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Shortcuts make seasonal dish a snap

Is it time for all the pumpkin things? I hope you said yes because I have a scrumptious pumpkin recipe. Let’s make pumpkin ravioli. But let’s make it easy. Rather than make fresh pasta, let’s use wonton wrappers, and we’ll use canned pumpkin and a two-ingredient sauce.

Imagine tender homemade ravioli stuffed with beautifully seasoned pumpkin ricotta filling, bathed in sage scented butter topped with crispy sage leaves and crunchy candied pecans and pepitas. This is comfort food at its finest.

Raviolis are easy to make but I won’t lie, they’re a little time-consuming. You might enlist a buddy to speed things up and make it fun. This makes a wonderful first course or main dish. My family found two or three ravioli was ample as an appetizer or side and four to six ravioli make a nice-sized dinner portion.

This recipe uses canned pumpkin, but you could use butternut or acorn squash. A 15-ounce can of pumpkin holds just 2 tablespoons shy of 2 cups of squash. So, if you acquire 1¾ cups of cooked pureed squash, you’re in business.

This creation is topped with irresistible candied pecans and pepitas. This is optional but highly recommended as the ravioli benefit from the crunchy texture. Any combination of nuts or seeds can be candied using this easy technique, even sunflower seeds.

I suggest you start by making the candied nuts. If you choose not to candy the nuts, you can add them to the browned butter sauce and it’ll still be great.

CANDIED NUTS

What you’ll need:

¾ cups nuts and/or seeds, chopped

1½ tablespoons butter

¼ cup granulated sugar

½ teaspoon kosher salt

Here’s how:

In a dry skillet on medium heat, toast the nuts and/or seeds, stirring until they’re fragrant. Push the nuts to the outside of the skillet and melt the butter in the center. Coat nuts with butter then sprinkle with sugar. Stir constantly (to prevent scorching) until all the nuts are coated and the sugar begins to caramelize, about 5 minutes. Immediately transfer to a sheet of parchment paper and spread out flat. The nuts harden immediately.

Cool, then break apart.

PUMPKIN WONTON RAVIOLI

Yield: 24 ravioli

What you’ll need:

For the filling:

2 tablespoons butter

2 cloves of garlic, minced

2 tablespoons shallot or sweet onion, minced

1 tablespoon fresh sage, minced

1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree (not pie filling)

½ cup ricotta cheese

¼ cup Parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon brown sugar

Pinch nutmeg

1 14-ounce package wonton wrappers

1 egg beaten for egg wash

Here’s how:

In a skillet on medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the garlic and shallot and sauté until fragrant. Add the sage and stir to infuse the butter. Add pumpkin and stir to combine. Reduce heat to low and add ricotta, Parmesan, brown sugar and nutmeg. Stir to thoroughly combine. Let the mixture simmer about 5 minutes to reduce some of the liquid but keep it moving so it doesn’t burn. Set aside to cool.

To fill ravioli: In a small bowl, beat egg with a splash of water to make egg wash. Working in small batches, place wonton wrappers on work surface. Using your finger, paint the egg mixture over all four edges of the wrapper. Place 1 tablespoon of the pumpkin mixture in the center. Lay a second wrapper over the filling, lining up the edges. Press to seal the wrappers together, pressing out any air bubbles. Crimp with a fork to seal.

Repeat with remaining wrappers. Keep covered until ready to boil.

Tip: Wonton wrappers dry out quickly so keep them covered with a damp towel.

While you bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, make the browned butter sauce. Boil ravioli in batches until they float. Serve generously drizzled with the browned butter sauce, topped with sage leaves and candied nuts.

BROWNED BUTTER WITH SAGE LEAVES

What you’ll need:

½ cup butter

15 to 20 fresh sage leaves

Here’s how:

In a large skillet on medium heat, melt butter, stirring as the butter foams and sizzles until the butter begins to brown, 5 to 8 minutes. Now, the butter will be golden brown, the milk solids are toasting on the bottom of the pan and it smells rich and nutty. Add the sage leaves and let them sizzle for a couple of minutes. Remove the now crispy sage leaves to a paper towel to drain. Remove butter from the heat.

Lifestyle expert Patti Diamond is a recipe developer and food writer of the website “Divas On A Dime – Where Frugal, Meets Fabulous!” Visit Patti at www.divasonadime.com and join the conversation on Facebook at DivasOnADimeDotCom. Email Patti at divapatti@divasonadime.com.

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