Our family has what we call "veggie night" a couple times a week, and I am always trying to come up with something the family will love (or atleast like) so that they don't come to hate veggie night. This is my newest creation. I got the idea for using squash in the pasta from seeing Alton Brown use squash to make gnocci (which I have also made and enjoyed several times). My daughter loved it, while my son was very reserved once he saw the spinach in the filling (which you can't even taste, sheesh.) My husband hasn't come home for his dinner break from work yet so his reaction remains to be seen but he loves the frozen cheese ravioli and this tastes a lot like it (only a lot healthier), so I am sure he will love this too. The seasonings of course should all be adjusted to your taste, these are just the amounts that suited us. The roasting of the squash can be done in advance either the same day or a few days before hand since it needs to cool anyway, or you can use canned pumpkin and skip the roasting step. And actually the ravioli can be done in advance and frozen, This would probably make a great OAMC meal. I did not include time to roast the squash in prep-time since this is meant to be something you'd do in advance.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1⁄2 yellow bell pepper
- 1⁄2 red bell pepper
- 1⁄2 cup diced onion
- 5 white button mushrooms
- 2 (14 1/2 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
- 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon italian seasoning (I like Mrs Dash Italian Medley)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 cups spinach, fresh
- 2 eggs
- 15 ounces ricotta cheese
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 3 cups flour
- 2 small acorn squash, roasted and mashed (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1 egg
- Roast 2 small acorn squash at 350 degrees farenheit for 45 mins or until tender. Allow to cool to room temperature or until cool enough to handle.
- Meanwhile, chop/dice the yellow and red peppers, as well as the mushrooms and onion. Preheat a large skillet, add the olive oil and saute diced veg until tender.
- Add the diced tomatoes to a blender and blend until smooth then add blended tomatoes as well as tomato paste to the sauteing vegetables. Add the italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper, then taste and adjust seasoning accordingly. Add balsamic vinegar then taste again and adjust as needed. Cover and let simmer over low heat.
- Finely chop spinach and add to a medium bowl. Mix in 2 eggs, ricotta cheese, salt and pepper. Set aside.
- In medium bowl add 2 1/2 cups flour and mashed squash (or 1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin), mix until it starts to pull together, then turn out onto floured work surface and knead in enough of the remaining flour to make dough stiff but plyable. You want to be able to roll this thin without being too wet to where your hands will go through it, but you don't want it to be too dry to where it is going to crumble apart either.
- Divide dough in half and roll into 2 equal sized rectangles. Fold one of the rectangles of dough loosely in half then in half again and set aside. On the remaining rectangle of dough, drop filling by teaspoonfuls about an inch apart.
- Make an eggwash by beating one egg in a small bowl. Use a pastry brush to brush egg into visible surface of dough (in between each pile of filling and around the outside edges). Unfold second rectangle of dough and place directly on top of the first one being careful not to drag it across the filling piles. Smooth out any air bubbles and gently press seams between each pile of filling. Cut ravioli apart and use a fork to pinch edges together to seal.
- Drop one at a time into gently boiling water being careful not to drop directly on top of each other to prevent sticking. When they start to float (which won't be long), simmer another 1-2 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon. Cook in 2-3 batches if necessary.
- Serve sauce over ravioli and enjoy with freshly grated parmesan.