Friday, July 23, 2010

Pumpkins & Butternut Squash

Earlier this spring my house was tented and fumigated for termites.  Termites flourish in this area.  We do what we can to protect our dwelling from an invasion; but it happens every once in a while.  We packed up and gave away anything perishable, boarded the garden kitties, and went to Sonoma for a few days.

Everything went smoothly.  One thing.  I forgot to store my seeds out in the shed instead of inside the house under the big tent.  Dang!  I didn’t dispose of the seeds.  The packets have important information so I bagged them up for future reference.

Rip a load of calendar pages off and move forward in time to the 4th of July.  I needed to plant some pumpkins but forgot to order any seeds from my new favorite seed company in Arizona, Terroir Seeds.  I opened the seeds that were exposed to fumigants and pulled out my Cinderella Pumpkin seed pack.  These will only be used for decoration; so I proceeded to experiment. 

There were 6 seeds leftover from last year.  I made 2 hills and planted 3 seeds in each hill.  I was surprised that the seeds germinated in just a few days.  Unfortunately I didn’t record the date – but it was a matter of 3-4 days.  Only 2 plants sprouted from one hill.  I was happy to have 2 germinate.  Earlier this week, 1 seed germinated on the 2nd hill.  Crazy.  I now have 3 Cinderella Pumpkin plants that I never expected to do more than become compost.

DSC_1844_4754Here they are almost 20 days after planting.

The seed packet lists maturity at 110 days.  That hits right around Halloween.  Anything these plants produce will be more than I ever expected.  This variety makes great decorations that keep throughout the fall season – my favorite time of year.

DSC_0576_1890          I wonder if I have enough time to order and plant some butternut squash.  While we were up Sonoma way, I had a wonderful butternut squash ravioli with toasted sage and walnut brown butter that I would like to try to master.  I found a recipe from Emirl Lagase that should work.  Waltham is the variety I would like to try.  Perhaps I’ll just settle for whatever seed variety the local hardware store is carrying then expand from there.

Roasted Butternut Squash Ravioli with a Sage Brown Butter Sauce

Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, 2000

Prep Time: 25 min
Inactive Prep Time: --
Cook Time: 10 min
Level: --
Serves: 4 appetizer servings

Ingredients

  • 9 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 1 cup roasted butternut squash puree
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground white pepper
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus 2 ounces
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 1 recipe pasta dough, rolled out into wide ribbons, about 1/4-inch thick
  • 12 fresh sage leaves
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley leaves

Directions

In a large saute pan, over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. Add the shallots and saute for 1 minute. Add the squash puree and cook until the mixture is slightly dry, about 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the cream and continue to cook for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in 3 tablespoons cheese and nutmeg, to taste. Season with salt and pepper. Cool completely.

Cut the pasta ribbons into 3-inch squares. Place 2 teaspoons of the filling in the center of each pasta square. Bring 1 corner of the square to the other, forming a triangle and seal the pasta completely. Add the pasta to pot of boiling salted water. Cook until al dente, about 2 to 3 minutes or until the pasta floats and is pale in color.

Remove the pasta from the water and drain well. Season the pasta with salt and pepper.

In a large saute pan, melt the remaining 8 tablespoons of butter. Add the sage to the butter and continue to cook until the butter starts to brown. Remove from the heat.

Place some of the pasta in the center of each serving plate. Spoon the butter sauce over the pasta. Sprinkle the 2 ounces of cheese over each plate and garnish with parsley.

3 comments:

Aunt Snow said...

Do you make your own pasta? Do you have a machine? What kind do you have?

I only tried to make pasta once, but I don't have a machine, so I rolled it out and it was too difficult to get it thin enough. I ended up with some lumpy gnocchi-like things that tasted good enough but weren't worth my clumsy efforts.

MAYBELLINE said...

*Aunt: I have a pasta attachment to my Kitchenaid mixer. That doesn't have a ravioli maker. I'll hit the restaurant supply store or Chefs.com to get what I need. I've made pasta (linguini)once as well and didn't find anything remarkable about homemade except for the big mess I had to clean up. Ravioli is different though. I want to stuff it with the butternut squash. That dish I mentioned was really tasty.

Melissa @ Sweet Homestead Alabama said...

Oooh! I love butternut squash, Maybelline. I have grown Walthams with success. The only thing is mine didn't keep as long as I would have liked. I think they made it into December... I prefer winter squash to take me at least into early spring. I think I'll try some Acorn Table Queens this year. They're reputed to grow well around here and are excellent keepers. : ) Melissa