Fall in Michigan is probably my favorite season. There is a crisp bite to the air, not to cold but still far from sweltering hot. This change brings about a certain aroma, though I am not sure I can name it exactly; there is a certain fragrance in the air that does not exist in any other season. Don’t forget nature’s fireworks when all the trees take on so many different colors.
Even more for me, fall is cider season. Normally the fall in Michigan is apple season and the time I would make my batch of cider for the year. Sadly, with the way mother nature acted this year the apple harvest is nothing of what it should be. This means I will not be making cider so I will need to make last years batch stretch (though I don’t think it will make it). This brings us to dinner.
Recently, my mother gave me a couple acorn squash from her garden (another gift of the fall). The easy thing to do would be to roast the squash with butter and spices. But that would be too easy. Instead we should celebrate the season with something special. This means acorn squash ravioli and to really tie great fall tastes together, we serve it with apple cider burre blanc. Both of these require a bit of time and effort, which is why they are so special. They are not a combination you would make for every day dinner. (This is a good thing cause the beurre blanc though very good and rich, is not something that treats your waistline well).
Dough (using the same pasta dough recipe I have done in the past)
2 acorn squash halved and seeded
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
salt to taste
place the squash in a baking pan cut side down. Add roughly 1/2 inch of water then cover the pan with seal wrap and then foil. Cook at 350 for roughly and hour to an hour and a half (the squash should be soft when done).
Allow squash to cool then remove from skin with a spoon. Allow to drain in a strainer for roughly a half hour or so. Add in paprika and salt then place in a piping bag. Using a pasta roller, roll out the dough to 7. Lay the pasta sheet flat then about an inch in, place the squash in a line on the sheet. Roll the sheet to just cover the squash then add a line lightly of water to seal the ravioli. From here you make the pockets by placing your finger on each side of individual raviolis making them the size you want. With a pasta cutter, cut out each ravioli placing them on a sheet pan covered with floured foil so they can be staged and ready for moving into the boil pot.
Salted water in a pasta pot brought to a boil. Gently drop each ravioli into the water. Allow them to cook till they float and then for 30 seconds to a minute after this.
Beurre Blanc Recipe:
22 oz Cider
1 bay leaf
1 clove garlic (crushed)
1 inch of fresh ginger (sliced thin)
1 cup cream
3/4 stick of unsalted butter
salt to taste
Reduce the cider, bay leaf, garlic, and ginger to roughly 1 cup. Add the cream and reduce by half again. It should coat a spoon and not be runny when you run a finger through the sauce. Remove the sauce from the pot and aromatics, rinsing the pot for a clean start. Add the sauce back to the pot reducing the heat and add the butter a bit at a time to the sauce. Work the butter in between each addition.
Time For a pint…
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