Claudia and Hans Make Stuff

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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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Pasta al pomodoro

Trying out different variations of tomato recipes, in preparation for (hopefully) ALL those tomatoes that our garden will soon provide. Last week, we made marinara sauce. Tonight, I tried Pomodoro sauce. The ingredients are similar, however, Pomodoro sauce tends not to be blended.

So here we go.

Ingredients (2 servings)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic gloves, minced
1 (14-ounce) can tomatoes, not drained (I ended up cutting the tomato piece very fine)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon raw sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
approximately 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
approximately 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped

Preparation:
1. Heat olive oil in sauce pan. Add onion and garlic, approximately 5 minutes, until onion is translucent. Add the tomatoes plus juice, simmer for 15 minutes.
2. Add lemon juice and spices including herbs and simmer for an additional 15 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare pasta according to package direction.
3. Serve sauce over pasta with freshly grated Reggiano cheese. Enjoy.

Pomodoro sauce

Pomodoro sauce

Pasta al pomodoro

Pasta al pomodoro


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Lemony pasta with asparagus

Asparagus was on sale and of course I ended up buying it. So now we had asparagus and it was time to try out a new recipe.

(Recipe adapted from Betty Crocker Vegetarian Cooking)

Ingredients:
2 cups uncooked pasta, such as rotini or bow-tie pasta
1/4 cup olive oil
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
1 lb fresh asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel, lemon zest from one lemon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 frozen lemon cube
1 (14-ounce) can organic cannellini beans

Preparation
1. Cook and drain pasta as directed on package to al-dente consistency. Set aside. (Make sure not to over cook the paste. Also, do not prepare the pasta too early resulting in the pasta to fully cool.)
2. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add bell pepper, asparagus, lemon peel, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are crisp-tender (approximately 10 minutes).
3. Add lemon cube and beans into vegetable mixture. Heat, stirring occasionally, until beans are hot. Add pasta and toss.
4. Sprinkle with freshly grated Asiago cheese, optional.

Lemony pasta with aspargus

Lemony pasta with asparagus

Note: Even though it only contained salt and pasta, the dish turned out very flavorful and “spicy”. Must be the lemon zest and/or the Asiago cheese. I was skeptical at first about adding the beans, but they actually fit nicely with the dish and add extra protein to this dish.


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Angel hair pasta with autumn vegetable ragout

(From Betty Crocker Vegetarian Cooking)

Ingredients:
3 cups water
1 medium dark-orange sweet potato, peeled, diced
8 ounces uncooked angel hair (capellini) pasta
2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 medium tomatoes, chopped (4 cups)
1 small zucchini, cut lengthwise in half, then cut crosswise into slices (1 cup)
1 small yellow summer squash, cut lengthwise in half, then cut crosswise into slices (1 cup)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup freshly shredded Parmesan

Preparation
1. In 4-quart Dutch oven, heat water to boiling over medium-high heat. Add sweet potato; cook 3 to 5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain.
2. Cook and drain pasta as directed on package.
3. Meanwhile, in 10-inch skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic; cook 30 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in tomatoes. Cook about 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until slightly soft. Stir in zucchini, yellow squash, sweet potato, salt, and pepper. Cook 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently, until vegetables are crisp-tender.
4. Serve vegetables over pasta. Sprinkle with cheese.

Angel hair pasta with autumn vegetable ragout

Angel hair pasta with autumn vegetable ragout


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Veggie Orzo with Lime

Orzo is rice-shaped pasta that is quite versatile. This dish not only uses fresh vegetables such as zucchini and carrots, but it gets its ‘zing’ from lime zest and freshly pressed lime juice.
And apparently, we were either too hungry or it was way too delicious…and we forgot to take a picture…maybe next time =P

(Adapted from AllRecipes)

Ingredients (Makes 4 servings):
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups orzo pasta
1 zucchini, shredded
1 carrot, peeled and shredded
1 (16-ounce) can stewed tomatoes, undrained
14 fluid ounces vegetable broth (alternatively use 1 veggie broth bouillon cube and 14 ounces of water)
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
(¼ cup green onions, chopped; optional)
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 teaspoons grated lime zest (I just use the zest of one regular-size lime)
2 tablespoons lime juice (I just use the juice of one regular-sized lime)
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese for topping, see note

Preparation (Preparation time approximately 30 minutes)
1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in the garlic and orzo pasta; cook and stir until pasta turns a light, golden color, about 5 minutes. Stir in zucchini and carrots; cook until vegetables soften, about 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, vegetable broth, Italian seasoning, and basil.

2. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Reduce heat to medium. Cover, and simmer until almost all liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Stir in the green onions, parsley, lime zest, and lime juice. Remove from heat, cool slightly, and serve sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.

Note: We prefer Pecorino Romano cheese over Parmesan.

Ingredients

Ingredients

Vegetarian lime orzo

Veggie Orzo with Lime

Vegetarian lime orzo_2_small

 

Adapted from http://allrecipes.com/recipe/vegetarian-lime-orzo/

 

Healthful benefits:
* Carrots are a great source for beta carotene, vitamins C and B, fiber, calcium, iron, and potassium.
* Orzo is low in fat, while being a good source of protein and iron.
* Lime juice is rich in vitamin C.


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Spaghetti with Walnut Sauce

I was a bit skeptical at first. Pasta and walnuts?! Not a combination I had grown up with in Germany or knew from visiting Italy. And let’s be honest, nothing comes close to traditional, home-style Italian pasta. Well…I loved this dish…even though any Italian out there may say that this is not authentic Italian cooking =P

Ingredients (Makes 2-3 servings):

1 cup walnut pieces or halves
3 tablespoons plain breadcrumbs, see note
3 tablespoons olive or walnut oil
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1-2 cloves garlic (optional)
¼ cup butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons milk
salt and freshly ground black pepper
14 ounces whole wheat spaghetti
freshly grated Parmesan cheese, to serve, see note

Preparation (Preparation time approximately 20 minutes):
1. I used the walnuts as they came from the bag. (Alternatively, to remove the skins you can drop the nuts into a small pan of boiling water, and cook for 1-2 minutes. Drain. Slip of the skins. Dry on paper towels.) Coarsely chop and set aside about a quarter of the nuts.

2. Place the remaining nuts, the breadcrumbs, oil, parsley, and garlic (if using) in a food processor or blender. Process to a paste. Remove to a bowl, and stir in the softened butter and the milk. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Cook the pasta in a large pan of rapidly boiling salted water until al dente. Drain, and toss with the sauce. Sprinkle with the reserved chopped nuts, and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Note:
* I like to use home-made bread crumbs. See suggestion under: https://ourfunstuff.wordpress.com/2014/03/14/366/
* We have grown fond of Pecorino Romano cheese instead of Parmesan cheese. It is a bit milder in taste.
* This dish stores well in the refrigerator in an air-tight container and can easily be reheated using the microwave.

Pasta with walnut sauce

Pasta with walnut sauce

 

Adapted from The Cook’s Encyclopedia of Italian Cooking by Carla Capalbo

 

Healthful benefits:
* Walnuts (including their skin) are a good source of vitamin E. They also are rich in magnesium and potassium. They even contain a fair amount of calcium.