Isn’t it funny how ideas are formed? Most of my recipes are adaptations of things I have seen made on cooking shows or recipes I have run across on Pintrest. Sometimes I get random ideas, this usually only happens with Cheesecake flavors. This recipe came 100% out of thin air. I am pretty proud that one of the fanciest meals I have ever made was a creation all of my own! I wasn’t without inspiration though. A few perfectly timed events happened to get the creative juices flowing.
Event #1: I was watching the New Orleans season of Top Chef reruns which included the Last Chance Kitchen episodes. There was one lady who made fresh raviolis during like a 30 minute challenge. That is where I learned that fresh ravioli only needed to be cooked for about 3-4 minutes. Event #2: Levi left for Tucson for 2 weeks. Since he is a notoriously picky eater I have not been able to experiment with any type of fish dishes. Event #3: Right before he left Levi and I went to Olive Garden for somewhat of a farewell date night. Hidden on the seasonal menu was a Butternut Squash Alfredo. I decided to take a chance on the dish, and it was one of the best things I have ever had from Olive Garden!
If all these things hadn’t happened within a week of each other I don’t think I would ever have come up with this wonderful idea!
For the sauce I of course made a reduction! It’s kind of sweet but the bourbon and cream help cut the sweetness. The ravioli filling is very savory so it makes for a nice pairing. If you’re not up for making the sauce I bet a basil and garlic tomato sauce would go nicely with the ravioli. But just don’t drown the ravioli in sauce otherwise you lose too much of the flavor.
So let’s started shall we?
There are 4 components to the dish: Squash, salmon, pasta and sauce.
1 medium sized Butternut Squash
4 fresh basil leaves- chopped
1 pinch nutmeg
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup cream
1 lb Salmon filet
4 basil leaves
Salt and Pepper
18 oz orange marmalade
1 cup cream
2 oz Brandy
1 oz Bourbon
1 tbsp brown sugard
3 tbsp butter
I made about 30 raviolis with a 3 inch ravioli stamp. And had plenty of filling left over. So feel free to adjust the pasta recipe as needed.
1 1/2 cup All purpose flour
1 1/2 cup Semolina flour
2 tbsp water
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg (beaten to brush over the pasta and help create a seal around your filling)
1/4 cup shredded asiago cheese (forgot to put it inside the raviolis but it was just as delicious sprinkled on top)
Butternut squash- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Take a medium sized squash and cut it in half. Remove the seeds and the stringy bits. Rub butter over the squash. Fill a baking sheet with water, place a cooling rack in the water, place the squash halves face down on the cooling rack. Bake for about 45 minutes. It may take longer depending on the size of your squash and your oven. You’ll know it’s ready when you can easily scoop all the filling out with a fork or spoon. In a mixer, or with beaters, cream the squash till smooth.
In a medium saucepan add the squash, 1/4 cup cream, chopped basil, pinch of nutmeg, and salt. Over a medium heat combine all the ingredients till you have a smooth paste. Cool mixture, but keep it covered so it doesn’t dry out.
Salmon- Cut Salmon filet into 4 equal pieces. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cut the orange in half. Squeeze half the orange over the salmon to get juice on each piece. Lay 1 basil leaf over each piece. Slice the remaining half of the orange into 4 slices and lay each slice of a piece of the salmon. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-18 minutes or until you can easily separate the fish with a fork. Shred the salmon into little pieces. Cover to keep warm.
Pasta- In a bowl mix the flour and semolina, eggs, salt, and water. Mix until you have a flaky dough. Then use your hands to knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for about 3-4 minutes. Form a ball and wrap it in wax paper. Let it sit for 30 minutes.
While the pasta is sitting get the sauce started.
If you are using a traditional pasta roller break your dough into 4 sections. Roll out each section to a 6 setting. If you are hand rolling then use floured wax paper and roll out the dough to about 1/16 inch thickness.
On 2 of the pasta sheets make a light imprint of your ravioli cut outs. Place some of the squash mixture and salmon in the middle of each piece. You can also add some of the cheese if you want. It’s better to have your filling pile be high rather than wide and be careful not to overfill the ravioli. Brush the pasta around the filling with beaten egg. Place the top layer of pasta over the top. Press down around the filling to create a seal. Dip the ravioli cutter in flour and cut out your raviolis.
Fill a large pot halfway with water and bring to a gentle boil. Add some salt and olive oil. Place 4-6 raviolis in the water at a time and cook for 3-4 minutes till the pasta is tender. Use a slotted spoon to remove each ravioli and place in your serving dish.
Sauce- In a medium sauce pan add your orange marmalade, brown sugar, brandy and bourbon. Over medium heat bring to a low boil. Reduce the mixture to about 1/2 it’s original volume. Add cream and butter while continuously stirring. When it’s well mixed and the sauce has a light orange color, remove from heat and let it cool a little. I have learned that when doing reductions you get the best consistency when you let it cool and then reheat to the desired serving temperature.
Whew. You are ready to feast!!! Sit down with friends and family and enjoy the fruits of your labor!