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Pasta challenge: a few restrictions

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Nyleve Nov 23, 2007 06:16 AM

So I've invited some friends for dinner tomorrow night. Here's the thing. One is kosher and/or vegetarian (the line is very fuzzy for her). If the meat is kosher she'll eat it, if not, she'll go veg. Since I really don't have access to much kosher meat, I decided to make some kind of pasta dish. I have this idea that I want to do something with butternut squash and fettuccine (or similar pasta). Is there a delicious, hearty, warm and fuzzy pasta dish I can make that isn't a butternut squash lasagne? I have a recipe for lasagne with butternut squash but somehow just don't feel like lasagne. No bacon or sausage, of course (which would I would otherwise use).

I also happen to have some kosher cornish hens in the freezer if that helps. But then, of course, no cheese or dairy in the meal.

I'll be serving it with a good bitter salad and maybe some kind of green veg like rapini or broccoli. It's cold and horrible outside - I don't want a light dinner.

Ideas?

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  1. monavano RE: Nyleve Nov 23, 2007 06:21 AM

    How about butternut squash ravioli? Even if you just used wonton wrappers it would be wonderful served with butter, sage and hazelnuts.

    www.houndstoothgourmet.com

    2 Replies
    1. re: monavano
      n
      Nyleve RE: monavano Nov 23, 2007 06:33 AM

      I was thinking of that. I guess I balked at the fiddliness of making ravioli.

      1. re: Nyleve
        d
        dolores RE: Nyleve Nov 23, 2007 06:50 AM

        Nyleve, I just went to epicurious.com and put in 'butternut squash pasta casserole' and it came up with all sorts of delish sounding stuff!

    2. chowser RE: Nyleve Nov 23, 2007 06:47 AM

      What about a squash gnocci and the cornish game hens?

      http://www.obwrestaurant.com/features...

      1. JoanN RE: Nyleve Nov 23, 2007 06:58 AM

        I was recently raving about the Winter Squash Risotto with Radicchio and Parmesan from Sunday Suppers at Lucques:

        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/39707...

        It's not online, but if the idea appeal to you I could paraphrase.

        1. foxy fairy RE: Nyleve Nov 23, 2007 07:27 AM

          Check out this link, for lots of great butternut squash ideas. Lots are gratins, but you could easily turn those into pasta bakes. The aforementioned gnocchi sound fabulous to me, and easier than ravioli but similarly impressive and delightful.

          http://www.chowhound.com/topics/458009

          1. l
            Linda513 RE: Nyleve Nov 23, 2007 07:37 AM

            I made a great pasta/butternut squash dish from Giada De Laurentiis. It calls for shrimp, but would be fine without it. Everyone raved about it.

            http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...

            1. n
              Nyleve RE: Nyleve Nov 25, 2007 10:08 AM

              Report.

              I decided, after all, to make butternut squash ravioli. I figured, heck - I could spend an afternoon futzing around with the things. So here's how it went.

              I bought pasta sheets from a local place that makes fresh pasta. This was a good idea. But unfortunately, the pasta sheets weren't rolled quite thin enough. I had told the guy that I was making ravioli with it and assumed he would understand it should be really thin. If I ever do this again, which I probably will, I will specify VERY THIN.

              The filling was as follows: 2 cups pureed roast butternut squash pulp, 2/3 cup parmesan, 1 onion (very finely minced and sauteed in a teensy bit of olive oil and butter), salt and pepper.

              I laid out the sheets, placed spoonfuls of filling in rows, and brushed between with beaten egg white. laid another sheet on top and pressed as much air out as possible between the ravioli. Cut between with a pizza wheel and then pressed really hard around the edges with a fork. (Very phobic about leaking filling.) My first test ravioli revealed that the pasta really was too thick and that there was too much of it. So I trimmed each ravioli into a circle to eliminate some of the extraneous pasta. This was an improvement.

              When ready to serve, I cooked them in plenty of boiling salted water. Probably cooked for 5 to 7 minutes - much longer than I expected but with such heavy pasta it really needed it. Served with sage leaves cooked in butter and sprinkled with chopped toasted hazelnuts. I forgot to add a scoop of pasta cooking water as I was tossing it all together. Next time.

              Results were crazy delicious but with room for improvement.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Nyleve
                chowser RE: Nyleve Nov 25, 2007 04:58 PM

                Thanks for the update. I've made them with wonton wrappers and prefer them to fresh pasta for butternut squash or pumpkin because they have a lightness to them that pasta doesn't have. It takes almost no time to cook, too.

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