While a certain coffee house has equated the fall season with pumpkin our preference for squash of the winter variety is the bright orange butternut.
Also referred to as the butternut pumpkin, this particular variety has a tan colored skin and a sweet, nutty, orange flesh that it a source of fiber, vitamins C, A and E, manganese, magnesium, and potassium. It can be prepared in a variety of different ways: roasted, sautéed, puréed for soups, or mashed and used in casseroles, breads, and muffins.
Naturally our favorite use for this harvest vegetable is in pasta, specifically our butternut squash ravioli; plump pillows of pasta made with squash in the dough, generously stuffed with roasted squash and ricotta. The ravioli are a seasonal staple and a customer favourite that can be served several different ways.
Classically they can be tossed in browned butter and fresh sage and topped with toasted nuts and Parmigiano shavings. They also pair incredibly well with cream sauces, from a simple béchamel or alfredo to a savoury gorgonzola cream sauce with toasted walnuts. A great way to serve them up for a fall feast would be tossed in a maple cream sauce with a hint of thyme and topped with crispy bacon or pancetta.
If you’re looking for a unique appetizer for your upcoming Thanksgiving meal try battering the ravioli in an egg and breadcrumb coating then fry them and serve with a dollop of walnut and sage pesto. Your guests will really be thankful for an invite to your festive meal after biting into one (or more) of these.
For us, butternut squash is synonymous with the fall season and our ravioli would make the perfect addition to a holiday meal or simply enjoyed as a warm bowl of comfort on a cool autumn day.