Tuesday, November 03, 2009

pick your pasta: pumpkin raviolis, meat/cheese raviolis, and spaghetti squash

as you may recall, one of my tasks last week was to get brother to eat homemade pumpkin ravioli. of course, i knew i needed a backup plan in case he wasn't feeling it. so my mission became pasta three ways -

1. seasonal pumpkin raviolis
2. traditional raviolis filled with beef and cheese
3. and spaghetti squash - i was very proud of my pasta creativity here.

i made up the recipes on the fly, so there are no real measurements. 
warning:  it was a little time consuming to make each individual ravioli, but hey, no pain, no gain...right?

wonton wrappers
ricotta cheese
parmesan cheese
mozzarella cheese
canned pumpkin
ground beef
spaghetti squash

spaghetti squash directions:
pierce spaghetti squash with knife or fork and place in 375 degree oven for 1 hour.  once it has cooked and cooled, cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds with spoon.  using a fork, shred the remaining inside of the squash - it will look like strings of spaghetti.  mix together with a little pasta sauce, parmesan cheese and s&p.

moving on to the raviolis:
lay about 3-4 paper towels on cookie sheet and spread pumpkin evenly over it.  top with 3 more paper towels.  let this sit for about 5 minutes.  this will remove the excess water from the pumpkin and will guarantee your filling won't be runny.  scoop pumpkin off paper towels and add to bowl with an equal part of ricotta cheese. add couple tablespoons of breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese, a pinch of nutmeg, chopped parsley and s&p. in another bowl, mix together cooked ground beef, ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, breadcrumbs, basil and s&p.

now here comes the time-consuming part:

lay out wonton wrappers one at a time and scoop mini spoonfuls of either mixture into center.  be sure not to overfill or else they will explode when you cook them. wet edges of the wonton wrapper with water using your fingers and place another wonton wrapper on top.  secure all edges of wrapper to make sure there are no air bubbles or holes. repeat again and again and again.  be sure to cover the wonton wrappers with a damp paper towel before and after you assemble them.  if you don't, they will began to crack and get dry, making them hard to work with.

working in batches, cook raviolis in boiling salted water until they rise to the top.  this should only take about 4 to 5 minutes. once done, immediately mix together with your favorite pasta sauce.  i whipped up an easy alfredo sauce for the pumpkin ravs and used a jarred pasta sauce for the meat ravs.

you'll never believe it but brother actually ate some of the pumpkin ravs.  i knew it wouldn't take long before we started opening up those deprived little tastebuds of his. 

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