Thursday, November 11, 2010

Does it seem like I'm the worst blogger ever? And butternut squash ravioli.

I know I haven't posted any tasty things in months. MONTHS!
But yesterday I made butternut sqash ravioli and I want to tell you all about it.

Did it take about three hours? Yes, it did. Was it totally worth it? Yes, it was.

Did I do that totally lame thing I do and not take any pictures, even though everyone knows that's the whole point of a food blog? Ummm..... maybe. But I'll tell you how to make ravioli! That should count for something, right?

You'll need:
One butternut squash
One box firm silken tofu (such as Mori-Nu)
One medium onion
Dried sage
Garlic powder
1/2 lemon
2 tsp white miso paste
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 cups flour--I used 1 cup each of semilina and whole grain spelt. I don't necessarily recommend using the spelt, since it's rather low-gluten and therefore a little hard to handle in the dough. That said, I did it and it turned out fine.
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

First, make the squash: Use a big sharp kitchen knife to cut the very top and bottom off the squash. Use a vegetable peeler or paring knife to peel off the skin, and scoop the seeds out of the middle. Cut the squash into 1-inch cubes, coat with a little oil, and bake at 400 degrees until they're very tender. (This will take about 20 minutes.)

For the dough: Combine 1/4 of the tofu, 1 tsp. of sage, 1 tsp. salt, 2 Tbsp. olive oil, and 3 Tbsp. water in a blender. Puree until smooth. Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl or onto a large clean surface, like a cutting board. Make a well in the center of the flour, and pour the tofu mixture into the middle. Using your fingers or a fork, incorporate the dry stuff into the wet stuff. If it's really too dry, you can add a little more water, one tablespoon at a time. You need to really knead this dough a lot before it will come together, so don't get discouraged! Once the dough finally comes together, knead it for about five minutes so that it can get nice and stretchy. Wrap it up tightly in plastic wrap and let it rest at room temperature for an hour.

While the dough is resting, combine the miso, juice of half a lemon, and a drizzle of olive oil. Mix until it's all incorporated. Add the rest of the package of tofu, and mash it all together. It doesn't need to be perfectly smooth, but you want the tofu to absorb all the flavors. Add salt and pepper and garlic powder to taste.

Next, cut the onion in half, and slice thinly. Heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat, and add the onion to it. Add 1 tbsp of dried sage. Stir occasionally until the onion is nice and brown and caramelized. (This part makes the whole house smell yummy.)

Add the squash to the onion and smush with the back of a fork and comine the squash and onions into a nice little filling for your ravioli.

Now, tear off a small hunk of dough--more or less 1/3 cup. Place it on top of a piece of wax paper and pat it out into a flat round disc. Use a rolling pin to roll it out (very gently) until it is about 1/4 inch thick. Now, do exactly the same thing to another piece of dough so that you have two pasta sheets of about the same size. Lay one sheet on a flat surface and scoop teaspoonfuls of the tofu mixture about 3 inches apart. Scoop the squash in the same way right on top of the tofu. Use your finger or a pastry brush to brush some water around all the little mounds of filling. Lay the second sheet of dough on top of this and gently press the dough down around the scoops of filling so that it will stick. Use a knife or cookie cutter to cut out the raviolis, and place them on a plate dusted with cornmeal or flour. Continue to do this until all your dough is gone--you can re-roll the scraps of dough until you run out.

Now just boil them in salted water until they float! Now you are an accomplished ravioli chef. (Just like Chef Boyardee?)