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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Butternut Squash Ravioli Sprinkled with Amaretti, Herb Butter Sauce and Blue Foot Mushrooms

Fresh egg pasta stuffed with butternut squash, sprinkled with amaretti cookie and pepato pecorino cheese. 

As is often the case when we travel, we like to discover small towns and villages and serendipitously wander into some little local restaurants hoping to find something wonderful and authentic.  We were very lucky when we spent a day in Cernobbio, Italy (on Lake Como) and we discovered Harry's Bar.  The choice to eat there was more about the terrace overlooking the lake than the restaurant but the menu did offer some wonderful choices.  

Not too far from George Clooney's Villa apparently - although we did not see him

Cernobbio is about a 2 hour drive from Luzern, Switzerland - it's just beautiful and the food is so good!!!!

This starter was one of the daily specials (it was pumpkin ravioli) that Kat and I had and I loved the addition of the amaretti that went so well with the pumpkin.   This sauce is my take on the brown butter sage sauce that is traditionally served with this dish.  It is a little lighter and made with a combination of tarragon, thyme, sage and oregano.

The addition of the blue foot mushrooms was to add a little earthy flavour and ended up working very well.  The Fruiterie du marché at the Atwater Market has a great selection of exotic mushrooms and I chose these for their color.  If you can't find blue foot mushroom, use the ones that are available to you.

 I used the one sheet of egg pasta cut in half lengthwise and just gently wrapped it around the butternut squash filling.  This makes preparing this dish very easy and changes up the presentation.  

You will need:  For 4 appetizer portions or 2 main dish portions

For the raviolis:
  • 1 small butternut squash (about 700g), cut in half lengthwise
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 small shallot (20g), finely diced
  • 1 tsp of chopped garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 sheets of good quality fresh egg pasta
For the sauce:
  • 1 small shallot (20g), finely diced
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 cup (250ml) of good quality chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp of a combination of fresh tarragon, thyme, oregano and sage (whole leaves are fine)
  • 2tbsp (35g) of cold salted butter
For the garnish:
  • 8 blue foot mushrooms (or your choice) cut in half
  • 1 hard amaretti cookie
  • fresh, chopped tarragon
  • pepato (pepper) pecoroni cheese, shaved


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C)
  2. Drizzle some olive oil on the cut side of the butternut squash and place (cut side down) on a parchment lined baking sheet;

3.  Bake in the middle section of oven for 1 hour or until the thickest part of the squash is very tender when pierced with a knife;

4.  Allow to cool, remove the seeds and scoop out the squash;

5.  Put olive oil (2tbsp - 15ml) in a pan over medium low heat;

6.  Add diced shallot (1 small - 20g) and cook for 5 minutes (keep heat low to avoid colouring);

7.  Add chopped garlic (1 tsp) and cook for 30 seconds;

8.  Add the roasted squash and cook for about 10 minutes to allow it to release water, season & set aside until ready to serve;

For the sauce: 

1.  Heat the olive oil (1tbsp - 15ml) over medium heat;

2.  Add chopped shallot (1 small - 20g) and sauté for 5 minutes on medium low heat (no colour);

3.  Add chicken stock (1 cup - 250ml) and fresh herbs (2 tbsp) and simmer for 15 minutes until reduced to 1/2 cup (125ml);

4.  Pass the sauce through a fine mesh sieve pressing well on the herbs to extract as much flavour as possible;

5.  Return to medium high heat and allow to reach a low boil.  Add the cold butter (2 tbsp) in 4 pieces while whisking or swirling the plan until each piece is completely melted and the sauce has thickened slightly;

6.  Taste and season if required, keep warm until ready to serve;

To Serve:

1.  Cook the sliced mushrooms in 1 tbsp of butter until tender and beginning to colour (about 10 minutes).  Season and keep warm;

2.  Bring a large pot of generously salted water to boil;

3.  Add the fresh egg pasta sheets (4) and cook for about 2 minutes (fresh pasta cooks very fast);

4.  Drain pasta, and place on a clean dish towel to remove excess water;

5.  Cut the pasta sheet in half lengthwise and place in the centre of your plate; 

6.  Spoon a generous portion of the butternut squash filling on the bottom half of the pasta and fold the top of the pasta sheet over the filling;

7.  Spoon the sauce around the pasta.  Add chopped fresh tarragon, grated amaretti cookie and fresh pepato pecorino cheese;

8.  Add a few blue foot mushrooms and serve.  Enjoy!

This recipe was a huge hit! and relatively easy to make - good for when you have guests.
For more recipes using squash and pumpkin, check out:  Butternut Squash Breakfast Cake,   Red Snapper with Gingered Butternut Squash SoupRoasted Butternut Squash Soup with Smoked Cream, Pumpkin Apple Soup for SarahPumpkin Soufflé, Sour Cream Pumpkin BreadPumpkin Pie with Nutmeg Infused Crème Fraîche

1 comment:

  1. Awesome taste that brings me right back to Cernobbio! xo


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