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Yummy Butternut Squash Ravioli

It’s pretty obvious that I love butternut squash, but we also had butternut squash left over from making butternut squash risotto https://ourfunstuff.wordpress.com/2014/12/26/scrumptious-butternut-squash-risotto/.

So after thinking about what to make with the left-overs, I decided that it would be worth a try to make home-made butternut squash ravioli. I couldn’t have done without the help of Hans. He did all of the hard work from making the dough to making the ravioli. So here is what we did.

Ingredients for the pasta dough (60 ravioli):
1.5-2 cups semolina flour
1.5-2 cups regular flour
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon olive oil (we used basil-flavored olive oil)
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt

Ingredients for the ravioli filling:
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 butternut squash, sautéed
salt, pepper, and chili powder, to taste
grated Pecorino Romano cheese, to taste

Preparation:
1. Add flour to a medium bowl and create a deep, wide well in the center. Pour the eggs, olive oil, and salt into the well. Start by mixing the eggs with a fork and then slowly start mixing the flour in from the sides. Once the dough starts to move as a unit, empty the bowl onto a floured surface and knead the dough by hand for several minutes, or until the dough forms a nice ball.The dough should be smooth and homogenous. Knead in more flour, if it still feels sticky.

2. Cut the dough into smaller pieces to be run through the pasta maker. We started with size 1 and slowly increased the level to 5. Level 5 yields a thin layer of dough that we laid out flat to use to make the ravioli.

3. Peel the butternut squash and cut into cubes. Heat the butter and olive oil in medium-size pan. We sautéed the whole butternut squash and used half of the sautéed butternut squash for Butternut Squash Risotto and the other half for this recipe. Add the salt, pepper, and chili powder. Once the butternut squash has been sautéed, use potato masher to mash the butternut squash. Add a bit of freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese and stir until mixed.

4. Place about half a teaspoon of mashed butternut squash onto the dough. Leave some space between the mashed butternut squash to be able to shape distinct ravioli. Cover with another strip of rolled out ravioli dough. Gently press down on the edges to seal each ravioli. Cut the ravioli. This dough and half of the butternut squash will make approximately 60 ravioli.

5. Place ravioli into rapidly boiling water and cook for 4-5 minutes, or until dough is done. Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a small pan. Drain ravioli. Arrange on plate or in flat bowl. Drizzle with a bit of melted butter and sprinkle with more cheese shavings. Enjoy!

Note: We froze half of the raviolis before cooking them. We arranged them on a tray with minimal overlap and placed them in the freezer overnight. This should prevent the raviolis to stick to themselves. We moved the raviolis into a labeled freezer bag for later use. =)

Butternut Squash Ravioli_13_small

 

Ravioli dough inspiration came from: http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/ravioli-pasta-dough.aspx

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Butternut Squash Kale Quesadilla

We enjoyed the butternut squash risotto a lot, but what else to make with the left-over butternut squash? Inspiration came from the Pioneer Woman http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2013/01/butternut-squash-kale-quesadillas/.

I love quesadillas. I love butternut squash. I love kale. And I love melted cheese. However, I would have never thought that a combination of all of these would taste good. Was I wrong.

So slightly modifying the recipe by Pioneer Woman, here is what I came up with.

Ingredients (1 large serving or 6 appetizer-sized servings):
1 cup of sautéed butternut squash (peel and cube butternut squash)
1 teaspoon butter
1 teaspoon olive oil
salt, pepper, and chili powder, to taste
2 large kale leaves, stalks removed and leaves torn
2 large tortillas
1/2 cup shredded cheese (more if needed), I like to use Mexican cheese blend

Preparation:
1. Heat butter and olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the squash and add salt, pepper, and chili powder to taste. Cook for several minutes, gently turning frequently. Cook until the squash is deep golden brown and tender. Make sure to not over-cook, squash should not be falling apart. Remove squash and set aside.

2. Add torn leaves to the same skillet. Toss the kale around and cook it for 3-4 minutes. Add the sautéed squash and heat through.

3. Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven to 325 F. Arrange the first tortilla on a baking sheet (I used the round one for making pizza) and spread the butternut squash kale mixture on the tortilla. Sprinkle the butternut squash and kale mixture with sprinkled cheese. Layer the second tortilla on top. Bake in oven for 5-7 minutes, or until cheese is melted. I like “baking” quesadillas. It allows the tortillas to get hot and the cheese to melt, without adding fat (and their associated calories) by sautéing tortillas in a pan with butter.

4. Enjoy! =)

Butternut Kale Quesadilla_8_small

 

Why should you eat this?
* Kale is a super-food. It is low in calories, but rich in vitamins K, A, C, and B6. It is also packed with lots of manganese, copper, fiber, iron, calcium, etc. Read more here: http://www.wholeliving.com/134250/power-foods-kale and http://authoritynutrition.com/10-proven-benefits-of-kale/

* Butternut squash is another super-food. It is rich in vitamins A, B6, and C. It is also rich in fiber and antioxidants. Read more here: http://www.wholeliving.com/134734/power-foods-butternut-squash


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Scrumptious Butternut Squash Risotto

Sadly…the blog I had written about how I decided to make scrumptious butternut squash risotto fell victim to the internet’s black hole…gone…and no way to retrieve it.

All I remember is that I consider risotto a type of comfort food. Its creamy texture and its flavor make it addicting to me. Earlier this summer, I blogged about some other risotto using for example tomatoes that are easily available fresh. It is winter now and it is only fitting to find an ingredient for risotto that is easily available during the cold winter months. Butternut squash!

No worries, if you are new to making risotto, I have linked a couple of additional links with additional tips and tricks for making perfect risotto, see below.

I only used half the butternut squash for this recipe. Check back for the recipe that we used the other half of the squash for. Unless the black hole of the internet eats my blog again, this recipe will be up soon. We made Butternut Squash Kale Quesadillas https://ourfunstuff.wordpress.com/2014/12/27/butternut-squash-kale-quesadilla/ and Butternut Squash Ravioli.

I also saved the butternut squash seeds and roasted them, see recipe: https://ourfunstuff.wordpress.com/2014/12/26/butternut-squash-seeds-roasted-to-perfection/

Ingredients (Makes 5-6 servings):
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
½ whole butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced*
½ teaspoon sea salt
Black pepper to taste
¼ teaspoon chili powder
½ medium yellow onion, diced
1½ Arborio rice
Approximately 6 cups vegetable broth (3 veggie bouillon cubes and 6 cups water)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/8 teaspoon turmeric
½ cup shredded Pecorino Romano cheese(more for serving)
Parsley, finely minced for serving

Preparation:
1. Heat 1 tablespoon butter and the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the squash and add salt, pepper, and chili powder. Cook for several minutes, gently turning frequently. Cook until the squash is deep golden brown and tender. Make sure to not over-cook, squash should not be falling apart. Remove squash and set aside.

2. Heat broth in a separate saucepan over medium heat and keep warm. Add 2 tablespoons butter to the skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until onion looks translucent. Add Arborio rice and stir continuously, cooking for 1 minute.

3. Using a ladle, add 1 ladle of broth at a time to the rice mixture on medium heat. Gently stir as the broth is absorbed. As soon as the liquid disappears, add another ladle of broth. Add salt and pepper along the way.

4. Taste the rice after adding about 5 cups of broth. It should be tender, not too soft or too chewy. When the rice is tender, add the cooked squash and turmeric. Stir gently. Add the Pecorino Romano and stir until just combined. Serve hot with Parsley and Pecorino Romano shavings for decoration.

Butternut Squash Risotto_6_small

Notes:
*Sauté the whole butternut squash, save half of the squash for another recipe.

Risotto freezes surprisingly well. Obviously it is best fresh, but if you like to have a healthy and yummy lunch to take to work. Freeze in small portions, let thaw in fridge overnight, and reheat in the microwave.

 

Not only does butternut squash taste amazing, look at all the health benefits packed into this fruit: http://www.wholeliving.com/134734/power-foods-butternut-squash

Recipe adapted from: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2013/01/butternut-squash-risotto/

 

Making the perfect risotto:

http://www.bonappetit.com/test-kitchen/common-mistakes/article/how-to-make-the-best-risotto-and-avoid-these-8-common-mistakes

http://whatscookingamerica.net/Q-A/risotto.htm