Sometimes finding new and creative ways to incorporate more vegetables into your child's diet can be tricky. Especially when you're trying to get your children to try different vegetables for the first time. We recently picked up a butternut squash from our local farm. Since it was the first time my son had tried butternut squash, I decided to try using it as a filling for handmade ravioli. Ravioli is fun to make with children because there are so many times throughout the process that children can help, including mixing the ingredients, rolling out the dough, filling and crimping the dough pockets and carefully dropping them in the water. Read on to learn how you can made a batch of organic, homemade butternut squash ravioli with your children.
What you will need for the Ravioli Dough:
- 5 cups organic flour
- 6 cage-free eggs (or egg alternative)
- 2 tablespoons organic extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
What you will need for the Butternut Squash Filling and Butter Sage Sauce:
- 9 tablespoons organic butter
- 3 tablespoons organic minced onion
- 1 cup roasted butternut squash
- 3 tablespoons organic cream
- 1 organic minced garlic clove
- 3 tablespoons organic Parmesan cheese
- pinch of organic nutmeg
- pinch of sea salt
- pinch of organic pepper
- 10 fresh organic sage leaves
- fresh organic parsley leaves
Step 1: Make the Butternut Squash Puree
Cut the butternut squash in half, remove the seeds, place 3 tablespoons of butter on top and place on a cookie sheet. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes or until tender. Remove from oven, let cool and scoop out the flesh, puree in a food processor or blender.
Step 2: Make the Ravioli Filling
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and saute for 1 minute. Add the butternut squash puree and saute about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and add 1 tablespoon cream, 3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese and the nutmeg. Set aside.
Step 3: Make the Ravioli Pasta Dough
Add the flour and salt to a stand mixer bowl and mix using the dough hook. Add the eggs one at time, then the olive oil and mix until a ball forms. If it is too dry add a tiny amount of water, if it is too wet add a tiny amount of flour.
Next, kneed the dough on a floured surface for about 10 minutes. Brush the dough ball with the remaining olive oil and cover, let rest for 30 minutes.
Step 4: Make the Pasta Pockets
Cut the dough ball in half, roll half out with a rolling pin on a floured surface, shaping into a large rectangle about 1/4 inch thick. Leave the other half covered to prevent drying. Use a knife to cut the dough into squares. Tip: We cut ours into large squares, however they get much bigger when they are cooked, if you want smaller ravioli cut squares that are about 1/2 the size that you want the ravioli to be.
Step 5: Fill the Pockets
Spoon a small dollop of the butternut squash mixture into the center of each pasta square.
Step 6: Close the Pockets
Fold one corner over to the opposite corner, forming a triangle. Seal the seam by pressing a fork into the edges all the way around the ravioli.
Step 7: Boil
Add the ravioli to a pot of boiling water one at a time. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until the ravioli floats. Remove from the water, place in a stainer and drain well.
Step 8: Make the Butter Sauce
In a medium saucepan, melt the remaining butter, garlic and sage and saute until the butter starts to brown.
Step 9: Enjoy Homemade Organic Butternut Squash Ravioli
Place several butternut squash ravioli triangles on a plate and drizzle with the butter sauce, sprinkle Parmesan cheese on the top and garnish with parsley. Enjoy a homemade, organic meal using fresh vegetables that are in season. The best part, my son said that these were the most delicious ravioli that he had ever eaten in his life and he ate every last bite!