Butternut Squash Ravioli

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Butternut Squash Ravioli with Spinach DoughThese exquisite butternut squash ravioli are definitely a must try: unique, filling, delicious and wholesome! Follow this egg and lactose free recipe and learn a new, healthy, and fun way of preparing squash this fall season!

♥About Butternut Squash:

A close cousin of the pumpkin, butternut squash is a popular ingredient in many holiday recipes such as: soups, casseroles, stews, breads, dips, side dishes, and pies. Because it contains seeds, which are a rich source of Butternut squash zinc and mono-unsaturated fatty acids, butternut squash is considered a fruit. Its sweet, buttery, deep orange, succulent pulp is a great source of fiber, carotene, antioxidants,  vitamins (A, B and C), and minerals (calcium, iron, and potassium). As with most vegetables and fruits, the skin of this winter squash is also high in phytonutrients, so buying organic and consuming its peel, seeds and pulp is the best way to get the most out of this amazing fall quintessential food!

INGREDIENTS:

  • Dough: 2 cups of flour, a pinch of salt, 3/4 cup of  spinach puree (blended spinach mixed with water).
  • Filling: 1/2 roasted unpeeled organic butternut squash (or 1/2 small pumpkin), 1/4 roasted onion, 1/4 cup of lactose free cheddar shreds (Daiya, Go Veggie or other brand) or organic non-GMO tofu, salt, pepper and paprika.
  • Special tools: rolling pin and ravioli cutter (you can use a ravioli or cookie cutter, or a small cup or jar lid with sharp edges).
  • Tomato sauce: 1 can of diced tomatoes, 1 can of tomato sauce, 2 or 3 minced garlic cloves, a bay leaf, salt, pepper and chili flakes.
  • Béchamel sauce: 1 cup of almond or soy milk, 1/2 cup of water, 2 tablespoons of corn starch, 1 tablespoon of oil or 1/8 of an Earth Balance butter stick, nutmeg, salt and pepper.

PREPARATION:

♦Dough:  In a large bowl mix the flour and salt. Make a hole in the center and pour the spinach puree in it. With a wooden spoon mix the liquid with the flour and then start kneading the dough with your hands. If the dough is too dry, add a little bit of water. If the dough is too wet, add a little bit of flour. Once you reach a uniform and firm dough, cover it with a cloth and let it rest for around 30 minutes.

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♦Filling: In a medium bowl or food processor puree the roasted butternut squash and onion together. If you are using tofu instead of cheddar shreds, blend the tofu with the squash and onion. Add lactose free cheddar shreds, paprika, a pinch of salt and some fresh crushed pepper and mix well. Cover and refrigerate.

Note: Butternut squash and pumpkin seeds are a great source of zinc. If you would like to find out how to prepare roasted pumpkin seeds, visit GSU’s Pumpkin Soup recipe page!

SAUCES

Tomato sauce: Place a pot on the stove, turn the burner to medium heat and add some oil. Sauté the died garlic with chili flakes. Add the cans of diced tomato and tomato sauce, bay leaf, salt, and pepper and mix well. Turn heat to low, cover and let simmer for 30 minutes.

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Béchamel sauce: In a pot or microwave safe bowl, combine the corn starch with a little bit of water and stir until you get a uniform paste (without lumps). Add the rest of the ingredients and begin heating the mixture on the stove or in the microwave. Stir constantly (if microwaving, every 30” to 40”) to avoid lumps from forming and to prevent the sauce from sticking to the bottom of the pot or bowl.

PUTTING IT TOGETHER

  1. On a clean, dry and smooth surface start rolling the pasta dough with a rolling pin. You will need a little bit of flour to sprinkle on the counter to keep the dough from sticking.  Roll the dough into a flat sheet and fold it, then roll it again and fold it again. Repeat this process 3 or 4 times, or until you obtain an elastic, uniform and smooth dough.
  2. Get your stuffing out of the fridge and have your ravioli cutter ready (clean and dry). Divide the pasta dough into quarters and roll two quarters of the dough (side by side) until they are approximately 1/32 of an inch thick. With your ravioli cutter, mark the circles on one of the dough sheets (try to be space efficient and fit as many circles as you can).
  3. With a spoon put a small amount of stuffing in the center of each circle and top it with a strip of dough from the other dough sheet (if the dough has too much flour, lightly wet the edges of the dough to help the top stick to the bottom). Now, cut the ravioli with the ravioli cutter.
  4. Finally, press the edges of the circle with your fingertips to make sure the ravioli has sealed properly. With a spatula, gently remove each ravioli from the counter top and place it on a floured plate. Repeat the procedure until you finish the dough or until you reach the desired number of ravioli. Mix all the dough trimmings and roll them again or boil them and serve them as noodles (they are delicious!).
  5. Cook ravioli in salted boiling water for 3 or 4 minutes or until they start floating on the surface. Serve with tomato and béchamel sauce. Garnish with fresh ground black pepper and your choice of arugula, chopped parsley or fresh basil.

Enjoy!

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