Thursday, November 3, 2011

Cooking With DJ Intel: Pumpkin Ravioli...

Yeah it's fall!  I love winter vegetables.  Over the halloween weekend I picked up two pie pumpkins to decorate my table during a party.  I figured why let them go to waste when I could eat them.  I love pumpkin ravioli so I figured it's a good opportunity to try my hand at it.  I definitely learned some things.  Cursing in the kitchen is always a good look.  Here we go.

Pumpkin Ravioli:

6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound fresh pumpkin, peeled and cut in 1-inch cubes
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 bay leaf
2 tablespoons minced fresh sage
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
2 eggs, beaten
Freshly ground white pepper

Pasta dough:
4 large eggs (about 7/8 cup)
1 tablespoon water
3 1/2 cups sifter all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 egg, beaten lightly, for egg wash

The first thing I did was make the pasta dough.  Take all the above pasta dough ingredients and combine them in a food processor.  You want to pulse mix them for about 30 seconds.  If you have a electric hand-mixer that works also.  You just need to combine them. 

Once you've done that flour your counter top and hands.  Next kneed the dough for a couple of minutes.  Eventually ending with a flat ball shape.  Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and stick it in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.  Feel free to prep the pumpkin first and the dough second.  This order isn't that important.

While the dough is chilling prep the pumpkin filling.  Let the tedious begin!  Hahaha.  Break down and clean about a pound of pumpkin.  You want the pumpkin in pretty uniform cubes to make the cooking process easier.  If you've never cubed and cleaned a pumpkin this video will help.

Melt your butter in a fairly large pan on a low-medium heat and then add the pumpkin.  Stir the pumpkin occasionally so it doesn't stick or scorch.  Eventually the pumpkin will cook down into a puree. 

When you arrive to the puree consistency you want to move the pumpkin into a saucepan or a pot.  (You probably can to the cooking down of the pumpkin in the pot/saucepan)

Add the cream, sage, bay leaf and thyme.  Let this cook on low heat for about 45 - 60 minutes or until
the liquid has evaporated.  Once it's thickened remove it from the heat and let it cool.  Mix in two beaten eggs.

While that is cooling take out your pasta dough from the refrigerator and begin to roll it out.  If you have a pasta machine you are a winner.  Otherwise it's the old fashion roller way.  You want the pasta to be thin.  I cut my dough down to make it easier to manage and to accommodate my small workspace.  At this time you should also put a pot of water on to boil.

Once your dough is rolled assemble you ravioli.  Egg wash your dough with a lightly beaten egg. Add a spoonful of pumpkin filling and place the top layer.  Pinch the ends and sides together.  You can do this in a sheet method, but I chose to do mine individually.  I also don't have a fancy pasta cutter.  I sharp knife works just fine.  So there.  Lay your assembled pasta on a cooking sheet that is dusted with some semolina.

These are my first attempts.  Not so pretty.  But I got the hang of it.

As the water begins to boil.  You want to make your sauce.  I love the combo of Pumpkin and brown butter sage sauce.  It's a super easy sauce to make.  

Brown Butter Sage Sauce

4 tablespoons butter
8 sage leaves
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

While your pasta cooks, melt butter in a 12 to 14-inch saute pan and continue cooking until golden brown color  appears in the thinnest liquid of the butter. Add sage leaves and remove from heat. Add lemon juice and set aside. 

Drop you pasta in the water for about 4 minutes or so.  It's fresh so it shouldn't cook very long.  Take it out with a slotted spoon add it to the brown butter sauce.  Add the cheese, toss to coat and serve immediately.

Bam!  Dinner, lunch or what my have you is served.


Soundtrack for cooking: DJ Andy Smith's disco boogie mix.
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