about 2 to 3 min or until pasta floats and is pale in color. 

Remove the pasta from the water and drain well.  Season the pasta with salt and pepper. (I don’t know if this is really necessary)

In a large sauté pan, melt the remaining 8 Tbs of butter.  Add the sage to the butter and continue to cook until the butter starts to brown.  Remove from the heat.

Place some of the pasta in the center of each serving plate.  Spoon the butter sauce over the pasta.  Sprinkle the 2oz of cheese over each plate and garnish with parsley (or not).

Heaven on a Plate.  YUM!

For help with making fresh pasta: (I also add a Tbs or 2 of Olive Oil to the mix)

I promise I'll try to add more than just a recipe (well, its not JUST a recipe) on the next blog post! Snow is coming, which means more time to write!

Bon Appetit!