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Butternut squash ravioli - what kind of nuts go with it?

We're hosting a large dinner party in a couple of weeks and I want to make something vegetarian but hearty; simple enough that I won't be spending all day and night in the kitchen preparing food!

I've decided on homemade butternut squash/ricotta ravioli with a brown butter sage sauce, but I'd like to add a little something extra as a garnish, like maybe one of the following toasted nuts:

-walnuts?
-pecans?
-chestnuts?
-hazelnuts?

Which of those would go well with the ravioli?

I'll also be serving some sort of salad, and dessert of course!

Thanks!

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  1. Any of these, and don't forget pine nuts. Just not peanuts, ever, with this dish. Ask me why I know that. Shades of mommy.

    1. Agree on using any of them - I just made them this past weekend and used toasted walnuts and shavings of Parmesan (along with a fried sage leaf on each dish) as garnish and it was fantastic. Incidentally, I think hazelnuts would be a wonderful compliment.

      1. I've used ground almonds in the butternut squash filling, with a bit of sage and ground Parmigiano. I've also had the ravioli with toasted pine nuts as a garnish.

        1. Agree--any of the above. I sprinkled hazelnuts on a butternut squash/goat cheese lasagna I made last week. That was terrific.
          And yet another option besides those you've listed--pistachios.

          1. i've done hazelnuts and i've done pine nuts - both really good options

            1. My immediate response would have been pine nuts up until two weeks ago. Unfortunately I had a terrible experience with Pine nuts recently. If you put Pine Nuts in the Chowhound search engine you will see that there is something called "pine mouth" that is a bitter taste left in your mouth from some pine nuts (some say the pine nuts from China). In any event, it was absolutely terrible for two weeks right after I tried to eat anything there would be a bitter, awful taste. I will never use pine nuts again because I just do not want to risk having to experience that again. It does not happen to everyone and it resolves itself over time but I would not want to risk it with a dinner party. Go with the pecans or the hazelnuts. Sounds MUCH safer to me!!

              4 Replies
              1. re: rjlebed

                Or buy mediterranean pine nuts. Seek them out. There is a difference, and it's worth the price. (I, too, experienced about 10 days of strange tastes/smells in almost everything I ate/inhaled, which I could trace only to pine nuts of, as it turned out, Chinese origin.)

                1. re: nomadchowwoman

                  I never paid much attention to where the pine nuts came from. But, now that I am looking it seems that all of the ones that I am finding are from China. So frustrating since I really do enjoy cooking with them. Nomadchowwoman, you KNOW how awful it is for someone who enjoys good food to have to endure that awful taste! UGH!!

                  1. re: rjlebed

                    Yes, it's a problem. (I had no idea what it was, suspected it was something in our water at first although my husband thought I was crazy. We changed the filter. I bought a different toothpaste and mouthwash. Nothing worked. Then I read about the pine nuts, remembered I'd eaten some right about the time the problem started, and then it went away.) I bought them from the bulk bin at Whole Food, which I assumed (not sure why, just being Pollyanna-ish) would not be selling the Chinese variety. When I asked, noone in the store could give me an answer; I kept bugging, and finally, someone researched it and got back to me: yes, they come from China.

                    I now buy them from this online source. They aren't cheap, but I keep them in the freezer and use them sparingly.

                    http://www.nutsonline.com/nuts/pinenu...

                2. re: rjlebed

                  wow! thanks for the heads up - I'd not heard of this before. I love pine nuts and will look carefully for the country of origin now - I have become turned off to buying products from China in the last couple of years . . .

                3. Hi there,
                  Use walnuts. Toast them and sprinkle them with just a touch of nutmeg and sea salt.
                  The others would do as well but walnuts have a special relationship with all the other ingredients :).
                  Happy eating, Oana

                  1. All good suggestions here.

                    Perhaps some nice toasted salted pumpkin seeds? Kinda goes with the theme and taste great!

                    1. Any of those would be fine, epecially if you ground them up and added them to the filling. Getting enough protein can be tough for us vegetarians sometimes, so nuts are a great addition.