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Pumpkin, Sage and Pecan Chile Ravioli with a White Bean and Garlic Sauce

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INGREDIENTS
  • 1 medium winter squash (900 - 1150 grams / 2 - 2 1/2 lb) such as kabocha, butternut or hokaido (you will need 2 cups cooked squash)
  • 3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 tablespoon minced fresh sage
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
Red Chile Pasta Dough
  • 1 ancho or guajillo chile
  • 1 pasilla or new mexican chile (or just use another ancho chile)
  • 1 teaspoon annatto seeds (optional)
  • 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 90 grams / 3 ounces silken tofu
  • 2 cups unbleached flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
White Bean and Garlic Sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups navy beans or northern beans, soaked or 2 x 430 grams / 15 ounce cans, drained and rinsed
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 5 sprigs fresh sage
  • Handful of fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Freshly ground black pepper

METHOD
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.

Cut the squash in half from stem to bottom and place cut side down on a parchment covered baking sheet. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until tender. Let the squash cool for a few minutes, then remove and discard the seeds. Scoop the flesh into a bowl and mash with a fork. Measure out 2 cups mashed squash, reserving any extra.

Warm the oil in a medium skillet. Add the onions and saute until they are browned, about 10 minutes. Add the pecans and saute for a few minutes more, add the squash, mixing until it is heated through. Stir in the sage, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from the heat.

Roll out dough into 2 equal sheets and score a grid of 2.5 centimeter / 1 inch squares with a ruler and pastry cutter. Put equal, well-rounded amount of each of the squares. Brush a little water along the edges of the squares in case the dough starts to dry out. Lay the second sheet over the first and press down around the mounds to seal the edges. Cut out the squares with a pastry wheel using the ruler to help guide you. Lay the raviolis on a lightly floured tray.

Bring a large skillet filled 2.5 centimeters / 1 inch of water to a simmer. Add the raviolis and cook for 3-5 minutes depending on the dryness of the pasta. Use a slotted spoon to gently lift the raviolis out of the water. Drain briefly for a moment, then serve immediately, covered with white bean and garlic sauce.

Red Chile Pasta Dough
Remove the stems and seeds from the dried chiles and place in a bowl. Pour boiling water over the chillies and let sit for 10-15 minutes, or until they are softened.

Meanwhile, if you are using the annatto seeds, heat them with the oil in a small saucepan just until the oil is warm and has turned orange. Strain the oil, discarding the seeds.

Place the softened chiles and 2 tablespoons of the chile soaking liquid, the oil and the tofu in the blender and blend until smooth.

Sift the flour onto a work surface (a large wooden board is good) in a mound and make a hollow in the middle. Pour the chile tofu mixture into the hollow and add the salt. With a fork, first mix the salt into the tofu mixture and then gradually draw in the flour from the edge, incorporating it little by little until a paste begins to form. Then use both hands to gather the remaining flour together and work it into the dough. Work in as much of the flour as you can; there will be a few little straggly pieces of dough and a little flour that does not get worked in. Wash your hands to remove dough. Scrape up the excess dough pieces and flour sticking to the board with a pastry scraper or knife and sift them through a strainer so that flour falls back onto the board. Discard the pieces caught in the strainer. Knead, working in the last bit of flour, with vigorous rhythmic motions for 5-10 minutes, or until the dough has a firm, slightly elastic consistency, is not sticky, and has become smooth and pliable. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for about 1 hour at room temperature before making ravioli.

White Bean and Garlic Sauce
Drain the soaked beans. Cover with 6 cups of water and pressure cook for about 8 minutes for the navy beans or 10 minutes for the great northern beans. Season with salt to taste. Let the beans sit in the cooking liquid for a few minutes to absorb the salt. Drain the beans, reserving the cooking liquid.

or

On the stovetop, simmer the beans in 8 cups of water, partially covered for about 1 1/2 hours or until the beans are soft. Season with salt to taste. Let the beans sit in the cooking liquid for a few minutes to absorb the salt. Drain the beans, reserving the cooking liquid.

Warm the olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add the onions and cook over medium-low heat for about 7 minutes, or until the onions are softened and starting to brown. Add the garlic and cook for a few more minutes, until fragrant. Add the cooked beans and 2 1/2 cups of the bean cooking liquid (if you are using canned beans, add 2 1/2 cups water). Tie the herbs together with a cotton string and add to the pot along with the bay leaf. Cover, bring to a boil over medium heat, reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered for 15 minutes to allow the flavours to marry. Add the lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Remove the bay leaf and tied herbs.

Serve as is or cream totally smooth with a food processor/blender.


NOTES
This isn't as difficult to make as it looks but it is a bit time consuming. But, the reward is great. There is nothing better than successfully making your own ravioli. If you have a ravioli press, this comes together very easy.


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