Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

The Mouthful: Cooking Butternut Squash Ravioli With Caroline

    Did you know that cooking for your loved ones will make them love you approximately 85 percent more than they already do? It’s true.

    Not only is cooking more economical than eating out, it can also be a great opportunity to bond with your friends, family and
    roommates. Unless you’re a control freak like me and threaten to stab them with a fork when they so much as try to enter the kitchen.

    Don’t stab your loved ones with forks. That will undo all the good you’ve done by cooking for them. But I digress.

    This simple butternut squash ravioli is the perfect fall dish and it’s cheap to boot. Buying all the ingredients to serve two people costs about $10, but because you’re only using small amounts of some ingredients and will have plenty left over, the cost works out to about $2.50 per serving. All ingredients were purchased at Trader Joe’s, which surprisingly does not sponsor this column and is not paying me to advertise for them. I just think they’re great.

    I was cooking for seven, so the amounts are larger in the photos than they would be for the written recipe, which serves two.

    The recipe begins, as so many good things do, with bacon. Trader Joe’s has started selling “bacon ends and pieces,” which are cheaper than their whole counterparts and work well here. Start by cutting bacon into small pieces, then throw it in a pan on medium heat and fry until bacon is crispy and fat is rendered. Remove bacon bits from pan, but do not drain the fat. Vegetarians, skip this step and simply pour a tablespoon of olive oil into the pan. Carnivores, feel free to use more bacon! This ravioli does not judge.

    Next, reduce the heat to medium-low and slice two shallots. Put the shallots in the pan, add a bit of salt to help the sugars do their thing, and caramelize for about 15 minutes, stirring often.

    While the shallots are cooking, bring a pot of salted water to a boil and add butternut squash ravioli. Cook and drain according to package instructions.

    Next, cut up some fresh sage. It’s deceptively strong – just a few leaves will do.

    Here’s where it all comes together. Remove shallots from the pan when they are fully caramelized, turn the heat back up to medium and throw in a few tablespoons of butter. Cook, tilting the pan to stir, until butter is golden brown and smells nutty. Add sage, bacon and caramelized onions and stir. Cook for a few minutes and let the flavors marry and have flavor babies. At this point your kitchen will smell insane.

    Toss ravioli with browned butter and sprinkle with parmesan cheese and black pepper. I served mine with a spinach salad and toasted, garlic-rubbed bread.

    Be sure to have some of your favorite humans on hand as well.

    Butternut squash ravioli with shallot and sage browned butter
    (Serves two)
    1-2 strips of bacon, cut into small pieces
    2 shallots, sliced
    1 package (9 oz) fresh butternut squash ravioli
    3-4 leaves of fresh sage, cut into small pieces
    2 tablespoons butter
    Salt and pepper
    Grated parmesan

    Fry bacon on medium-high heat until brown and crispy. Remove bacon from pan but do not drain fat. Reduce heat to medium-low and put shallots in pan. Add a pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes or until caramelized. Meanwhile, boil and drain ravioli according to package instructions. Remove shallots from pan and wipe clean with a paper towel. Raise heat to medium, melt butter in pan, and cook until golden brown. Return bacon and shallots to pan, and add sage. Cook, stirring, for a few minutes. Toss browned butter with ravioli and top with grated parmesan and black pepper.

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