Squash Ravioli with Brown Butter Walnut Sauce

Recipe developed and contributed by Maureen Gualtieri

The winter weather so far sure has been weird… But now that January’s locked in we’re starting to get some of the cozy, chilly atmosphere the Great White North is so famous for. Now begins the Season of Comfort Food! We’re starting it with a bang with this month’s recipe, which leans hard on those lovely winter flavours – squash, walnuts, butter – all wrapped up in delightfully carb-y ravioli. DFC’s Maple Crunch mustard brightens both the sweet and cheesy ravioli filling, as well as the caramel notes of the simple brown butter sauce. A word of warning: This recipe makes a lot of ravioli. Like, a hundred. If you’re working with a smaller quantity of squash (say, last night’s leftovers) you can dial down the amount. Otherwise, embrace setting aside an afternoon to whip up a full recipe, then stash them in the freezer and have fresh, quick-cooking, and impressive pasta on hand for the rest of the winter!

Squash Ravioli with Brown Butter Walnut Sauce

(Yield: approx. 110 ravioli)

for ravioli

1 medium (600g) cooked and mashed butternut squash

1 c. (175g) ricotta

1 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp dried rubbed sage

1 tbsp (3g) red pepper flakes

3 cloves (10g) crushed fresh garlic

1 tsp fine sea salt

1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper

1 1/2 tbsp (30g) DFC’s Maple Crunch mustard

1 egg

4 x 220g pkgs wonton wrappers, thawed


for sauce (enough for 4 servings of ravioli)

 1/4 c. (75g) unsalted butter

2 (20g) green onions, minced

1/4 c. (35g) walnuts, chopped

1 tsp (10g) DFC’s Maple Crunch mustard

generous pinch salt

In a large bowl, combine your mashed squash, ricotta, spices, and DFC’s Maple Crunch mustard, and fold everything together until the mix is uniform. Taste for seasoning, then add your egg and mix in well.

Line a baking sheet (one that fits in your freezer) with parchment paper. Set up a workspace with your bowl of filling, a smaller bowl filled with water, and an open package of wonton wrappers all within reach. Place one of the wonton wrappers on your work surface, and carefully dot it with about a half-teaspoon of your filling, right in the middle. (That might not seem like a lot, but you don’t want to overfill these!) Try not to get any filling residue on the perimeter of the wrapper. Dip a finger in the water, and paint around the filling dot, all the way to the edges of the wrapper. Then, place a second wonton wrapper over the first, matching the edges. Working from the filling outward, press down firmly to seal, avoiding trapping too much air in with the filling. Place your completed raviolo on the parchment-lined sheet. Repeat this assembly process with the rest of your wrappers and filling, leaving a slight gap between the pieces as you lay them on the sheet. When you fill your pan, tear off another piece of parchment and place it on top of your first layer. Keep stacking until you’re done.

(To freeze: Slide your ravioli-filled pan into your freezer, and leave it there for at least a day. Once the ravioli are thoroughly frozen, you can decant them into containers or zippy bags for more compact storage. Whenever the mood for fresh pasta strikes, reach into your freezer for as many ravioli as you want, and drop them straight into briskly boiling water – no thawing needed!)

When you’re ready for dinner, prepare your brown butter sauce: In a heatproof container, combine the minced green onions, chopped walnuts, DFC’s Maple Crunch mustard, and a generous pinch of salt. Set aside. Then melt your butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk constantly as, over about 8 minutes, the butter foams up, bubbles, then turns clear enough that you can see a dusting of tiny particles of milk solids sinking to the bottom of the pan. At this point, browning is imminent, so watch for these particles to darken. Once a heavenly caramel scent fills your kitchen and the milk solids are a nice toasty colour, take your pan off the heat and immediately pour the brown butter into your heatproof container of onions, nuts, and mustard. It might splatter! Stir and set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Select 5 or 6 ravioli per person, then lay them gently into the boiling water. Boil until cooked through, about 3 to 4 minutes. Retrieve each raviolo individually with a spider or slotted spoon – careful, they are delicate. Plate, top with brown butter walnut sauce (and maybe a shaving of Parmesan), and enjoy!

You’ll need a few ingredients for this epic pasta dish: Squash, ricotta, thyme, sage, red pepper flakes, garlic, salt & pepper, an egg, wonton wrappers, DFC’s Maple Crunch mustard, green onion, and walnuts.
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