Herbal Recipes

Butternut Squash

+ Sage Ravioli w/Pine Nuts
 

Seasonal Produce + Autumn Medicine

I made these homegrown butternut squash ravioli on a whim the other week, and boy, was I blown away at their rich, decadent, and robust flavor.  We had just harvested butternuts from the garden and our sage bush was in need of a big haircut, so naturally, this handcrafted pasta was high on my list.

Eating seasonally is all about finding what's in season and utilizing it. By changing gears and tapping into the vitality of what's in season, it helps us to slow down and get in alignment with the natural world. Foods harvested and consumed within their season are often higher in nutritional content and come from a source of abundance, helping us to honor what the earth gives, making the most of the bounty that is in front of us.

The season of Autumn is all about roots, gourds, bulbs, and tubers. These starchy carbohydrates are harvested in fall to store through the winter and used to help energize our bodies through the cold and barren months ahead. "Root" season is a season of grounding, warming, and stabilizing foods helping to signal to our body that it's time to slow down and tap into the season of change, leading us into the deep hibernation and restoration of winter.

These ravioli utilize the seasonality of winter squash and pair it with the medicinal benefits of grass-fed butter, pine nuts, and sage - creating a healing and seasonal meal built to fuel and nourish in the colder months.

Medicinal Benefits of Sage + Pine Nuts

As an antimicrobial herb with an affinity for the respiratory system, sage (Salvia officinalis) is a wonderful spice for supporting our bodies and lungs not only in the season of fall, but in California, through wildfire season as well. This garden-fresh herbal is easy to grow and was used  in the days of old as a preservative in food due to its antimicrobial nature and cleansing energy.

Pine nuts are a great source of healthy omega-3 fatty acids and are full of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin e, k, copper, magnesium, and manganese. The needles of pine are high in vitamin c, and are a powerful expectorant and circulatory stimulant. While we use the needles of pine in spring, we turn to the nuts in the fall when they would traditionally be harvested.

Ingredients For Ravioli Filling

6-8 12" sheets of fresh pasta (make your own or purchase pre-made)

1-2 cups roasted butternut squash (see below)

1-2 shallots, minced

7 cloves garlic, minced and divided

1/2 tsp sea salt + more for finishing

1/4 tsp white pepper

1/4 tsp black pepper + more for finishing

2 TBL grass-fed butter

8-10 TBL extra virgin olive oil

2 TBL freshly grated Parmesan cheese + extra for topping pasta

2-3 TBL fresh goat cheese

2-3 TBL fresh pine nuts, lightly toasted

5-6 TBL fresh minced sage + 1/4 cup leaves toasted in browned butter

1 egg (made into a wash)

Extra Tools Needed: Ravioli press, Pasta maker  (if making your own)

 

Directions:

Planning Ahead: If making your own pasta be sure to start a couple of hours ahead of when you plan to make the ravioli. I typically roast my squash and then refrigerate overnight, and then begin making my pasta 3 hours before when I want to serve it. If you've never made fresh pasta give yourself grace! It's a learning process and the first batch never comes out perfect but it's almost always delicious.

Roast Your Squash: Cut your butternut squash in half and scoop out the seeds; drizzle with olive oil (or avocado oil) and place cut side down on a parchment lined baking sheet. Roast for 20-35 minutes at 375 or until squash is soft and edges are slightly browned. Remove from stove, let cool, and scrape squash filling out of skin, storing in the fridge until ready to use.

 

The Filling: Sauté 1-2 TBL garlic and one minced shallot on low for 2-3 minutes until soft; add to a large mixing bowl. Add 1 tbl fresh minced garlic to the bowl. Add white and black pepper, salt, goat cheese, 2 TBL grated Parmesan cheese, and reserved roasted squash. Mash squash with a fork, and stir to combine with other ingredients until a smooth paste is formed. Add 1-2 TBL minced fresh sage. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Preparing The Pasta + Filling The Ravioli: Prepare your pasta and roll it out if making from scratch; if using pre-made sheets remove from fridge 10 minutes prior to use.

To fill your pasta, gently lay one sheet of dough on top of the ravioli press. Fill each divet with 1 tsp filling. Brush another piece of pasta with your egg wash and place on top. Seal using your ravioli press (making sure to press firmly), cutting ravioli apart if needed. To store until cooking, place finished ravioli on a baking sheet heavily dusted with flour, gently coating each ravioli with flour as well to prevent them from sticking to the sheet. Let the ravioli rest while preparing the sauce.

Making The Sauce + Assembling The Meal:

1. Toast Pine Nuts
Heat 1 TBL olive oil in a small cast iron skillet and gently toast pine nuts for 1-2 minutes or until just starting to brown. The nuts will toast quickly so be sure to act fast and remove them from the heat as soon as they start to turn color; set aside.

2. Fry Sage in Browned Butter
Heat butter in large flat bottomed pan on medium-low heat until it just begins to just turn color; add sage leaves and cook for 1-2 minutes until they begin to crisp and the butter is lightly browned. Once butter begins to brown remove from heat immediately as to not burn the butter; set leaves aside with pine nuts.

3. Garlic and Shallot Oil

Add remaining olive oil to the pan and heat gently on low, adding 1 minced shallot and 3 minced cloves of garlic. Sauté for 1 minute and turn off heat.

4. Prepare Fresh Sage + Parmesan

Grate 1-2 TBL of fresh Parmesan and mince 2-3 tbl fresh sage and set aside.

5. Boil Your Pasta

Gently placed your ravioli in a large pot of gently boiling water, using a slotted spoon to lightly stir the ravioli and keep them from sticking to the bottom. Boil ravioli on a low rolling boil for 3-4 minutes or until pasta is al dente and then turn off the heat. Using your slotted spoon, gently remove ravioli from pot (shaking off as much water as possible) and add them to your pan with the oil, shallots and garlic.

6. Final Assembly

Gently toss your ravioli in the oil so that all pieces are covered; add pine nuts, fried sage, Parmesan and fresh sage and mix to incorporate. Top with sea salt, fresh cracked pepper, and extra parm  and serve, making sure to top each bowl with a little extra parm and sage to finish the plate.

 

Serve and Enjoy

Serve immediately and pair with salad of your choice! I tend to pair this with a simple mixed green salad dressed with olive oil, salt, and champagne vinegar. Best enjoyed by candlelight and with a nice glass of dry wine, making sure to give thanks for the bounty and comfort that fall's produce brings!


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Note: The information is for educational, historical, and research purposes, and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information on this site should not be used as medical advice. If you have a medical concern please seek out a qualified health care professional, and always consult your physician before adding herbal supplements into your diet, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, or on medication. Do not consume alcohol if you are under the age of 21 years old.

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