Butternut Squash and Roasted Garlic Ravioli or deconstructed ravioli

I was so excited to use my pasta machine and ravioli press, so I came up with this recipe for the filling.  I’m in love with the filling!  But. . .

In the end I realized that I’m not very good at rolling the pasta into rectangles, and that it’s hard to seal the ravioli properly.  So I ended up with a few tortellini that lost their filling.  After making a bunch of difficult and misshapen ravioli I gave up and made a sort of deconstructed ravioli dish – I just put some hot filling on the plate, then topped it with some long strands of pasta, salt and pepper and a bit of butter.  Same amazing flavour, way less work!  You could just make the filling and use some store-bought pasta – much much simpler!

What you need:

1 recipe of homemade pasta

1 smallish butternut squash


3 cloves garlic

optional: a splash of brandy

salt and pepper

butter or olive oil

What you do:

1.  Prepare pasta dough ahead of time; if you refrigerated it, make sure it come out of the fridge at least an hour before you want to roll it so it’s not too firm.

2.  Cut the squash in half and remove seeds.  Place cut side down on a baking pan.  Bake at 375F for 40-45 minutes. Wrap the garlic, in their papery covers, in a small piece of tin foil and place on the same baking sheet.

3.  Test for doneness by inserting a sharp knife into the flesh of the squash, at the thickest part.  If it goes in easily, the squash is done.

4.  Allow squash to cool before making the filling.  Then scoop it out into a bowl and mix in the garlic with a fork, along with a crumbling of sage and some salt and pepper and the optional brandy.  Taste and adjust seasonings.  They will vary according to the size of the squash and your preference.  I could eat a bowl of the filling alone – it’s soooo good!

5.  With a large pot of water on to boil, roll out the dough.  If you have a machine set it to the thinnest possible.  When you have rectangular shapes, place on top of ravioli press and add a dollop of filling.  Place the top layer of dough on it, and press the shapes out.

6.  If you can’t cook the pasta right away, place a cloth on top to keep it from drying out.  Add the pasta to a large pot of boiling water and cook for only a few minutes.

7.  Drain pasta, then plate it and drizzle a little olive oil on top (or a little butter) and some freshly cracked pepper and salt.  Enjoy!

Vegan Caesar Salad Dressing

A creamy dressing that’s also vegan – yum!

What you need:

2/3 cup soft Silken Tofu

3 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1/3 cup lactose-free parmesan or soy parmesan

1/4 teaspoon sugar or agave nectar

juice of 1 lemon

1/2 clove chopped garlic

2 tablespoons olive oil (or more as needed)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

What you do:

1.  Blend all the ingredients using a blender or immersion blender.  Add a little more olive oil if it’s too runny.

2.  Refrigerate for an hour or two, if you’ve got the time, to let the flavours mingle.

3.  Toss with romaine and top with croutons.  Serve with a wedge of lemon for squeezing on top.

And here’s a crouton recipe:

For 2 servings you need:

2 slices bread

olive oil

2 cloves garlic

1/4 teaspoon sage

1/4 teaspoon oregano

salt and pepper

What you do:

1. Cut the bread into cubes.  Heat a frying pan to medium, then add a little olive oil.  Once the oil is hot add the bread, tossing until coated.  Add a little more olive oil if necessary.

2.  Chop up the garlic, and add to the frying pan, along with the spices.

3.  When the bread has browned on one side, turn it over and let the other side brown.

4.  Throw it on top of your dressed salad, scraping out the spices with it.