If nothing else, I know fall is starting to come when butternut squash starts popping up in the farmer’s market. Even before the leaves start turning into their majestic autumnal colors or the temperatures start to drop, the fall squashes start coming in and I pick them up quickly! Last week, I saw boatloads of pumpkins, acorn, butternut, and spaghetti squash (more to come on the spaghetti one later). Even though our temperatures are a little high here in Nashville, I was jonesing for a taste of fall. So, when I read on twitter that Lazzaroli Pasta was making their first batch of butternut squash ravioli, I jumped in my car and headed straight over.
This was, surprisingly, my first visit ever to Lazzaroli’s, but now I think I’ll make a pit stop every week. First of all, they make fresh mozzarella every Saturday (and it usually sells out pretty quickly). As a result, you can also get some fresh ricotta. Secondly, they have handmade fresh pasta and dozens of fresh raviolis (all sold in about 1 lb. portions). Third, they have a great selection of specialty Italian ingredients like olive oils, vinegars, San Marzano tomatoes, cheese. And lastly, they have awesome salumi – including salumi made by Mario Batali’s dad – Armandino – from Salumi Artisan Cured Meats. If you get a chance, try the smoked paprika – I got it in my fridge and eat it during football games.
So, I’m immediately sold on the store. But, my mind was on ravioli. I picked up a box of the butternut squash variety and I really want to go back to try Benton’s bacon with lemon & mint, goat cheese & pear, raviogi (yukon gold potato with caramelized onion), and roasted kale & pancetta. Who am I kidding? I’ll be there tomorrow to go pick some up. Anyway, the ravioli are made fresh daily and then frozen immediately, so it’s an incredibly fresh product which is really simple to prepare. After being tossed in cornmeal to prevent sticking, they come in a little box and look like this:
What I’m really trying to say, is GET TO LAZZAROLI PASTA AND THEN MAKE THIS RECIPE!
Butternut Squash Ravioli with Rosemary Brown Butter Sauce and Toasted Pistachios (serves 4)
(Recipe courtesy of Vivek Surti)
I came up with this recipe on a whim. I was inspired by the classic pairing of squash/pumpkin ravioli with sage brown butter and walnuts. We don’t have regular sage in the garden, and my pineapple sage is about dead, but rosemary was growing nicely so I picked some of that. My grandfather polished off the walnuts, so we had pistachios. Be flexible with your ingredients – everything will turn out great. And this dish, was truly great. (It also has a real small list of ingredients).
1 lb. butternut squash ravioli (if you can’t get Lazzaroli’s, check out your local Italian shop, or even grocery stores which stock fresh pasta)
1/4 cup of pistachios, toasted in a dry pan
1/2 stick of unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, whole
2 sprigs of rosemary
1 lemon, zested
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
First, get a huge pot of water to a boil and then season it aggressively with salt. You want this water to taste like salt water. It’s your way to seasoning the pasta dough, so don’t be shy. I prefer to use really course salt here, as opposed to table salt. While they are cooking, get your sauce ready.
In another pan over medium heat, add the butter, garlic, and rosemary sprigs. Cook for about 5-6 minutes until the butter starts to brown. You know it’s ready when you can smell the nuttiness of the butter, it’s a bit foamy, and the liquid has changed color. You want to leave the rosemary and garlic whole, so it infuses the butter, but is easily pulled out. Get a few tablespoons of the pasta water and put it in. Then add half the parmesan cheese.
When the ravioli are just cooked, take them out of the pot and put them directly in the brown butter sauce. You want to always finish cooking the pasta in the sauce. Baste the ravioli with the brown butter mixture until they are perfectly cooked.
To plate, get a few ravioli (about 3 per person) the put it on the plate. Drizzle with the brown butter sauce. Garnish with the toasted pistachios, some grated lemon zest, some of the crispy rosemary leaves, and a little bit of parmesan cheese.
The great thing about this recipe is that you can use it on just about any type of squash pasta this fall. And is there really anything more comforting than a big plate of pasta? I think not. Enjoy the change of season, readers!