Monday, January 18, 2010

From the Garden to the Table Even Throughout the Winter

From the bit of research we have done, we know that our house was built before the 1860's. Therefore, the basement was built over 150 years ago. Our basement was built having a dirt floor and even now the temperature year round stays around 50 degrees. In fact this works to our advantage- in that we have something like an old fashioned root cellar. Placing root vegetables down in the dark and cool place allows there shelf life to continue throughout the winter.
The other day while down in the basement we found our butternut squash that we placed there in this fall. Even though it is winter using the vegetables we grew in the garden from the summer before is great. This allows you to think of all those recipes you want to try and didn't have time or some old recipes that make you think of fall again.
Try this ravioli recipe, it isn't very hard and if you don't have squash from the garden, try it with frozen of evened canned squash.
Butternut Squash Ravioli
Basic Dough
2 cups of bread flour
3 egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1/4-1/2 cup of warm water
Place flour into the bowl of your mixer, make a well into the flour, add egg yolks, salt and olive oil to bowl. Begin to mix the ingredients, add water a tablespoon at a time until dough forms a ball. Do not add enough water to let the dough to get sticky. Mix or knead for 10 minutes. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and let rest for 45 minutes. While dough rests make butternut squash filling.
Butternut Squash Filling
2 tablespoons of chopped onion
2 cups pureed butternut squash (If using fresh squash poke the whole squash with a fork in several places and then place it into a 9 x 13 pan with 1/2 inch of water on the bottom. Put pan in 350 degree oven and roast until squash in tender. Once cooled, remove skin and seeds from squash and place the flesh in food processor to puree.)
1 -2 tablespoons of butter
Salt and pepper to taste
Saute onion until tender in butter over medium heat. Add squash to the onion mixture and add salt and pepper to taste. Once the mixture in warm, take off stove and let cool.
While squash mixture cools. Begin rolling out dough. Slice dough into 2 pieces. Using a rolling pin roll 1 piece of the dough on a lightly floured surface until dough is very thin. The dough should be about the thickness of a dime or so you can see your hand through the dough when you lift it up. As you roll the dough, turn over 2 or three times so that it doesn't stick to the counter. Once rolled out to chosen thickness, place a teaspoon of squash mixture over dough in lines with about an 1/2 to 3/4 of inch space on all sides. Using a pastry brush, dip in water and brush the dough around the squash mixture so that when you put the top dough over to form the ravioli the dough will stick together better. Press down where the dough meets to seal in the squash mixture. Cut ravioli using a pizza slicer. Let ravioli air dry as you continue rolling out the second piece of dough and continue making the ravioli.
Place the ravoili in boiling water for 2-4 minutes and serve with any sauce you would like.

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