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What else to serve with 'butternut squash ravioli in a browned sage butter sauce'?

Any ideas? (Only restriction is 'no beef') Looking for an appetizer, maybe a salad - and if you have a particular dessert or drink in mind will listen to that too!

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  1. Are you serving this as a first course or as an entree?

    2 Replies
    1. re: bryan

      That is still a matter of debate! :) (At time of writing we were thinking main course. Now questions of 'maybe it would be better as an appetizer' have come up.) This is for Sunday.

      One thought was: How could we give this meal an 'almost-Thanksgiving' flavor. In that the butternut squash is evocative of pumpkin a bit and the sage has that stuffing-esque taste. So we were debating maybe a spiced baked (Moroccan?) chicken, and/or a dessert involving baked apples. Dried cranberries could go in a salad. The idea being that it's just a touch of Thanksgiving taste, not the full traditional table.

      1. re: Cinnamon

        Well, personally I think it's going to be a little too rich for a main course. And since you're going for an 'almost-thanksgiving' I would think about following the ravioli with, oh say, turkey marsala? Maybe some broccoli rabe sauteed then finished w/ some dried cranberries and a little aged balsamic vinegar. Dessert could be something simple like pecan tartlets. That's my take on it. Good luck and please let us know what you decided.

    2. The combination you have planned (squash ravioli with brown butter and sage sauce) is delicious and rich. I would start out with a salad made with mixed and/or butter lettuce, with walnuts and cranberries, with a walnut vinaigrette. If you want to serve something with the pasta dish, I'd do a sauteed broccoli rabe, or roasted broccoli. Something green, but light.

      Last course, I'd probably serve fruit and cheese.

      2 Replies
      1. re: DanaB

        DanaB, you took the words right out of my mouth. With something yummy and rich like that, you want some counternotes in the accompanying dishes. I think your suggestions are spot on. I also like FlavoursGal's rec of thin slices of tart, granny smith apples in the salad (perhaps even more than the cranberry suggestion!).

        1. re: DanaB

          I like that salad idea and the broccoli rabe sounds spot-on for side dish taste.

        2. 1st thing that comes to mind is brussel sprouts and chestnuts

          1. Mmmmmmmm. Sage brown butter sauce - one of my favourites! I especially love it when the sage crisps up in the butter. If you've never tried it, fried sage is one of the most delicious things you'll ever eat.

            I assume you are using fresh sage. Just don't put it in at the same time you start browning the butter. You'll want to add it in at the end of cooking.

            I think this would be superb with a salad of Belgian endives (in 1/2-inch slices), grape tomatoes, and thin slices of tart Granny Smith apples. Dress simply with some fabulous extra virgin olive oil, sherry vinegar, salt and pepper. The tartness of the apples will go well with the sweetness of the ravioli and the sweet butter sauce. The endives and the apples will provide a nice textural component.

            3 Replies
            1. re: FlavoursGal

              Thanks - that is how we do the sage brown butter sauce and they crisp up beautifully. (I believe the recipe was from Epicurious - it's become a standard we use.)

              The salad sounds ideal... was considering also adding (as I did once awhile back) little snips of a variety of fresh herbs to make a light salad flavorful - and then as you mentioned a simple dressing.

              1. re: Cinnamon

                Enjoy! By the way, have you ever tried "beurre noisette" (sounds better than brown butter sauce, n'est-ce pas?) with pan-fried fish? It's traditionally done with skate. More heaven on a plate!

            2. Browned butter with pasta can be difficult to plate so consider serving it as a first course. Finish with a salad with a lightly sharp dressing and some crisp elements like sliced apples or persimmions. Serve something warm and fruity or chocolate for dessert.

              2 Replies
              1. re: JudiAU

                That made me think of a spinach salad with bacon bits, onion, hard boiled egg, a warm dressing, and blu cheese.

                But I was also thinking of beans and greens as a side.

                1. re: yayadave

                  I think the very strong flavours of bacon, onion, egg and blue cheese would overwhelm the delicacy of the flavours in the ravioli and butter sauce.

              2. How about a salad of bitter/mixed greens with cranberries, toasted chestnuts, an apple cider/mustard vinagrette, a little goat cheese, and corn bread crumbs or croutons - as in a hint of cornbread stuffing?

                Regardless I think something with toasted nuts and cranberries is the right direction and should work well with the nuttiness of the brown butter.

                And ya gotta have a green been casserole with cream of mushroom soup and canned onion rings. I mean come on.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Grubbjunkie

                  Good point with the nuts and cranberries, thanks.

                2. I made butternut squash ravioli with sage browned butter and chestnuts as a starter for thanksgiving last year. A few other hits that day were maple glazed brussels sprouts and twice baked sweet potatoes made with a chipotle-infused cream.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: billyc

                    Will definitely have to try the chipotle-infused cream sometime!

                  2. butter lettuce and frisee salad (w/blood oranges, shallot and champagne vinagrette)

                    duck confit
                    your ravioli
                    bitter greens (rabe)

                    cranberry-orange sorbet or cranberry or apple tarte

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: maviris

                      This sounds really good. Is duck confit very heavy in an oil way? (Given the brown sage butter sauce appearing elsewhere.) I love the flavor combinations you have here... probably partly because I love duck, bitter greens and blood oranges. But the medley's really great.

                      1. re: Cinnamon

                        The crispy skin is fattening, perhaps "oily", but I don't find the duck meat heavy - just moist and flavorful. Of course I'm up north where it is the season for heavier meals. The duck may take away from the ravioli being the star of the plate - and I bet they'll be so delicious that would be a shame! So maybe you could add duck to the salad instead. This would also be less expensive. epicurious has a duck confit and pear salad recipe. I'd probably skip the cheese if I made that though.

                        1. re: maviris

                          LOL: "The duck may take away from the ravioli being the star of the plate - and I bet they'll be so delicious that would be a shame!"

                          Leaning very heavily in the direction of your menu suggestions - will report back and thank you (everybody).